Today a company called Piqora, which does social media analytics and has services like Instagram contest management, launched a new product called Tapshop. As its moniker may imply, Tapshop enables (a form of) shoppable Instagram pictures. I put "a form of" in parentheses because no company has come up with a full solution - and I'm not sure they would without getting Instagram's blessing or help.
LiketoKnow.it launched its attempt at building a solution last year, with the help of Vogue's praise. A user must register with the platform, and then once she or he likes a photo (assuming the photo is also tied to the platform), the user gets an email with shoppable links to the products in the photo. It's a solution, but not perfect; one still has to wait till the end of the day to get a summary of all the products they liked on Instagram. It still doesn't feel truly shoppable. The platform is popular with style bloggers seeking affiliate revenues.
Tapshop is a form of Like to Know It, but is being pitched to brands. As a clothing brand, I would have my Instagram followers register with Tapshop (via a link in my profile), then after the follower likes a brand post on Instagram they get an email of the products. The difference is, this now links to a Tapshop landing page for my brand. This seems like a quick solution for brands looking to capitalize on a wealth of Instagram followers.
Yet there's still a major flaw, in my opinion. The email sent to users with liked products links to a page that is hosted by Piqora/Tapshop, not the brand. The brand (or multi-brand company) loses editorial control over the shopping experience. Seeing as this is already such an important, and often tricky, part of the eCommerce user experience, I wonder who and how many will sign up for the service. For current Piqora users it might make sense, because you just continue rolling up social media analytics in one place. For others, I would either suggest sticking with Like to Know It, or follow in Yoox's steps and develop a solution on your own (yoox.ly/instayoox). I was at Yoox over the summer when the social media manager was working on this with internal developers. The link in the profile takes the Instagram user to a mobile site that is a page of all the Instagram posts. Any picture with a shopping bag indicates the products are shoppable directly from the site. It's such a user-friendly solution, I'm looking forward to Yoox potentially white labeling the product and implementing it with the brands whose websites they host. Maybe I'm biased because I worked there over the summer, but I do believe Yoox is quite an interesting company, too often flying under the radar.