Instagram launches in-app checkout capability

Checkout on Instagram, now in closed beta, will let users buy, track and manage purchases directly within the Instagram app.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Instagram announced on Tuesday that it's launching a new in-app checkout capability in closed beta that will let users buy products directly from the Instagram app. Aptly named Checkout on Instagram, the feature will let users buy, track and manage purchases directly within Instagram. The feature also lets Instagram users save their payment information and includes support for Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and PayPal, with PayPal serving as the designated processor.

When it comes to e-commerce, Instagram has long positioned itself as a point of discovery, a place where brands can capture customer interests with a perfectly crafted product display. Over time, the photo-sharing site became more shoppable, with product links and shop tags leading customers down the purchase funnel to a brand's online store. 

The strategy has proved successful, with the company reporting that roughly 130 million Instagram users click on product tags in shopping posts each month. Checkout on Instagram seems like the natural evolution of the company's e-commerce ambitions and will likely appeal to brands looking to use the platform to bolster online sales and conversion rates.

Also: Seven days of Instagram: Mixed results from a short push to increase engagement 

Some of the first brands using the new Instagram checkout service include merchants from e-commerce SaaS providers Shopify and BigCommerce.

"Instagram's influence in commerce continues to flourish," said Jimmy Duvall, product chief for BigCommerce. "Our merchants have seen incredible success using integrations with Shopping on Instagram to convert fans and followers into loyal customers. This latest capability allows brands to continue doing just that, without the risk of losing sales by asking consumers to shift to another platform to check out."


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