The recent announcement by Instagram to enable appointment bookings directly on the platform is a great example of what you’re able to do when you have a captive audience. It also illustrates what I call vertical innovation.
From the article:
businesses will soon be able to add a button to their profiles that allow users to make a booking or appointment directly through Instagram. This enables Instagram to become more of “a primary storefront for the businesses,” Quarles said, while making it easier for consumers to engage with businesses “just by swiping your finger.
What Instagram has done is to expand from their core product to extend it vertically in the customer journey. They are expanding within a clearly defined job-to-be-done. In other words: They are making the process of identifying and obtaining a service or product easier.
Most people look on Instagram for inspiration. Once they’ve found inspiration the obvious question becomes: “How do I get this?”. Adding a “Book now” button facilitates this flow.
Other ways to move through this same “job” consist of:
– visiting stores to browse (seek inspiration) and buy
– review print magazines for inspiration then going online or into a store to buy the good. (An opportunity to digitize the print magazine exists to make the purchase action easier).
The strategic perspective
From a strategic perspective it makes a lot of sense for Instagram to go this route. Mobile phones is the touchpoint of choice but no clear winner dominates hybrid store engagement. This space is enormous and Facebook already has significant share and is actively working with retailers to enhance this capability. With Instagram’s latest innovation their advantage increases further.
Here is the article on TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/instagram-grows-to-1m-active-advertisers-plans-to-add-more-data-and-direct-booking/