What is the Instagram Checkout Feature? (And How it Affects Ads)

Instagram added a new feature, Instagram checkout, allowing them to become a full-fledged commerce business.

The Instagram checkout feature allows you to purchase a product right on Instagram without leaving the app. And your payment information is securely saved after you make your first purchase allowing you to only enter your information one time. Retailers will have to pay Instagram a fee that won’t affect the buyer. 

When you find a product from a brand you love, you will find a big blue “Checkout on Instagram” button below them. You can tap it to select various options like colour or size and then proceed to payment without leaving Instagram. You’ll have to fill out your email address and shipping information and payment method only for the first purchase. 

Instagram has built this app for the pleasure of shopping which their users want, and not for the chore of buying.

What does the in-app checkout feature do?

Now you can purchase directly in the app without having to go to the retailer’s website. After you add your payment and shipping information you are ready to shop as you scroll through the feed. 

This Instagram checkout feature reduces payment friction for online retailers. Social media shoppers can now buy without having to waste time going back and forth to a retailer’s website. 

How it works

The Instagram checkout feature has product tags appear in feeds, stories and explores content. All the consumer has to do is tap the product tag and the product page will open up with more details. On this page will be more options about the product and then the consumer will click the ‘Checkout on Instagram’ blue button which used to say ‘View on website’. 

As a customer, after you fill out your information, you will also be able to view your order status, estimated delivery date, and tracking number. You can cancel orders, initiate a return, or request additional support.

As a retailer, you will have a few details you need to understand. 

All new product tags will use checkout

Right now this shopping experience is only for customers in the U.S. Retailers no longer need to tag their products with a link to their website for customers in the U.S. They can go through the new checkout process right on the Instagram app.

But international customers will still have to go to your link on your website for purchases. This could change as new features continue to roll out. 

As a retailer get familiar with all the capabilities Instagram Checkout has before publishing posts with it enabled. You can then maximize the ROI right from the start. 

You will be subject to Instagram’s policies and terms.

The commerce policies and rules for prohibited products can be found on Facebook’s Commerce Policies page. Be sure to check this page before selling any products. 

How does this affect Instagram?

Checkout makes the shopping experience on Instagram easy, convenient and secure. Retailers have complained about people dropping off when leaving the app to purchase and Instagram listened. Now no one has to go to their browser whenever they want to buy something. 

This new checkout system shows that Instagram wants to be more than a social network. They want to be the next online mall. Also, the advertising platform will be more enticing for advertisers in the e-commerce space. 

What does this mean for those who advertise on Instagram?

It’s time for advertisers to get ready to put their products on Instagram. This new checkout is still in beta, so you don’t have to worry about rushing into it.

Start to develop a content plan for selling in-app. Plan with your social media managers on how to set up this new system for your business.

Get your products and product pages set up correctly on your website. Be sure you have high-quality images for your products and be sure you have good shipping options so people will want to make in-app purchases. This new function on Instagram will use product feeds set up similar to the way it’s set up on Facebook. 

Right now Instagram checkout can’t be used with the ads feature. But when Instagram offers Checkout ads in the future, it will be extremely profitable for them. 

The Instagram checkout is making it easier for people to shop their favourite brands without logging in and entering their information several times. Instagram checkout is super convenient for shoppers. Businesses who can offer this to their followers is absolutely great. Right now Instagram checkout can only be used for products, not services. Hopefully, that’s coming in the near future! 

Have you tried the Instagram checkout feature?

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