How can brands use the new Instagram “Drops” feature? - MG Empower
Written by - Daniel Shale

How can brands use the new Instagram “Drops” feature?


Instagram’s new feature promotes the latest “Drops” (aka new releases), from the hottest retailers and designers. Users can access the latest drops from brands like Bleacher Report, Adidas, Fenty Skin, as well as buy new products straight from the app, instead of being redirected to a separate site.

The platform is no longer just an app where consumers can discover new products. With the help of the “Drops” feature, Instagram aims to become a leading social commerce app.

How does the new feature work for brands?

When an Instagram user opens the “Drops”  tab, they’ll see a feed of product videos and images. Some drops are live, allowing the user to click and shop for that product or collection.

App users can also discover drops that will soon be available, these particular products display a ‘drop countdown’. For upcoming drops, customers can set a notification, and receive a reminder on the release date. Furthermore, customers can share “Drops” with their social media friends, using direct messaging and increasing the possibility for brands to achieve content and product referrals.


Why is this new feature relevant for brands?

Over the last few years, online shopping has become incredibly popular, giving rise to the term “social commerce”, and to the evolution of the traditional “E-commerce”, as many consumers prefer the convenience of purchasing products online.

E-commerce growth has also skyrocketed due to the effects of the pandemic. According to eMarketer, “The number of US social commerce buyers accelerated from 25.2% to 80.1 million in 2020 and will grow another 12.9% to 90.4 million by the end of 2021”.



Social commerce allows brands to reach a high number of consumers, it allows customers to browse, purchase and pay for products, without exiting their social media app. By offering streamlined shopping experiences, brands can remain competitive in the eCommerce market, and enhance customer journeys with new experiences within the platforms.

Many businesses are still financially recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, to support brands during these trying times Instagram has waived the fees of the Instagram checkout process. For small businesses on a tighter budget, selling products on Instagram is now more accessible.

The newly released products featured on Instagram “Drops” are usually in limited supply, and available for a short time. The exclusivity and sense of urgency will help to drive demand and attention to brands. This is an opportunity to get creative on brand content development in collaboration with influencers and content creators, to differentiate among competitors in this new tab.


Which brands are already using the “Drops” feature?

A number of high-profile brands are already using the “Drops” feature. Examples include fast food retailer Mcdonalds, Lawless, a US-based clean-makeup brand, and the Cardinal Stock collection from Drake x Nike NOCTA. Drake’s collection features a range of hoodies, T-shirts, and caps. Other offerings include a hand-painted summer clothing collection, by Wren + Glory.

In Dec 2020, McDonald’s Taiwan collaborated with Apujan, a famous fashion designer, creating limited edition “jet-black burgers”, with super stylish packaging. When the product was promoted on the Instagram “Drops” feature, it sold out in a number of seconds. By working with a high-profile fashion designer, and using the “Drops” feature, Mcdonalds were able to reach new audiences, and create an immediate buzz around their new product. Working with influencers allows brands to drive demand and offer exclusive new products.




Key Takeaways and Recommendations

  • “Drops” feature today, is limited to showcase the upcoming exclusive releases from high-profile retailers and designers.
  • While brands outside the US cannot yet use the “Drops” feature, it’s likely to be accessible in the near future.
  • Brands can use this new feature to build hype around new products and drive demand.
  • To boost social commerce, brands need to improve their audience targeting, and use the right social platforms.
  • Brands should work with the right team of talented content creators and digital marketers, to increase social commerce.
  • To make the best use of the “Drops” feature, brands should work with Influencer marketing, to promote product drops and generate a buzz about the product in an authentic and innovative way.

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