In the past, it was very difficult for users to do in-app e-commerce on social media platforms. For example; Twitter removed the “Buy” button in 2017 due to users’ reluctance to do so. But Instagram has made strides in acquisition, and Kylie Cosmetics has launched a brand new ecommerce payment feature for more than 20 brands, including Nike, Uniqlo, and Warbly Parker.
So what makes Instagram Checkout different from its predecessors? What impact will it have on e-commerce and marketing as a whole? Now let’s look at the answers to these questions together.
What is Instagram Checkout?
Instagram Checkout allows Instagram users to purchase products without having to leave the app. You can shop quickly and reliably directly from the application without the need for another page. Moreover, users’ purchase information is saved on the platform after the first transaction, no extra information is required for future purchases.
Also, on Instagram Checkout, users will not only buy the product; will be able to track and manage the product and, if desired, will be able to return transactions through the application. In other words, users will be able to purchase products within the app and manage their entire purchasing journey.
What does Instagram Checkout mean for e-commerce and marketing as a whole?
Founder of Digital Juggler, James Gurd, says it’s “a game changer for brands that rely on visual content”. He states that the application will cause great changes in e-commerce if the integration with the seller is ensured, the order tracking is accurate and reliable, and there is no confusion about after-sales customer service.
According to James Gurd; Over time, Instagram will be able to offer personalized e-commerce, which will allow the platform to monetize social commerce more effectively.
Econsultancy editor Ben Davis says Instagram’s ability to target users will be incredibly valuable. In this case, Instagram ads will be very valuable and marketers will need to think about Instagram advertising directly through brand profiles.
So what will be the difference from the shopping sites we are used to?
For the consumer, speed and usability will become very important. According to Econsultancy Senior Research Analyst Sean Donnelly, it is very important for users to complete transactions without leaving the application. Instagram’s “influencer” culture and user-created content are also very suitable for brands’ content marketing. After all, influencers can market products quite effectively, using products appropriately and uniquely.
Of course, there are advantages as well as disadvantages. First of all, sellers are against payment processing on Instagram. According to Joanna Bodley, Digital Marketing Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and founder of Jo & co, there are several reasons why brands want to retain control of their payment processes:
“While customers can choose to share their contact information with sellers on Instagram, they don’t have to. This will create challenges in database building, analyzing and retargeting user data.” says Joanna Bodley.
Another problem is that we don’t know how the platform’s algorithm will work with this new feature. It is not known whether the algorithm is in favor of the vendors, which at the moment shakes the confidence in the application a little.
Instagram is constantly improving its e-commerce experience with the introduction of shopping posts and stories and the expansion of the “Discover Page” last year. This newest feature of the social platform seems like a perfect match for the in-app purchase journey.
Although Instagram Checkout has shortened the buying path for brands, there are many problems with this new feature.
If sellers and Instagram can find the answers to these questions, Instagram could be the future of social shopping. However, if they can’t find it, it can turn into a failed social commerce attempt on Instagram Checkout.