Instagram has been rolling out significant upgrades to its shopping platform in the past month, with even more changes anticipated in the near future. Most significantly, users can now begin checking out directly in the Instagram application, without being transferred to another website. This checkout function, already well-established on Facebook, is currently limited to a select number of brands.
Previously, users had to leave the Instagram app and be taken to a third-party website where they were required to initialize new accounts and steps before making a purchase. The new system is built upon users trust for Instagram; now they will purchase directly within the app using Instagram's checkout system
Brands are extremely excited about the development and its potential. As Instagram reports, Ryan Pabelona, Director of Performance Marketing for Revolve, stated:
"We’re excited to partner with Instagram to make it even easier for our consumers to access Nike products through our @nikewomen and @niketraining handles, ultimately shortening the path from inspiration to purchase."
Only a limited number of brands are allowed to employ checkout as of today. No doubt brands are clamoring to start using the function. Currently, the following brands can be purchased directly on Instagram without leaving the app:
Adidas, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Balmain, Burberry, ColourPop, Dior, Huda Beauty, H&M, Kith, KKW Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Mr. Porter, NARS, Net-a-Porter, Nike, NYX Cosmetics, Oscar de la Renta, Outdoor Voices, Ouai Hair, Prada, Revolve, Uniqlo, Warby Parker and Zara.
The Instagram shopping statistics are remarkable. They report that each month, 130 million users tap on a product tag in a post to learn more. Now, the path to purchase for these users will be significantly streamlined, and users who were discouraged previously from shopping because of the link network required will now be shopping with greater frequency. This 130 million will soon be growing if their promises hold true.
One of the significant elements of this checkout feature is that Instagram will store users payment information for future purchases. Previously, Instagram had no payment or banking data on its users in storage. Now, with this development, Instagram will no doubt be raising the stakes and allowing for far more risk in its customer relationship.
How can your brand apply to be part of the checkout feature? Here's the link from Instagram to apply.