New ad products will help Instagram make $595 million in mobile ad revenue this year, according to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast for the social platform. The market research firm also sees Instagram overtaking both Google and Twitter in ad revenue by 2017.

Brands across sectors are eager to take advantage of the social platform’s new ad products, which include enhanced targeting capabilities. Even without those new features, however, fashion brands have already brought commerce to Instagram through various workarounds. L2’s Insight Report on Instagram: Fashion and Beauty highlights several key examples.

Stuart Weitzman took advantage of Instagram’s data integration with commerce-capable Facebook, buying sponsored cinematographs on Instagram and following up with product ads on Facebook targeted to the same users. Other brands capitalized on the carousel ad feature unveiled in March. Banana Republic incorporated a “Learn More” button into its carousel ads, making Instagram a gateway to purchase.

Banana Republic used these carousel ads to motivate purchases

Michael Kors went further, turning Instagram into a shopping platform. When those who signed up for the #InstaKors service liked Michael Kors photos with the hashtag #InstaKors, they received emails with links to the purchase pages for the posted products.

Michael Kors made Instagram shoppable

Marc Jacobs Beauty has employed a similar strategy, as have a smattering of independent retailers. Brooklyn vintage store Fox & Fawn does a brisk trade on the social platform by having users register their payment information and then comment “Ring me” on an item’s photo to buy it. As Instagram becomes increasingly commercialized, Fox & Fawn’s success highlights the importance of innovation for motivating consumer purchases.


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