J.Crew Instagram Stories

For the first time, J. Crew on Instagram (@jcrew) is tapping into Instagram Stories to ask followers to vote on a new product offering.

For 24 hours starting on Friday, J.Crew used Instagram Stories — which is content that disappears after 24 hours — to garner feedback from customers on next year’s color for its $365 Chateau Parka.

Customers can vote for the colors Heather Grass, Light Mustard or Heather Cosmos by sending a direct message to the brand’s account, and the color with the most votes will go into production for 2017. Voting is only open during the 24 hours in which the promotion is visible on Instagram Stories.

This is the first time the brand has used Instagram to crowd-source through voting for a future collection, but in the past, J.Crew has used Instagram Stories for presales, meaning items appeared on Instagram before they become available on its web site and followers could click a link on the brand’s page to purchase.

J. Crew has also used Curalate, a visual marketing platform, to allow customers to purchase a new link of sunglasses using a “Like2Buy” link. According to Curalate, half of the 50 sunglasses that were available sold out in two hours, with all sold within six hours.

Earlier this week, Instagram announced that ads would soon be coming to Instagram Stories. Since being launched in August, the ephemeral posts now have 150 million daily users and one in five stories getting a direct message from its viewers.

On Instagram in general, 70 percent of users follow a business and one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. In November, the photo- and video-sharing platform added the ability to add links and mentions to Instagram stories, and it has slowly begun testing ways for businesses to incorporate shopping into posts.

Instagram is also giving marketers information that will help them understand how users interacted with their Stories and ads. In the coming weeks, tools will be added to help businesses see the reach, impressions, replies and exits for each individual Story.