Instagram is on the brinks of becoming more and more of a commercial app with its Checkout feature, that will enable users to purchase fashion and beauty products directly within the app.
Although the tool is in its Beta testing period still, it will surely pave the way towards the future of social media marketing and social media businesses. Adidas, Dior, Huda Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Nike, Warby Parker, H&M, Burberry and Zara are just a few of the companies testing it.
The feature is only available in the U.S. and on mobile devices for now, but Instagram representatives announce that it will soon become available to its worldwide users.
The principle is simple. When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app. US users can tap on a photo of influencer Katie Sturino, for example, to see that she’s wearing a $45 TechSweat crop top from Outdoor Voices in size XL, check out other influencers who have worn it and buy it without ever leaving Instagram.
Users can only shop the posts of about 50 influencers and publishers, including Chiara Ferragni, Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian West and Vogue.
There are over 130 million people who tap product tags every month and Instagram has introduced product-specific tagging to quickly identify and hopefully buy those products directly on the app.
”When you tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, you’ll see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. Tap it to select from various options such as size or color, then you’ll proceed to payment without leaving Instagram. You’ll only need to enter your name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time you check out.
Once your first order is complete, your information will be securely saved for convenience the next time you shop. You’ll also receive notifications about shipment and delivery right inside Instagram, so you can keep track of your purchase”, Instagram announced via press release.
Obviously, the role of influencers is huge and covers a large part of the future of Insta-shopping. This is only the beginning of innovation for Instagram in terms of shopping.
The Checkout feature will help influencers close the loop between inspiration and purchase, and to help brands better assess just how much their influencer marketing spending is converted to sales. According to Launchmetrics, nearly 80% of fashion, luxury and cosmetic brands work with influencers.
It will be interesting to see how Instagram will be integrated into shopping applications or as a channel for online commerce and how the social media platform will act in comparison to Amazon, eBay or other shopping platforms.