He gave me a look, you know – a little disgusted, a little worried but mostly incredulous that one girl could do so much damage. Well, thanks to Instagram it’s become far too easy to do far too much damage.
I suppose I should clarify that my shopaholic tendencies only live online. I despise going into the mall to do any shopping whatsoever thanks to working in retail for many, many years of my life. Since I can’t blame the mall, really I can only blame Instagram and how it’s become the number one enabler in my life. I’ve written about how Instagram has become such a great platform to source the best finds, but over the past year, I’ve noticed how much Instagram has truly grown into more of an ecommerce platform and not just a way to share photos.
For example, before I was just following brands I love on Instagram – whether bigger mainstream brands like Zara, or smaller businesses selling bespoke jewelry pieces. Now, I notice that some of my favourite bloggers tell their followers to “tap to see the brands” or some use the LiketoKnow.it feature like my favourite Toronto blogger, Stephanie Sterjovski. Celebrities like Lauren Conrad also use the app, and so do big publications like Vogue.
The LiketoKnow.it app (powered by RewardStyle) has essentially taken over the “tap it” feature that many bloggers have been using for several months now – essentially they tag the piece of clothing/accessory with the store it’s from, so when you tap the photo you get a curated list of where you can buy the outfit. Some still use that method, but more are turning to LiketoKnow.it. For those unfamiliar with how LiketoKnow.itworks, it’s actually pretty simple. First, you sign up on LiketoKnow.it and then link your Instagram account to your LiketoKnow.it account. After that, whenever you scroll down your Instagram feed and like any photos tagged with Liketk.it (both bloggers and brands have been using the app), LiketoKnow.it will send you an email telling you which store the products are from with a link to purchase.
Genius. It saves the user (aka the shopaholic) time from going on Google and searching for the product, and it allows companies and individuals to monetize their Instagram followings.
And do they ever monetize. In 2013, RewardStyle drove $150 million in sales for retailers from 14,000 publishers. And those publishers (bloggers/magazine publications/celebrities) are raking it in, too – with up to 20% commission on each and every item purchased from their links.
The blogger and brand win, and the shopper wins – our wallets lose, but that’s okay (right?).