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Instagram Introduces New Checkout Feature

22nd March 2019

Set to revolutionise the world of shopping, Instagram has announced it will shortly be introducing ‘Instagram Checkout’. Of course, tagging products in images isn’t new for brands on Instagram, but the ability to sell directly to followers in the app is. Ultimately, Instagram is making shopping a quicker and more streamlined process for brands that are advertising their products on the platform.

How does it work?

When customers are scrolling through Instagram, they’re able to tap on photos to view a product from the shopping post. From here, users will be presented with a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product’s page. Once they have tapped on this button, users will be able to select various options such as size, colour and quantity.

Now, this is where things get interesting and the ‘Instagram Checkout’ feature comes to life. One of the biggest conveniences with this new feature is that customers can purchase a product without having to visit a third-party site or leave the platform. To carry out a transaction, customers will simply need to enter their name, email address, billing information and shipping address, just as they would on any other e-commerce site.

After checking out the first time, customers information will be securely saved to make the next shopping experience even easier (As if this feature wasn’t dangerous enough already!). Furthermore, tracking and notifications about the shipment are delivered to users through the app – creating a seamless universal shopping experience.

How will this affect brands?

As the average time spent on social media apps is around an hour each day, every minute is vital to capture the attention of your desired audience. By condensing the users shopping experience into one app, brands could notice an increase in the number of abandoned and untouched checkouts on their own e-commerce sites. However, on the other hand, the number of sales will most likely increase due to users being able purchase the product there and then, as opposed to remembering to visit the brand site later to make the purchase.

Furthermore, this feature could lower the amount of money spent on shopping adverts for brands. Once their following is substantial enough, their own posts will do the talking for them and enable followers to engage with the marketing material published directly from the brand.

Prior to this, there were discussions of Instagram launching a new app called IG Shopping. However, with this new ‘Checkout’ feature, it’s uncertain if the platform will expand into a new app. At the moment, 130 million people every month are tapping on product tags in shopping posts, so it seems like the obvious choice for Instagram is to keep everything under one roof. The in-app experience will benefit established brands who target their audience on Instagram now as their customers will already have an awareness of their presence on the platform.

How to make ‘Instagram Checkout’ work for your business?

To support the new Instagram shopping experience, brands will need to engage with their customers through relevant material and creative visuals. It’s all well and good implementing the feature, but without the supporting content and engaging visuals, your products simply won’t sell because Instagram has created a new button for you to use. A clear social media strategy with campaigns that support your brand identity and product releases will encourage more successful conversions from followers.

When will ‘Instagram Checkout’ be available?

Now that we’ve got your hopes up, here comes the awkward news… ‘Instagram Checkout’ is currently in closed beta for businesses and only available to users in the US. However, there are a select number of brands rolling out the feature as of today, and over the coming weeks we are expecting to see more brands adopting the feature. We expect this to be a hit with most brands and it certainly won’t be long before this new online shopping experience becomes available to everyone.

If you’re looking for advice, guidance or even support for your social media marketing, then feel free to contact us today. Our social media team will be able to provide the most suitable strategy and suggestions to help you meet your brand goals. Of course, they’ll also ensure you’re set for the global introduction of ‘Instagram Checkout’.

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