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Instagram is now testing ads in the Shop tab

Instagram is further investing in its eCommerce business, Instagram Shops, with the launch of a new, but anticipated product, Ads in Instagram Shop

Just when we thought Instagram couldn’t possibly integrate more ad real estate, the company says it’s currently testing the new format, which includes both single images and the option for an image carousel. The first trials are being tested with select U.S.-based advertisers ahead of an expansion to other markets in the months to come.

Only certain US- based advertisers will have access at first, like Away, Fenty Beauty, and Clare. But don’t fret, there are plans to expand the product and brand selection in the future.

This is just one of many ways that Instagram is trying to cash in on ad revenue. Earlier this year, Instagram had a large rollout of ads in Reels, another new format that debuted only last year. They also began testing sticker ads, a quieter function which allows users to include stickers in their stories advertising a product. Users receive a cut of any revenue made through people tapping on the sticker and buying a product, a notably simple, quick, and effective way for advertisers to rake in the dough. 

Moving forward, if there’s any blank space available on Instagram, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Facebook-owned company will surely find a way to utilize it for ads. 

Fanatics Expands Into Gaming, Tickets and Media

Fanatics, known for their wide array of sports merchandise, specifically jerseys, is venturing into their next big move into gaming, tickets, and media. 

Fanatics launched its own NFT company, Candy Digital, earlier this year and wants to expand into other digital domains, including sports betting, internet gambling, sports media, and the juiciest foray– ticketing and events. 

The most noteworthy venture for the company is sports betting. Which coincidentally is also the latest new venture for rapper and entertainer, Jay-Z. The music mogul and founder of entertainment company Roc Nation has joined Fanatics to partner in its bid as a mobile sports betting operator in New York. Major League Baseball also invested in Fanatics earlier this year.

Fanatics Chairman Michael Rubin is working on building a new team to join the lucrative mobile sports betting market projected in New York. According to the documents filed with the New York State Gaming Commission, Jay-Z will serve as vice chairman and be on the board of directors of a new Fanatics Betting & Gaming entity.

Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin says the company will go public eventually, but only after a successful expansion. After all, the firm expects to generate ~$3.4B in revenue this year, 80% of which comes from sales to consumers through Fanatics’ website and those of its partners.

Glossier opens Seattle store as the first in brick-and-mortar push

The iconic “no-makeup” makeup brand Glossier, a favorite among Millennial and Gen Z consumers alike, is opening up a new flagship store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The move comes after the DTC brand shuttered its handful of retail locations last year. The 6,200-square-foot Seattle store opens this month to be followed by a Los Angeles location in the fall, and London in the winter. RetailDive notes that a previous Glossier pop-up in Seattle had the highest conversion rate of any of its physical locations, at more than 70%.

The new Seattle store is a riff on the brand’s 2019 pop-up, a design that featured undulating moss hills in collaboration with landscape designer Lily Kwong. This permanent outpost is similar to that, with the addition of a lot of…mushrooms. 

Moss-covered rocks jut through the store’s foundation and gigantic, Wonka-like mushrooms sprout through the sleek, millennial pink, minimalist architecture. 

The DTC brand has noticeably fallen back on digital channels over the past year and a half, but its stores and pop-ups saw over one million visitors in 2019. Prior to the pandemic, Glossier still made 80% of its sales through e-commerce.

Now, on the back of revenue growth across all of its categories in 2020, Glossier’s physical plans are back. 

For Glossier, physical retail has been fruitful, with an average conversion rate of 50% at its permanent stores and 60% at its pop-ups. They have also been magnets for influencer marketing through Instagram posts, and driven extensive lines and hype for the brand.