What You Need to Know About Instagram's New Ecommerce Feature, 'Checkout'

It's still in beta testing, but this new feature could be a nice boon for your ecommerce business.
What You Need to Know About Instagram's New Ecommerce Feature, 'Checkout'
Image credit: Thomas Trutschel | Getty Images

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Ecommerce entrepreneurs, rejoice! Instagram has opened a whole new revenue stream for your business! And in some ways this development is no surprise, because in recent years, Instagram has made multiple moves toward becoming an ecommerce-friendly platform. Consider its product tagging feature and its shoppable update for Instagram Stories.

Related: 5 Ways You Can Turn Your Instagram Account Into a Revenue-Generating Machine

In various ways, the platform has already made generating sales on social media easier -- by leaps and bounds.

Now, Instagram isn't just helping entrepreneurs sell more products by driving traffic to their websites; it's testing a new feature that will help it become a fully-fledged sales channel for ecommerce. Just a few days ago, Instagram announced this new feature, Checkout.

Checkout allows Instagram users to buy from select brands without ever leaving the app. When users tap on a product in a brand’s shopping post, they’ll see a blue “Checkout on Instagram” button, as in the following example:

Image Source: Instagram 

Once they tap the “Checkout on Instagram," users can specify various options such as color and size, depending on the product. Then, they can check out right from Instagram by entering their name, email, payment information, shipping address and billing address.

Users need only enter their information the first time they make a purchase; their information will be saved securely so their next shopping experience will be even more convenient.

Another awesome benefit here is that users will be able to easily keep track of their purchases, with shipping and delivery notifications right inside the Instagram app.

Exciting, right? But here are the other things entrepreneurs need to know about Instagram’s new ecommerce feature Checkout:

You can boost sales and make shopping more convenient for your customers.

Before the Instagram announcement about Checkout, fFacebook released a report on how Instagram boosts brands and drive sales. The report stated that 87 percent of people surveyed had said they'd taken action after seeing product information on Instagram. Forty-six percent of those people actually made a purchase online or off.

Image Source: Facebook 

With the introduction of Instagram Checkout, we could see that 46 percent figure rise even higher. After all, people will be much more inclined to purchase when they can do so right from Instagram, instead of having to navigate to your website.

Related: 5 Ways to Help You Boost Your Conversions on Instagram

Instagram Checkout is still undergoing beta testing outside the U.S.

Currently, the feature is in closed beta, connecting with selected businesses only, and available only to people in the United States. This means that your ecommerce business can't take advantage of Instagram Checkout just yet and that only U.S.-based Instagram users will be able to purchase products straight from the platform in the short term.

Twenty-three brands have been chosen by Instagram to be the first to test out Instagram Checkout. Some of the brands starting to roll out their Checkout capability include:

  • Adidas

  • Burberry

  • Dior

  • H&M

  • MAC Cosmetics

  • Kylie Cosmetics

  • Nike

  • Prada

  • Uniqlo

  • Zara

Over the next few weeks, these and other brands will start rolling out their Instagram posts with the Checkout feature, and U.S. Instagram users can start buying. Zara has already started, letting its followers know that they can “tap to shop."

Image Source: Zara on Instagram 

Are there limitations, and will it cost you?

Instagram Checkout will undoubtedly be a great tool to drive more sales. But as with every awesome ecommerce tool, there are some factors you need to consider before diving in head-first.

First, Instagram will probably take a cut from each sale you make with Instagram Checkout. Since this feature has just been announced, though, we don’t know how much that cut will be. So, when Instagram is available to all ecommerce businesses, you’ll want to find the answer to that question.

Second, you can’t use Instagram Checkout with Instagram ads. You can only use the Checkout feature within posts on the newsfeed and in Instagram Stories.

What about the privacy of Instagram users?

With the privacy of Facebook and Instagram coming into question and Mark Zuckerberg announcing recently that his company will be shifting toward a new, “privacy-focused model,” some customers considering Checkout might have concerns over their data and privacy issues.

Instagram is assuring customers, though, that their information and data won’t be misused. The company has stated that it won’t share user information with brands using Instagram Checkout to sell their products. The only information that will be shared with the brands is the information needed to complete the sale, such as the customer's name, email, shipping address and so on.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Instagram's New Shopping Features

Get ready to win more sales with Instagram.

Instagram’s new Checkout feature is bound to be a hit for ecommerce businesses. Since the feature is just getting started, we can expect more information about it to be revealed soon. But,so far, you’ve got all the details you need to know about Instagram Checkout. Get ready to win more sales with Instagram.

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