Alto Global Processing: This New Tool Could Help Businesses Drive More Sales Through Instagram

By Carly Okyle (editorial assistant) for

Imagine you’re on Instagram and you see a photo from Target of a new Fall blazer you just have to have. Well, now you can — and you don’t even have to switch apps.

Today, the visual analytics and marketing platform Curalate officially launched Like2Buy, a tool that allows brands to make their Instagram images “shoppable.”

It’s a bit more complex than it sounds: Instagram users that click on a company’s profile will see a link to a Like2Buy website. From there, a gallery of clickable photos will take shoppers directly to the ecommerce website.

While Like2Buy is intended to make an Internet user’s shopping experience more seamless, it also helps companies increase user engagement and make a stronger connection between social media and sales, which has been notably difficult for retailers.

Making the service part of Instagram will help give it a wider reach.According to Forrester, Instagram is the most engaging social network, with 58 times the engagement of Facebook and 120 times the engagement of Twitter. Target called Like2Buy “an Insta-game changer.”

Although the self-described “part store, magazine, and wishlist” Fancy created a similar product last year for the Google Glass interface, Curalate CEO Apu Gupta doesn’t view that as competition. “Fancy is a visual and social network that we can extend to at some point,” he said.

In addition to Nordstrom and Target, Curalate has more than 450 clients, which include retailers such as Charlotte Russe, Gap and Neiman Marcus. These companies have the option to participate with Like2Buy on their Instagram pages immediately, while non-clients can participate in the wider rollout which Gupta expects will happen within the next month. A free trial is also available to retailers at large, and those who choose to pay for Like2Buy as a standalone service will pay $1,000 per month. Clients will receive a discount, in accordance with the other Curalate services they use.


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Alto Global Processing: Target Breach Widens, Neiman Marcus Also Admits to Attack by


On Friday, Target disclosed that the security breach it originally said exposed the payment-card information of up to 40 million U.S. consumers, may end up affecting more than 70 million. The retailing giant acknowledged on Friday that, in the course of its investigation of the original breach, the company uncovered 70 million accounts where names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and emails were compromised. The company acknowledged that overlap between the two breaches—that is some customers whose credit-card numbers were stolen also had their names, emails and other information hacked as well—was “likely.”

And, this weekend, Dallas-based luxury department store Neiman Marcus also admitted it had been hacked during the holiday season. In a statement, the company said it had been informed by its processor in mid-December of “unauthorized payment card activity.” The retailer has not disclosed any guesses on the size of the breach and has enlisted both the U.S. Secret Service and a third-party forensics firm to investigate.

A Reuters report yesterday suggested three breaches that hit “well-known” but unnamed retailers earlier in the year were tests for hackers for the big holiday breaches. Sources told Reuters the techniques used in the smaller attacks were similar to the ones that hit Target and Neiman Marcus. The sources suspect the attacks were carried out by the same criminals but cannot be sure.

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