With its new update, Instagram adds in-app checkout features that will further push it into the world of eCommerce. Known simply as “Checkout,” users can now make purchases without leaving the Instagram app. The roll-out is going to be a bit slow, though – you probably don’t have access yet, but you’ll want to be ready for when you do.
The Instagram in-app checkout capability will open up to all businesses soon, and businesses that take advantage of that stand to make money when they do. For now, though, the Instagram shopping posts checkout feature is limited to just a few fashion and beauty brands. In addition to waiting for the features full release, you should be keeping an eye out to see how these brands use the feature.
While you wait for this feature to be available to you, consider working down on your Personal Branding Checklist. Working your way down this checklist will help you build the foundation you’ll need to take advantage of this new feature. I’ve spent a lot of time building my brand on Instagram, and my personal branding checklist is designed to help you do the same.
How Instagram In-app Checkout Capability Works
As Instagram adds in-app checkout features, their goal is seemingly to make sure that use of the product is as simple as possible. The Instagram in-app checkout capability is not only contained within the app, but also within the feed. This will allow users to shop as they scroll, with as little disruption as possible.
The way the Instagram in-app checkout capability currently works starts with a brand making a post. When a brand makes a post about a product, they can include a product page. Users can then click on the post to go to the product page, then select the “Checkout on Instagram” option.
Users will then be able to customize the item the same way they would be able to on other ecommerce sites. For example, if a user was buying a sweatshirt from Adidas, they would be able to select their size and preferred color option. It’s currently unclear what it takes to list a product like this, but it seems to also be within Instagram.
After selecting a product, users will proceed to the payment page. Users will be asked to enter their billing address, name, and all the standard payment questions. The current payment options are credit card, debit card or PayPal.
Instagram will be storing this information to make repeated purchases easier. Notifications about the shipping and delivery of items will be sent through the Instagram app. Once a user is finished with their purchase, they’ll be returned to whatever Feed they were on – whether it’s the main feed or the brand’s page.
The current list of brands with access to the feature is: Adidas, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Balmain, Burberry, ColourPop, Dior, H&M, Huda Beauty, KKW, Kylie Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, NARS, Nike, NYX Cosmetics, Oscar de la Renta, Ouai Hair, Outdoor Voices, Prada, Revolve, Uniqlo, Warby Parker, and Zara. The feature is currently available in the US only.
Why Instagram Shopping Posts, Checkout Features, and Donations Matter
Every time Instagram announces new shopping features, everyone who sells a product should be paying attention. While the new Instagram shopping posts, checkout features, and ecommerce branding are mostly centered around fashion brands, the benefits don’t stop with them. Instagram is one of the biggest social media outlets, and it wants to be in ecommerce.
The Instagram in-app checkout capability is especially exciting because it keeps users on the app. This is a full integration of e-commerce features, and will make converting on the platform much easier. Instagram is getting out ahead of apps like Dote which are offering similar opportunities, and doing so with a much larger user base.
One complaint I commonly hear about Instagram is that people don’t think their business belongs. “It’s not cool,” they say, or they tell me that it doesn’t fit with Instagram’s demographic. This simply isn’t true – Instagram is constantly growing in all demographics, making it the most powerful branding tool out.
There’s no other digital outlet – possibly outside of Facebook – where you can grow your brand and make sales at the same time. Instagram is capturing so much attention and retaining users at such a high rate that it’s a prime opportunity. Every digital marketer should be turning their eye towards Instagram through the rest of the year.
Keep your eye out for the Instagram check out capability. When it opens up they’ll be promoting it just like they do with stories, and that will be a chance to get a jump start. In the meantime, you should be doing everything in your power to build your follower count.