Instagram Introduces An In-App Checkout Feature

Instagram E-Commerce Feature

In late March 2019, Instagram announced a new “Checkout on Instagram” feature that allows users to buy products they see in Instagram shopping posts directly in the app. Before this feature launched, users had to leave the app and purchase products on a company’s website. The “Checkout on Instagram” feature is currently being tested in closed beta with several top brands, including Nike, Adidas, and Dior, and is only available for organic posts.

How Instagram’s Checkout Feature Works

  1. When a user sees a shoppable Instagram post, the user can click the price of the products in the post.
  2. From there, the user will be directed from the shopping post to a product page. On the product page, brands will have the option to replace the “View on Website” button with the “Checkout on Instagram” button.
  3. Once a user chooses the size and color of the product and clicks the “Checkout on Instagram” button, the checkout page will load for the user to enter contact information (name and email), payment information, a shipping address, and a shipping option.
  4. Once an order is placed, the user will receive a confirmation email, as well as push notifications from Instagram to let the user know when the order has shipped and been delivered.
  5. After a user enters contact, shipping, and payment information, this information will be saved for a quick and easy checkout the next time the user purchases a product.
Instagram Checkout

What Instagram’s Checkout Feature Means For Marketers

This new feature could be a huge opportunity for marketers to extend their e-commerce platforms through Instagram and create a more seamless experience for their customers. Giving users the ability to purchase on Instagram without leaving the app creates a better user experience by eliminating the need to enter card and billing information on multiple websites to purchase a product. Instagram is organically a product – as well as an influencer-focused platform – so adding this feature will help turn the organic tendencies of the user into a paid strategy for brands and marketers.

Since “Checkout on Instagram” is only available on organic posts (for now), it will help e-commerce brands turn a platform or tactic that might now be viewed as an awareness tactic into a more bottom-of-the-funnel strategy. With a dedicated “Shop” tab available in Instagram’s Explore page, it will be important for brands to ensure their users are engaged on the platform as the checkout feature rolls out to more brands. Ultimately, this feature could be a stepping stone to a much bigger revenue stream for Facebook / Instagram.

“We think a more streamlined E-Commerce experience on Instagram could add an incremental $10 billion of revenue in 2021, and we see ‘Checkout with Instagram’ as a key step towards unlocking this opportunity.” — Lloyd Walmsley, Deutsche Bank

With recent social data privacy scandals, Instagram’s new feature is a way to continue to increase in-platform sales and decrease the amount of data advertisers need to collect from third parties in order to do so.

Pending success, this feature likely will be rolled out to paid Instagram posts and may be carried over to Facebook as well. Marketers should be prepared to integrate this new feature into their media plans by engaging with their users organically now so they are ready to buy when “Checkout on Instagram” is universally available.

Image Source: Unsplash

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