Everyone’s favorite photo app is going to become a favorite shopping app now. With Instagram e-commerce features on the roll, billions of users can deal with the brand of their choice in a completely new way.
The new feature will be called Checkout, and it will enable brands to get more customers through the application itself. According to a spokesperson:
People no longer have to navigate to the browser when they want to buy. And with their protected payment information in one place, they can shop their favorite brands without needing to log in and enter their information multiple times.
So many brands have found a way to connect with users on a personal level through Instagram. Now it is time to take this relationship to a new level.
Checkout for Instagram
Introducing checkout for Instagram! Just like any online shopping store, Checkout wants to turn a simple Instagram post or story into a product page.
It means that you can buy all those cool designs that you could previously only bookmark on Instagram.
Checkout is in beta mode right now, and only available to a selected audience in the US. For a complete list of brands availing Checkout on beta mode, follow this link.
Brands Have Been Using E-commerce Tools Before Instagram Checkout
Checkout is not the first time brands will be able to score customers within the app. Retail companies have been relying on other shopping tools to convert potential customers into paying customers on Instagram for a few years. It was about time that Instagram saw the potential of e-commerce features.
Tools like Shop Social, Iconosquare, Postcard, and Shopseen have helped users turn their business profiles into e-commerce hubs. Checkout will be the same tool in essence, but more credible because it belongs to Instagram itself.
Pinterest is a social network which came up with the idea of ‘Buyable pins.’ If you think this takes inspiration from Pinterest, we and TechCrunch nerds wholeheartedly agree with you. Twitter’ Buy buttons also worked on the same idea, where you follow a third-party e-commerce platform to complete checkout.
How it Works
For now, the features work in beta mode just like all popular Instagram updates did at one point in time. However, we have researched how Checkout will work to drive more business and secure more sales.
Here is how it will work:
- ‘checkout’ tags will be seen on Instagram posts, stories and explore an area of Instagram
- When you click checkout, you will proceed to the checkout
- You only enter your payment information the first time. After this, the information will be secured in the Instagram database for future purchases
- Once you complete the order, you can track it in the ‘orders’ section that will appear on your profile
- Instagram will send you a notification once the product is shipped
- Payment options include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express
Any company who receives your order will not be able to see your payment information. Instagram can secure it in its database.
What Instagram E-commerce Features Mean for Your Brand
For a retailer, it is a little complicated to work with a third party managing your e-commerce solution on Instagram. What if the customer does not have the same payment option? What if the product can’t be added to the third-party platform?
Team Bradri sincerely advises all Pakistani brands to take notes and jump in. Checkout is a beta feature, but it will soon take over the industry, and you can’t afford to be taken by surprise. Early bird gets the worm!
More freedom to the SMBs
Instagram checkout sounds like the same technology but offers much more freedom to small, medium, and large businesses alike. Think of this: how many marketers spend days and nights thinking about that perfect campaign to drive traffic to their site? A lot!
Checkout looks to solve that problem by directly leading your potential customers to the buying process. This feature takes marketing and e-commerce to a whole new level. Instagram is already very popular in the new generation, and all we needed now was to turn it into an active marketplace.
Storytelling at its Best
It will become so easy for brands to incorporate tags on their posts, stories, and in the explore sections. Every post will share a unique story, urging people to buy. If Generation posts this when Checkout launches in Pakistan, people would love to buy!
Sale Season Would be Fun
Can you picture how magnificent it would be to get more traction on your profile during sale season?
We still don’t know if too much traffic will affect the Checkout process, but every post about sale and promo codes will bear fruit for your brand on Instagram. For example, if Polka Dots posts this sale item, it would go off the racks soon!
What Instagram E-commerce Features Mean for Influencers
How many of you scroll your Instagram timeline when you are bored, before going to sleep or after waking up? We are guilty of it.
Imagine finding the best home décor inspiration during one of your scroll-sprees and being able to shop for that very product through checkout! There is so much potential for Pakistani Instagram influencers to explore this option.
For those who invest in their content, Checkout can prove to bring better ROI through quick shoppable posts. For example, look at this outfit by Saad’s Dough Creation: Nikkah Pens are popular, and a bride-to-be only needs to tap ‘checkout’ on the post to buy her Nikkah pen.
Similarly, influencers can have better partnerships with brands through Checkout. Instagram has long-established that they are working on branded tags for brands to work with influencers.
Influencers can even be paid a particular share for bringing in more traffic. Rehmat Ajmal is endorsing a brand’s Moringa Oil here and providing a promo to her followers for purchase. In the future, she needs to add a link to the product so people can ‘checkout.’
Instagram reports that the number of people who tap on posts and stories has grown to 130 million.
One hundred thirty million taps can be 130 million sales if you are a brand.
For a brand or influencer, you can turn people’s inspiration into buying decision in a matter of minutes. It gives you much power as a selling entity and more responsibility as a content creator. Sure, there will be mishaps like they happen in any new technology, but we are all here to learn and grow.
For now, our advice to influencers and brands is this: start preparing!
If your brand wants to work with the best and relevant influencers or brands for upcoming campaigns, our team would be happy to help.
Featured Image credits: @ninelines9