How do you convert your Instagram account into an e-commerce store ?
Turning your Instagram account into an e-commerce store is not a new concept. There are existing tools like Inselly (profile link to storefront), Shopseen (multichannel listing), Soldsie (where you can buy from Instagram by commenting on a picture), Like2Buy (include your company's Like2Buy link on your instagram profile) and so on.
All the above tools are pretty popular and have plenty of users. Recently though, I came across this new tool called HeroZebra. The product is in beta, which means you have to register with some basic details, for them to allow you beta access.
HeroZebra works on the Instagram api, and automatically allows you to create a shoppable webpage with all your instagram pics on the fly.
Unique functions are
- It works like a site builder from the scratch
- Allows you buy a domain name and design it in the way you want
- Does not keep a commission on sales and passes the entire amount to the seller's Stripe or Paypal account
.Very similar to the way way Etsy created their commerce platform in terms of approach.
Since it is in beta, it would be safe to assume that there will be modifications to make it more robust over time, but seems like a nice idea from the get go.
Quick. Easy. Visually pleasing.
Right now they are giving user's early access for free, but the company is planning to start a pricing section (for 1000 costumers) at $9.90 per month. Not a huge amount for someone who has stuff to sell using instagram pics for visual branding, but does not have the inclination or time to manage a complete e-commerce store.
Very early days and seems like a promising concept especially at that price point. The only concern would be around API access. What happens if Instagram decides to revoke its api access ? With Instagram changing it's API policies (just like Twitter did many years ago to control how it's platform and data were being used), that's a fairly possible scenario.
Without a platform which captures consumers and data organically, it would be hard to sustain growth.
Also what happens if Facebook decides to create a similar feature to monetise Instagram on its own ?
These questions will remain, but in an application economy it is still a better risk, to go with API's than spend a ton of money on building a platform without stress testing an idea.
For the moment you can convert your Instagram feed into a full blown e-commerce platform within minutes, and that seems a like a pretty good idea..
If you feel like giving it a shot, you can sign up for a beta access here.
Ethics Statement: *HeroZebra has not commissioned me to write about their product.