Instagram today announced the addition of a new feature to help connect online shoppers to product declines through its app. Drops, which are a new trend in ecommerce, help sellers create buzz for upcoming products in the days and weeks before they become available. The products themselves are often only available in limited quantities or for a short period of time, increasing demand.
On Instagram, drops will now have their own destination in the app at the top of the Store tab, where consumers can discover, browse and purchase all of the latest product launches as well as see upcoming launches. Buyers can also sign up to receive product reminders of interest to them from here, and view products and collections from other drops that have recently taken place on Instagram.
Like other online purchases offered through Instagram, consumers can make their Drops purchases directly within the Instagram app itself through Checkout on Instagram, and not by visiting third-party websites. This model will eventually allow Instagram to collect fees on purchases – which has become a more important part of Facebook and Instagram’s overall business model following Apple’s crackdown on privacy on iOS apps that has an impact on Facebook ad revenue.
However, Instagram has temporarily waived its selling fees to help businesses recovering from the last year of Covid. The move will also help it gain traction in online shopping against new competitors, including TikTok.
Brands on Instagram had already started drops before today, following Instagram’s release of a product recall feature in 2019 that allowed consumers to be notified when an item they were interested in became available at the purchase. To date, brands in fashion, beauty, streetwear and others have exploited this feature, according to the company, including Hill House Home, Dragun Beauty, adidas and others.
The new Drops location simply organizes product launches in one place for easy browsing and shopping. Instagram tells us that it is organizing the drops featured in this section. To be considered, brands must use the product launch feature which is available to businesses on Checkout with Instagram.
At launch, some of the drops available include today’s Drake x NOCTA ‘Cardinal Stock’ collection and upcoming new additions like the Wren + Glory Hand Painted Summer Collection and the exclusive Pillow Talk Lips & Dreams Lashes Kit. by Charlotte Tilbury. This week there are five drops in total available. That number will vary week to week as Instagram continues to test the new feature, the company tells us.
On an individual brand’s page in Drops, consumers can view information such as the date the product became available, prices, and other item details. They can also bookmark the item to add it to a wishlist or share the drop with a friend through Instagram’s direct messaging feature. From the top of the Drops page, users can return to their cart or wishlist at any time to complete the order – provided it’s not too late, of course.
Additionally, the brand’s direct purchases can be timed to align with the decline in their products. When the brand is uploaded for a drop, there is an on-screen countdown and a confetti animation when the product becomes available.
The new feature is currently only available in the Instagram app in the US, and only on mobile devices (iOS and Android), not the web.