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The UK's Multi-Fashion Retailers Putting Their Own Spin On Instagram’s Shopping Feature

Picture of Sarah Leigh Bannerman
Fashion Editor
Updated: 26 March 2018
Just in case you hadn’t already heard, Instagram, the nation’s favourite social media platform, launched a new feature this week allowing fashion retailers to include shoppable links in their organic posts. Dangerous? Maybe. Genius? We think so. But who are the real winners in this game of inspiration vs commerciality? The multi-brand retailers are certainly experimenting.

It might just be the industry’s most-loved update yet. In short, it has made it significantly easier for users to shop their favourite brands without so much as leaving the app, zero scrolling interruption required. No longer just a risky inspirational vortex for us to fall into at any given moment but a shopping platform in its own right, Instagram is seemingly still well on track to take over our lives. As you’re probably already aware, the platform’s latest update allows brands to tag up to five products in any organic post, revealing the style name and the price and then ultimately linking through to a buying page. Don’t worry though, you’ll only be privy to this if you spot that new little bag icon in the corner of a shot and you purposefully tap the image… so it’s not quite the hard sell that you might imagine – there’s still the opportunity to completely ignore the functionality if you so wish.

From day one, pretty much every UK-based fashion brand embraced this update wholeheartedly but as useful as it is to know how much that Topshop dress is going to set you back, it’s the websites that house multiple labels that are already being innovative. It makes sense considering the likes of Net-A-Porter and Browns offer such a range of products that putting this kind of information, literally at our fingertips, has the potential to be a real game-changer. From trend round-ups to ‘shop the looks’, we list the ways in which some of the UK’s most influential multi-brand retailers are already making this functionality all the more appealing to their followers.

Browns: The Styling Inspiration

The Browns Instagram grid has the kind of signature style that you can call out in a line-up and will stop you mid-scroll. A mix of brightly-lit studio shots and saturated street style close-ups govern the look and usually showcase a mix of brands. They’re using the new feature very much in the way that it was intended: to tag every product, but the beauty of it here is that whilst any suspicions of the hero item being out of your price range may well be confirmed, (the £810 Unravel Project denim dress/jacket hybrid featured, for example), the tagged Ganni sheer-mesh leggings might seem significantly more appealing in comparison, and could otherwise go unnoticed.

Coggles: The New Brand Launch

What better way to launch a new brand than via Instagram, the ultimate visual inspiration tool? Coggles proved their excitement for the update launch this week with their spotlight on vintage-inspired label Rixo London who they announced as a new addition to their line-up with a post focused solely on one statement dress and, of course, a direct link to shop the look.

Net-A-Porter: The Insider’s Eye View

There’s little group more admired for their outfit choices than the Net-A-Porter style set come Fashion Week. Forever bedecked in next season’s must-haves and sporting the soon-to-be coveted trends before the rest of us have even had a chance to realise them, they make for the ultimate street style shot. But now – finally – it’s possible to shop their looks directly from the Instagram app, no more trauling the New In category needed. But perhaps we should have guessed to just leave it to the Net-A-Porter team, both behind and in front of the camera, to come up with the most inspirational take on a new ‘techy’ feature.

The Outnet: The Price Comparison

Everyone knows that the beauty of The Outnet is its discounted pricing strategy and they’ve managed to make it more apparent, and more appealing, thanks to this savvy tagging tool. If you thought this beautifully draped Chloe blouse was too expensive just by looking at it, well now you’ll know for sure, and the pop-up will allow you to compare the new price to the original in case you needed any further convincing.

Farfetch: The Trend Focus

Forever thinking outside the box, Farfetch have embraced the five-product tagging rule even on images that only feature one item, cleverly featuring a covetable trend and linking to other products that fit into it within a single post at the same time. Keen to embrace Fendi’s take on Logomania but not ready to work the photographed kitten heel into your footwear rotation? They’ve tagged the collection’s alternative styles to allow you to view your other options quickly and effortlessly.

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