Online market research has shown that in the future social media networks are increasingly going to be used as shopping platforms.

The move by Pinterest earlier this year to introduce Rich Pins – those that use meta tags to allow pinners to design their pins to contain a shopping cart function, or even just display the price and sales information for a product, was the starting gun for many other social media networks to try to do the same.

Now that Facebook and Twitter have both launched shoppable links, alongside Instagram, retailers and brands need to be keeping up with competitors by offering these purchasing options to their customers. For example, Nordstrom and Target have already started selling via the Like2Buy platform recently introduced by Instagram. By tapping on an image of the product, the user is taken straight to a web page they can purchase the item from.

These developments signify the next key trends in online purchasing, particularly with regard to mobile internet purchasing. It has been the case for a while now that many purchases are researched before being bought on a mobile phone, but this development will allow retailers to improve their conversion rate with mobile browsers as it becomes easier for them to complete transactions.

It is hoped that by making the shopping experience exist on a single channel rather than multiple ones, the more seamless shopping experience will encourage people to buy more using their mobiles, and not just use them for research, the website reported.

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