Instagram Launches New Shopping Feature, Checkout
Have you ever seen a product on Instagram and taken 10 minutes out of your day just to find the price or where it’s sold? Instagram is hoping to solve that problem with the launch of their new platform, Checkout. This beta shopping platform allows users to search, shop for, and purchase products without ever leaving the Instagram app. The social media platform is testing this concept with over 20 popular fashion and make-up brands, such as Nike, ColourPop Cosmetics, and Zara, to gage interest in the feature. Brands were selected based upon their adoption of previous Instagram trends, such as Instagram Stories and the available shopping options.
Currently, Instagram has the option to view products and prices directly on brands’ profiles, but the path the purchase is interrupted when the user wants to view more details and they are brought outside of the app to the brand’s website. This new feature will streamline the process and allow users to store their payment information directly in the app, making the process seamless for consumers. Users will also have a new “Orders” tab added to their profiles, so they can track all the purchases they have made.
If the Checkout feature is opened up to other brands, Instagram has announced they will be charging a “selling fee.” Keeping consumers in mind, Instagram chose to charge the brands for the increased conversion rates, rather than charging consumers for increased convenience. Sponsored ads with this shopping feature are currently unavailable, but could be rolled out in the future. That option would bring Instagram a more robust revenue stream and provide brands with more exposure.
In the past, Instagram has reported that they were exploring the option of a standalone shopping app, but those plans are seemingly halted with the prospect of this all-in-one app experience. As of right now, the Checkout feature is in a closed beta with about 20 brands, but Instagram has posted an interest form to their website for brands who would like to be involved in the final launch.
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