Instagram unlocks In-app shopping feature
After edging towards e-Commerce for some time, and evolving its tools to better facilitate on-platform shopping, Instagram is now taking the next step with the introduction of a new ‘checkout’ option in the app.
The ‘checkout’ feature, will allow users to buy products directly from the brand’s Instagram posts without leaving the app. For now, Instagram has picked a few brands like- Nike, Zara, Kylie Cosmetics, KKW, ColourPop, Dior, Adidas etc to beta test the e-commerce integration. This new feature is currently only available in the USA.
Instagram has given these brands the option to make their products shoppable through posts on their feed, stories, or in a designated shopping area in the “explore” tab. Reports suggest that 130 million people are already clicking on these product tags every month. The feature was a response to the growing demand from brands on the app to connect with their audiences.
The brands will be charged a fee by Instagram for allowing customers to buy their products seamlessly and to cover services such as purchase protection policy, which means if something is damaged in transit or different than described then Instagram will issue a full refund for product cost and shipping.
Instagram users will simply have to click on the ‘checkout on Instagram’ option on the product page. Customers will also be able to select various options like colors and size, before making the payment, all without leaving the Instagram app. Payments can be made using PayPal, Visa Mastercard, American Express or Discover.
After the user has entered their name, address, email & billing information, it will automatically save their information for future purchases. Users will also be able to keep a track of shipment and delivery through notifications in the Instagram app. A PIN can also be added to make the account safer.
This new feature is said to be a tool for driving more sales to the platform and is expected to make up 20% of Facebook’s overall revenue in 2019, which could amount to a whopping 14 billion.
According to an Instagram spokesperson, users can only buy one item at a time but Instagram is actively working on improving the experience with a multi-item shopping cart. Currently, the feature is only available on mobile devices but soon it will be available on the desktop app as well. Instagram will also add more brands to their Beta test by the end of the year. The spokesperson also said that posts with product tags will not be pushed or given more visibility on user’s feed and will keep intact the essence of Instagram as a photo sharing app.
On the other hand, some critics have raised their concerns about the app becoming too commercially driven, potentially leading to depreciating consumer engagement. Last year, co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned from the company, with various sources reporting that they were not happy about Facebook’s involvement in the company’s rapid commercialization. Critics are afraid that with so much sponsored content and promotions from influencers, users will eventually drift away from the app.
Keeping that aside, according to statistics, users are increasingly turning to Instagram to discover new products and to connect with their friends and family. If Instagram can cater to the needs and demands of all its users, it can become a one-stop app for everything.
Hi! Shagun here. I am an Accessory Designer from NIFT, New Delhi and working as Brand Manager at ILoveFashionRetail. I am an avid traveler and love to explore new places every now and then.