The concept is dangerously easy: By clicking on the retailers' profile pages, users can bring up a gallery of shoppable Instagram photos, and click through to go directly to the retailer's website. There, they can read product reviews and make a purchase through the retailer's secure page.
Users can also use a function in the Instagram gallery, called "My Likes," to save items for later.
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"We connect with more than 500,000 customers on Instagram by posting items we hope they find inspirational, beautiful and fun," said Bryan Galipeau, social media director at Nordstrom. "Like2Buy enhances the experience for customers who want to take the next step and learn more about the great fashion we're featuring, to make a purchase or save items for another time."
Apu Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Curalate, said Instagram is an "amazing" platform for engagement. He cited a recent study by Forrester Research, which found that the image-driven platform delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
"There's an enormous audience here that is very engaged in what these brands are pushing out," Gupta said, adding that it was frustrating for both marketers and shoppers when consumers couldn't easily purchase an item they liked. "[Like2Buy] makes it very easy for consumers to engage with a product and buy quickly."