Instagram Checkout is out. The social network which has only been around less than a decade, has managed to become the fastest growing social media network, with over 1 billion users and counting, according to Search Engine Journal.
At such a fast growth rate and size, Instagram is now a valuable marketplace for almost anything: beauty routines, fitness coaching, planners, courses, digital and fashion products — you name it.
- 500 million daily active users
- 25 million business profiles and
- 60% of users saying they discover new products on the platform
However, you couldn’t sell directly to Instagram users onsite, until recently.
Enter Instagram Checkout
Instagram checkout now makes it possible to buy anything on Instagram in-app or onsite. This means users can now pay directly for an item on Instagram without leaving the app/site. And they don’t have to be redirected to a seller’s website. It rolled out about two weeks ago.
With Instagram checkout, buyers can shop for their favorite products by simply tapping the “Checkout with Instagram” button once they view the product. The first time they enter their credit card information, it is saved for future transactions.
Although presently in beta testing with a few pilot brands like Kylie Cosmetics and Adidas, Instagram hopes to roll it out for public use as soon as possible.
One other thing. It’s only available to US customers for now.
This move by Instagram can effectively change the face of IG commerce, and simplify the process of buying and selling on the popular social network. Below is a:
5 Year Google Trends Chart of Instagram Marketing
Source: Google Trends
Looking back, we see interest in Instagram marketing rising over the past five years, peaking around 2018.
This is an indicator that Instagram marketing is not a fad that will fade anytime soon. And from all indications, marketers are raising their arms and falling for its charms.
Facebook Marketing vs Twitter Marketing vs Instagram Marketing
Social media marketing excites brands and businesses because it provides unparalleled opportunities to market to billions of potential buyers of products and services.
There are scores of social networks out there. As a digital or social marketer, you need to consider and identify which one(s) align most with your business goals and objectives plus target demographic. Otherwise, you’d stretch yourself too thin and make a mess of the whole thing.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are some of the more popular social networks among the young and old alike, but Facebook tops them all. So much so that over 68% of adults prefer Facebook over other social networks.
Twitter is great for news and also has some cool business features. With 300 million monthly active users, Twitter lags Facebook’s 2 billion and Instagram’s 1 billion user base.
Facebook and Instagram also pack a plethora of business friendly tools and insights data with Twitter following suit.
To socially market at scale, Instagram is a great platform to be on. The following stats echo this sentiment:
- Instagram has 25 million business profiles
- 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business
- 60% of all Instagram users say they have discovered a product or service through Instagram, and 62% follow a brand on the platform.
- It has 500 million daily active users
- Brands on Instagram reportedly enjoy engagement from up to 4% of their followers whereas for Facebook and Twitter it only stands at about 0.1%, etc.
Let’s now see
How Instagram Checkout Works
Instagram checkout is both simple and straightforward: two things online shoppers love.
- Users can find products they like (via explore section, or through the “shopping” tab in the explore section, or simply through a sponsored post) and tap on it to reveal product tags.
- Tapping on the product tag reveals even more details, where users can select size, color and other specifics.
- You should see the “Checkout on Instagram” tab now (where “view on website” used to be). Tap on it to see the price, and fill in your payment information.
- Tap on “place order” and voilà, it is done.
- You’ll receive notifications from Instagram about your order placement, containing order summary, shipment and delivery details.
This video demonstrates how checkout works.
5 Ways the New Instagram Checkout Can Benefit Your Business
Now that we’ve seen what Instagram checkout is all about, here’s what it can really do for your business.
Ease the Buying Process for your Customers
Convenience is one of the top items on most online shoppers’ lists. With thousands of alternative stores offering fast and convenient checkout, Instagram Checkout offers this.
Also, certain concerns are raised in shoppers’ minds when redirected offsite or off-app to make payments, which can contribute to cart abandonment. Again this friction is eliminated with Insta Checkout.
The smoother you make things for your customers, the likelier they are to buy from you.
In other words, easy way, easy pay. Instagram checkout tries to achieve this by completing all cycles of the transaction onsite and reducing back and forth movement between Instagram and each merchant’s site.
With over 800,000 monthly shoppers and counting, Instagram is by far one of the biggest social shopping platforms online. It presents brands and businesses like yours new opportunities, a new customer base, and new income/revenue streams.
With more convenience and easier checkout comes more shoppers which translates to more orders and more income.
This is a new opportunity for brands and businesses to retarget old customers and target new ones with the promise of speed and convenience all in one place, in-app.
Less Third-Party Payments
This is a welcome development for online stores that exist and depend solely on Instagram for sales and sustenance. It means they won’t have to pay for domain name, hosting, shopping cart software, etc.
However, free store owners have little or no say or control and are like tenants at will, who can be kicked out any minute by a policy change, bankruptcy — anything.
Another additional benefit is not needing to pay for payment gateways which are necessary to process online payments, as all payments are processed onsite or in-app.
Feelers suggest that Instagram intends to charge for this service or keep a portion of sales as commission. However, it is not immediately clear how much they will be charging. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
More Marketing and Less Book-Keeping
Instagram will oversee the back-end of your store plus every other retail management function, so you can have more time to focus on marketing and promoting your products and brand.
Things like returns, refunds, data collection and management, etc, are also done for you. However, you should never totally rely on third-parties for everything of anything in life.
For instance, Facebook, in spite of all its privacy and security claims, was reported to have exposed over 500 million passwords stored in plain text.
Some users may come across your products without any previous intention to buy, but with a “buy now” button and onsite checkout, they may just pay without thinking twice.
Reports say 74% of buyers use social media to make buying decisions. Indeed, there is no better place to buy products from than the platform where they learned about the product — a platform that also allows them to checkout onsite.
Many brands and businesses, as they become aware of Instagram Checkout, and as it becomes publicly available, will seek ways to maximize it to boost sales.
Keep preparing yourself for its full launch by developing a strategy to take advantage of this new feature. You may want to research more about it, educate your followers or customers and eradicate their fears and concerns, etc.
Eventually, time will tell if it will live up to its hype and become a success or disappoint and flop.