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Instagram enables in-app checkout

Instagram enables in-app checkout
Thursday March 21 2019

The journey to social media giant Instagram becoming a fully-fledged ecommerce business has moved closer with in-app checkout

A year after it made feed posts shoppable, the company has doubled down on becoming something of a personalised digital shopping centre. 

With the checkout option, Instagram is charging retailers a selling fee – with more than 20 brands already onboard – and allowing users to store payment information with the platform.

The news has had a predictably mixed reaction from all areas of the industry.

Commenting on the news, Chris Greenwood, CIO at Mamas & Papas, said: ““While the implementation of an ‘instant purchase’ function is a logical progression for Instagram, it’s short-sighted, and could be detrimental for brands looking to boost online conversions in the long-term. Retailers should be spending more time perfecting their on-site route to purchase, not incentivising purchases on other apps that they have no real ownership over.”

Neil Cotty, CEO at Global Freight Solutions (GFS), added: “From experience, we know the online checkout is only part of the customer experience, there’s a huge consideration around shipping and delivery too. If Instagram Checkout were to come to the UK, the issue of lack of transparency around duties and taxes, given current uncertainty around trade, could cause significant problems for retailers selling through social media sites.”

Growth opportunities

Nevertheless, the news was greeted enthusiastically by others who see it as a logical next step.

Daniel Dixon, head of social at ecommerce agency Visualsoft, explained: “Shopping via social media removes a number of pain-points on the customer buying journey, and could virtually eradicate shopping cart abandonment; an issue which affects almost three quarters (74%) of online retail sales. Considering that UK retailers enjoy an average social media reach of over 1 million, the growth opportunities are tremendous for businesses who can take advantage of this new trend.”

Anshuman Singh, Associate Vice President and head of digital at Mindtree, added: “The news of Instagram’s addition of a checkout feature to its mobile apps is a fantastic new channel for retailers to take advantage of and, should be a part of their broader omnichannel strategies to carry out purchase cycles across multiple channels.”

Tagged as: Instagram | ecommerce | social commerce |