Today Instagram introduced Checkout on Instagram that allows users to find and buy products on the social media platform without leaving the app.
When a user views a product from a brand’s shopping post, it may now include a “Checkout on Instagram” button the product page.
The brand can include various options such as size or color that need to be selected first by the buyer before proceeding to the payment screen.
Buyers just need to enter their name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time they check out.
Once the first order is complete, the buyer’s information is securely saved for future purchases.
Buyers also receive notifications about shipment and delivery right inside Instagram, so they can keep track of purchases.
This new feature by Instagram is currently a closed beta through select brands on the social media platform:
- Adidas @adidaswomen
- Anastasia Beverly Hills @anastasiabeverlyhills
- Balmain @balmain
- Burberry @burberry
- ColourPop @colourpopcosmetics
- Dior @dior
- H&M @hm
- Huda Beauty @hudabeautyshop
- KKW @kkwbeauty
- Kylie Cosmetics @kyliecosmetics
- MAC Cosmetics @maccosmetics
- Michael Kors @michaelkors
- NARS @narsissist
- Nike @niketraining & @nikewomen
- NYX Cosmetics @nyxcosmetics
- Oscar de la Renta @oscardelarenta
- Ouai Hair @theouai
- Outdoor Voices @outdoorvoices
- Prada @prada
- Revolve @revolve
- Uniqlo @uniqlo
- Warby Parker @warbyparker
- Zara @zara
Instagram has historically rapidly expanded availability of new shopping features on its platform and will probably become available to more sellers on the platform through partners that already offer the shoppable post integration.
One such partner is BigCommerce who is looking forward to offer this feature to its merchants.
“Instagram has always taught the master class when it comes to visual content as well as brand and product discovery. The ability to go all the way through the social commerce journey and complete a purchase right there in the app makes its evolution to a vibrant next-generation marketplace complete.”
“We’re thrilled to be working closely with Instagram – just as we have for every Shopping on Instagram step, from shoppable posts to international availability to shoppable Stories – and delivering the combined power of our platforms to all our merchants.”
BigCommerce Chief Product Officer Jimmy Duvall
The expansion of the shoppable posts feature to include checkout on the Instagram platform further solidifies Instagram as a de facto eCommerce marketplace.
While Instagram’s search function may still lack behind eBay, Etsy and Amazon, the social media giant is clearly moving into a direction that will make its platform a direct competitor to these marketplaces.
One interesting question of the Instagram “marketplace” is how the company plans to monetize sales.
While traditional marketplaces may include a listing fee, take a percentage of the sales price, and also offer on-platform paid marketing services such as promoted listings, will Instagram follow that model or will the company rely only on “sponsored” posts?
If it chooses the latter, it may give Instagram a huge leg up in gaining more sellers or even get sellers to shift listings from traditional marketplaces to Instagram.