Allbirds, the comfortable shoe that people can’t stop talking about, celebrated its second birthday by releasing a limited edition shoe collection. The catch? You can only buy it on Instagram.
The product drop is reminiscent of Snapchat teaming up with Jordan Brand, Shopify, Darkstore and R/GA to release the new Air Jordans on Snapchat. Some marketers suggest it’s a trend that’ll keep on happening.
“Today, brands need to meet their customers where they are—be that in-store, online, or on social—and provide them with a unique and memorable experience that makes them feel valued,” said Brennan Wilkie, svp customer experience strategy at InMoment, a customer experience platform.
Allbirds first teased the collection in an Instagram post on Feb. 28. The company then released the six “confetti” shoes on Instagram on March 1. Customers in the US, New Zealand and Australia can either purchase the shoes via swiping up on Allbirds Instagram story or tapping the link in the company’s Instagram bio. The shoes are available until they sell out.
The company has contemplated selling shoes through Instagram for awhile now, shared Julie Channing, head of marketing at Allbirds. The two-year anniversary of Allbirds seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
“[Instagram] is a place where we’ve nurtured a strong community that’s really engaged with the brand,” said Channing. “We’ve got a loyal following who’s so excited [about] where we’ve gone in the past two years.”
Of course, Allbirds isn’t the first (and won’t be the last) company to try this. Similar to the Snapchat and Jordans brand partnership, the release shows that Instagram can be used for sales and brand goals in a variety of ways, shared Jaime Klein-Daley, evp, strategy and insights at POSSIBLE.
“The nature of digitally-led brand relationships means you’re not just selling products, you’re changing the business model of the brand–with community at the center,” said Klein-Daley. “Hopefully this will encourage brands to start taking Instagram seriously as a legitimate sales channel, thinking hard about its role in the digital ecosystem beyond mere inspiration or beautiful imagery.”
According to Instagram, more than 80 percent of Instagram users follow a business, so it makes sense that companies would use the platform as a selling platform.
“We’re seeing brands experiment with new ways of reaching their community organically, whether that’s through getting customer feedback in an Instagram Stories poll, engaging with people directly through messaging or offering exclusive discounts or products,” said Kay Hsu, global Instagram lead at Facebook creative shop. “Instagram offers businesses so many opportunities to connect with their most loyal customers and fans. We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.”