Instagram has just launched a new shopping function in the US that could take online shopping to another level, offering real clarity for marketers to understand the true ROI when investing in social media marketing.

The new shopping promotion feature can only include one photo in each post, and marketers cannot use the video or the platform’s multiple carousel functions. The idea is to let the consumer seamlessly browse products directly within Instagram for shopping inspiration and increase the chance of purchase conversion.

Instagram currently has 600 million active users per month, of which about 80% users follow at least one business. Expanding shopping capabilities here gives marketers a much less clunky way of attempting to sell products to users. It also provides a more seamless alternative to the commonly used “see link in bio” directive many have been using. It will also provide marketing staff with more information about what kind of content/product people are responding to, and it will help them to create more quality content in the long run.

During the test period, selected brands can try the Instagram shopping function to see if they can convert followers into customers without needing to pay a sales share to Instagram. Instagram also revealed that retailers will soon have new statistics, such as how many people click to learn more product details or click the “Now Shopping” button.

Some companies that participated in the trial reported that 19% of users who clicked on the tag also clicked “Buy Now”. Tagged product information can also help the company generate traffic to the website. With the shopping function expected to be launched outside the United States in the near future, it will be interesting to see how Instagram users react.