Instagram for MENA retailers and brand: Top features introduced in 2020

December 24, 2020 | By Shruthi Nair

The unprecedented challenges of 2020 made way for the untapped opportunities that lay in digital technologies. The growth in online shopping has led to the acceleration of alternative shopping habits like social commerce, which is estimated to grow to $604.5 billion by 2027, at a 31.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2020 and 2027, according to Stock Apps.

A good number of e-commerce companies are either already selling or planning to sell via social media. 15% of these companies worldwide are already selling on social media while 25% are planning to start.

In spite of experiencing a year in which life changed seemingly overnight, people found ways to virtually connect with loved ones despite distance and lockdown restrictions; expressed themselves in new and heart-warming ways; supported their wider communities by rallying around causes they believe in; and championed small-medium businesses, protecting them in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Instagram, this year has provided massive opportunities for individuals and small businesses, and doubled into an e-tail platform for a lot of businesses, especially during the lockdown. Here’s a snapshot of the major features that Instagram launched in the MENA region for brands and retailers:


“Support Small Business” Sticker

As part of their outreach to support small-medium businesses during the pandemic, they introduced the “Support Small Business”. Users can mention businesses directly in the sticker to give their followers a preview of the account. When people used the sticker, their story was added to a shared Instagram story, so their followers could see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting. The sticker helped businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.


Shopping Expansion

Previously only available to managed businesses, shopping on Instagram rolled out to all eligible businesses – from the biggest brands to a shop owner setting up an online store to creators and publishers like musicians, athletes, and more.


Reels and Shop Tabs 

 The Reels and Shop Tabs was introduced this year making it easier for the community to discover short, fun videos from creators all over the world; and giving them a better way to connect with brands and creators and discover products they love.



They expanded Guides to the region to make it easier to find, curate and share the products, places and posts users love from their favourite accounts on Instagram.



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