Instagram launches Checkout shopping feature

Anne Freier

In App Business. March 20, 2019

Instagram just revealed that the company is to add an online shopping feature, taking big step into mCommerce.

The addition allows users to buy products directly from the app via a new “checkout” feature.

To begin with, it is testing the tool with 20 major fashion brands including Adidas, Burberry, H&M and Zara. However, the company assured that more retailers would be added over the next few months.

Instagram will be charging a ‘selling fee’ for the new checkout feature, taking a percentage from the transaction.

Users can pay via major credit card providers as well as PayPal and even save their payment information.

“This is especially important for direct-to-consumer brands who don’t have the resources to build their own e-commerce site, allowing them to instead engage and convert their target consumers where they go for product inspiration,” said Marcel Hollerback, eCommerce expert and CMO at Productsup.

“For brands beta testing selling on Instagram, it’s important for them to also test what type of product data works best for engaging users on the platform. For example, they should experiment with using more conversational product descriptions and more realistic product photography to match the language and aesthetic Instagrammers use. This could help develop a more conversational, personal relationship between the brand and consumer.”

Although it is unlikely that the feature will help sell more expensive items, it could generate sales for beauty, fashion and nutrition brands in particular.

Instagram has been working on expanding into mCommerce since last year already when it began to roll out dedicated shopping tools for brands to redirect users to products for faster checkouts.

At the same time, the move marks efforts by parent Facebook to halt slowing revenues.