Continuing its push to become a fully fledged online shopping platform, Instagram has added in-app checkout functionality into its mobile apps.

Currently only available for larger retail brands, this feature will allow users to purchase items directly from within the app whereas previously there was a link to the retailers website. This can lead to confusion and abandoned baskets where websites are not fully optimised for a smooth mobile checkout process.

The new checkout will allow users to store payment information with Instagram to make purchases quick and easy. In return, Instagram is charging retailers a selling fee. More than 20 brands will use the new checkout feature to start, including Dior, Michael Kors, Zara, Nike, Adidas, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Prada, and Uniqlo.

Eligible items will now have a big blue “Checkout on Instagram” button below them. When the button is clicked, users will be asked to provide an email address so that the seller can complete the order. From there, users will enter delivery information and payment method, and after reviewing the details an order can be placed.

Instagram are hoping that making the checkout process smoother will inspire users to shop more — and to create a big new business for Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, who have recently stated that they expect commerce and online payments to represent a large part of their future.

At the moment, payment information stored with Facebook will only be used on Instagram but it is possible that Facebook might allow users to use stored credentials elsewhere in its family of apps. In the meantime, Facebook say they won’t share personal payment information with other users or with retailers.

Instagram said "Checkout is just one part of our long-term investment in shopping. We’re excited to introduce even more ways for people to enjoy shopping on Instagram this year."

Whilst this feature is only currently available to larger brands it doesn't hurt to start thinking about how you could use this feature for your business once it is rolled out to other retailers. If you'd like to chat about your ongoing, long term marketing strategy then get in touch with us today.

Published: 21st Mar 2019

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