Luxury lifestyle brand Michael Kors has debuted it’s Instagram “shoppable” service in an attempt to marry marketing with direct sales.

Users can “shop” on the brand’s Instagram page by signing up on with an email address and Instagram handle. However, #InstaKors is not a one-click shopping feature and takes consumers on more of a scenic route to conversion.

The service, which is currently only available in the US, is clearly still in its early stages with the path to purchase not as seamless as the initial announcement suggests. In a typical interaction, users will double click an image with the hashtag  #InstaKors which sends an email with a direct link to the item in question.

Uphill battle

Instagram currently does not provide the option of including links to products and many brands face an uphill battle in attempting to overcome this obstacle. Though for all its faults, the idea behind #InstaKors could be developed to enable online retailers to sell directly to their Instagram followers.  

“For all its scale and corporate participation, the photo-sharing platform is still all about photos” said Bloomberg Businessweek’s Kyle Stock. “Instagram doesn’t allow text and links and prices and the rest of web infrastructure that pipes users to a ‘buy’ button.”

Michael Kors is not alone in its attempts to make Instagram shoppable. Earlier this year, retailer Nordstrom added a link to it’s Instagram profile which connected its 529,000 followers to a shadow site of its Instagram photos, Like2Buy, which can be clicked to purchase the items.

“Inspirational” Insta

Michael Kors has been a long-standing proponent of Instagram, with over 3.1 million followers to date.

The fashion brand also appeared in the social app’s first ad last year. The image, which was tagged “5:15 PM: Pampered in Paris #MKTimeless” and featured a gold Kors watch among an array of colourful macaroons, has received over 231,000 likes to date.

A number of brands, including Burberry and Levi’s, followed suit with Instagram ads of their own.

“Everyone is on Instagram. It’s inspirational” said Kors at the time of the Instagram hashtag’s launch. “ If fashion is a reflection of the world we live in, Instagram is the three-way mirror.”