Instagram Adds Checkout Feature Within its App
Facebook’s Instagram photo-sharing app has become a hotspot for brands, and a hotspot for consumers who want a digital window shopping experience. Today, Instagram sweetened the deal by adding a checkout feature to the app so users can buy stuff they see in their feed without ever having to leave Instagram. And Instagram will be able to capture and store credit card information so shoppers won’t have to re-enter it every time they want to buy something from a brand they like. The on-Instagram checkout feature is currently a closed beta, so only a group of 20 brands will test it first. Those brands include Adidas, Burberry, H&M, Michael Kors, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Revolve, Warby Parker, Zara, and others. After the beta, Instagram will expand the service to more brands (and more types of brands). Brands will pay Instagram a small fee for every purchase made through the app's e-commerce platform.
Total Retail's Take: Consumers have frequently used Instagram as a tool to discover retailers’ and brands’ latest and best-selling products. However, if they were interested in purchasing a product featured on the social platform, they were taken off the app to the brand's website to do so. This additional step created friction and consumers dropped out of the purchase process. By making checkout available within Instagram, brands hope the purchase process is easier, leading to more conversions. Social commerce is a growing area of focus for retailers, and this announcement from Instagram reinforces that interest from both consumers and brands.
"As Instagram is becoming a key player in product discovery, offering native checkout makes the mobile buying experience seamless," says Laura Musa, director of channel solutions at Adlucent. "Previously, shoppers would find a product they liked on Instagram, track it down on the brand’s website, go through the checkout process, and then fumble with entering credit card info and filling out other tiny fields on the go. Or, they would save it for later and likely never go back to complete the checkout process. Oftentimes tracking was lost, so brands didn’t know where that shopper discovered them, which made decisions to invest in channel content and advertising more difficult. In-app checkout solves for these challenges and evolves the shopper-social connection even further."