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Instagram Streamlines Shopping with New Checkout Feature

By March 20, 2019 No Comments

It’s March 20th, the official first day of Spring, and the UN’s International Day of Happiness. What better way to celebrate a day of sunshine and smiles than sharing some exciting news – news that has our entire office buzzing like bees in a Spring super bloom!

This week, Instagram unveiled a feature called Checkout that lets users complete product purchases from A-Z, all within the app itself. Checkout is currently in closed beta, rolling out with 23 brand partners including Nike, Adidas and Zara. The ability to purchase goods natively has been one of the most requested additions since Instagram first introduced Shopping in 2016.

Checkout is a big step for the platform as it positions itself not only as the premier destination for digital content, but as a hub for e-commerce. We’ve previously discussed the link between e-commerce and digital storytelling, and how influencers are leading the social shopping revolution. According to Salesforce, 48 percent of orders are made on mobile devices, a number that is only expected to grow.

Shopping has been a huge hit for the company since it was first unveiled two years ago. According to Instagram, 60 percent of people say they find new products through the app, and 140 million people click on product tags each day. Over the past year, Instagram has implemented a string of features to made Shopping more robust, such as the ability to tag products in Stories, and a dedicated Shopping tap in the Explore section.

Checkout smooths out one of the only remaining kinks in the Shopping experience. For years, frustrated users have complained about having to finish their purchases in a separate window, where clunky interfaces make it difficult to enter payment information and track orders.

For now, Checkout is limited to a select number of brands in the US. But as the program unrolls, we expect to see even greater functionality added, including opportunities for influencer marketing. After all, influencers are the beating heart of the social shopping experience, as they find creative and engaging ways to showcase products. Will we soon see an integration with product tags and sponsored content?

We’re extremely excited for Checkout and the future of Instagram’s e-commerce capabilities. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be busy shopping till our thumbs drop.

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