Earlier this year, Instagram introduced its Checkout functionality, which is an extremely useful tool for online retailers. If you haven’t already looked into it, then you will more than likely want to do so after reading this blog.
Checkout on Instagram enables consumers to complete purchases in the app, without having to be redirected to the seller’s website. This would promote Instagram from a social media platform to a centralized online marketplace where an unlimited number of brands can make sales quickly and easily – on the spot.
When a user taps to view a product that interests them, the “Checkout on Instagram” button comes up, and they can complete the transaction right there if they choose. Payment will also take place within Instagram, as well as after-sales services such as tracking of orders. First-time users will have to enter billing and delivery information, much as they would on any other shopping site. These details are then saved for later use, regardless of the number and variety of sellers they buy from.
Now, this may present both good and bad possibilities for you as an online business operator. On the one hand, it could mean a reduction in traffic going through to your website from Instagram, but on the other, it would make for quicker conversions – and thus possibly an increase in conversions over time. It cuts out intermediate steps, meaning you get a more immediate sale. According to Instagram’s stats, 60% of users discover new products on the platform, making it a very useful promotional method. It now goes one step further, because it not only promotes the product, it can close the sale too.
The service is currently in closed beta testing, rolled out to a select few brands earmarked by Instagram. Once it rolls out of beta in general use, it is not certain what the cost of the service will be to retailers. But, it seems likely to be worth the expense. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.