The lines between social media and eCommerce have become increasingly blurred in recent years. Now, Instagram have really kicked things up a notch with their latest feature: Checkout.
Up until now, many brands have utilised Instagram Shopping to display product information on photos and allow users to follow links to their online store.
But with Instagram Checkout, shoppers won’t even have to leave Instagram to shop their favourite brands.
What is Instagram Checkout?
Checkout enables Instagram users to buy products directly from posts. The entire transaction — from exact item selection to purchasing to delivery tracking — all takes place on Instagram. No need to leave the app whatsoever.
User details, including shipping address and payment details, will be stored in Instagram for use on any account that offers Checkout.
So far, only a select few cosmetics and fashion labels are taking part. The list includes Zara, Nike, Uniqlo and more.
Instagram hasn’t announced when Checkout will be available for other online stores to adopt.
While it’s still early days, this feature could very well replace the current Instagram Shopping experience that users have already come to love.
Threat or opportunity? What this means for eCommerce and social media
It’s unclear how smooth the rollout of Instagram’s new feature will be, but one thing is for certain: It’s never been more important for online stores to have a social media presence.
Social media already builds massive credibility for your business and showcases your brand’s personality like nothing else can, making it an essential asset for any business.
But in the future, online stores without an Instagram account may very well be cheating themselves out of sales.
“It’s not hard to imagine the opportunity behind this new offering.”
Think about it: If a customer is presented with an easier option (purchasing through Instagram) and a less convenient option (navigating from Instagram to an online store and locating a product), which do you think they’d choose?
They’re almost guaranteed to take the easier option.
This means that if Instagram Checkout gains traction, it will no longer be enough for brands to only have an online store.
Potential customers won’t just be searching for businesses’ Instagram accounts to check out their branding. They’re going to be going there with the intention of making a purchase. It’s not hard to imagine the opportunity behind this new offering.
“While it’s still early days, this feature could very well replace the current Instagram Shopping experience that users have already come to love.”
What you can do to prepare for Instagram Checkout
In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, the most important thing you can do to be ready for the rollout of Instagram Checkout is to make sure you have an established Instagram account ready to go.
Customers will want to know the store they’re buying from is credible. If you launch Instagram Checkout for your brand but have a feed that’s too new, is populated with subpar content or just doesn’t hit the mark, users aren’t likely to trust you with their money.
We also can’t stress enough the importance of having an Instagram advertising strategy in place. This will not only attract the right customers to your account, but ensure that your social media efforts are returning tangible, profitable results.
This is something that all eCommerce businesses should have anyway— you can read about the power of social advertising here.