The selling power of a new Instagram shopping feature has not yet been harnessed by the largest national retailers in the UK, according to new research published by retail technology firm Cybertill.

The new feature, aimed at helping retailers to drive traffic to their ecommerce platforms, was ignored by more than 80% of retailers in its first week, reveals Cybertill.

Instagram rolled out its Shopping feature to business accounts in the UK, Germany, France, Italy Brazil, Canada, Spain and Australia last month, yet just 8% of UK brands made use of the photo tags which drives followers to buy the Instagram-med goods online (all findings correct as of noon, 26th March).

The feature now allows users to tap tags and see prices, then link through to a retailer's website, with the help of a new Shop Now button. Previously, users would have been directed to a Link in bio, disrupting their journey.

Yet, despite the roll-out becoming available to those signed up as Instagram business account users and with product catalogues present on March 20th, data compiled by Cybertill shows little uptake in this progressive new addition to the image-led social media platform.

Topline findings include: only 8% of UK brands made use of Instagram Shopping – these include New Look, Screwfix, Miss Selfridge and River Island; none of the top five retailers in the UK, including ASOS, ASDA, Tesco, Argos and Next – had yet enabled the feature; and M&S and Topshop were two of the first retailers of Retail Week's top 50 online performers to enable the feature.

Of the retailers that do not have the Instagram Shopping feature enabled, 7% encourage the consumer to go in-store, 19% encourage consumers to click the link in the retailer's Instagram bio, and 19% encourage the consumer to search for a product code on the website, while the rest do not actively promote calls to buy from Instagram.

Ian Tomlinson, CEO of Cybertill, says: “Retailers shouldn’t be precious about selling channels. Smart retailers move quickly to offer consumers what they want, when they want it. Experiential retailing is essential to winning over hearts and minds of consumers.

"Instagram is about as experiential as ecommerce can get. Instagram has always been a very good platform for selling, without the tools to do so effectively. That’s all changed now, and retailers need to get with the programme, or else be left behind.”