In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there is no doubt that businesses are feeling the pressure to adapt to the changing landscape of what we know as retail shopping. With the temporary closure of many retail outlets and current stay-home culture, an estimated 85% of people worldwide are now shopping online, according to Facebook. In light of this rapid shift towards online shopping, Instagram has decided to take the next step towards becoming a fully-fledged e-commerce platform.
Many well-known brands – including Zara, H&M, Adidas and Nike – have already decided to test out Instagram’s newest in-app feature attracting consumers by simplifying their entire checkout experience. Now, Instagram checkout is going mainstream, and other retailers are eligible to join in on the trend to boost sales and gain a piece of the pie.
The demand for convenient e-commerce has never been more prominent in this day and age, now is time to learn how to take advantage of social media platforms and gain the support you need to promote your brand. In this blog, we’ll be helping you set up by taking a deeper dive into everything you need to know about Instagram’s new checkout feature!
What is Instagram checkout?
Shopping from Instagram has never been easier. Recently launched this May, Instagram
checkout allows users to buy and sell products directly on the app. Consumers can now browse through a brand’s catalogue and tap on a post to view product information. Products with a shoppable tag will have a “Checkout on Instagram” button below where users can then select options such as colour or size, fill in delivery details and proceed directly to payment without ever having to leave the app. Payment is secured by PayPal and gives buyers and sellers themselves the power to organise cancellations, returns and seek customer support in-app. Once the order is reviewed and completed, Instagram will automatically save customer information for future purchases and will also send push notifications to keep them informed about tracking updates.
In addition to shoppable posts, Instagram also offers shopping via Instagram Live and direct messaging. Retailers can use Live to create an interactive video experience displaying their products in detail and even encouraging consumers to buy products in real time. The direct messaging feature allows customers to view products within the chat and provides one-on-one assistance, combining the in-store experience with an online one.
From discovery to delivery, this new streamlined process hopes to motivate consumers to shop more by making it as easy as possible to checkout. Sellers can now convert their followers into loyal customers and buyers can now find products in just a few taps, making them less likely to abandon their shopping baskets in frustration.
How to start using Instagram’s checkout feature?
Based on information from Facebook for business, here are 3 easy steps to set up your Instagram Shopfront!
Step 1: Ensure that your business is eligible
To access the checkout feature, your business must be located within a supported market (see appendix), selling physical goods, and in compliance with Instagram’s commerce policies. You also must be an Instagram business account linked to a Facebook page.
Step 2: Connect your account to a catalogue
After creating a business account on Instagram, connect your profile to a new or existing catalogue on Facebook. To create a new catalogue, you can choose to use a catalogue manager or alternatively, a Facebook certified partner to help you get started.
Step 3: Sign up for Instagram Shopping and create your first shoppable post
Go to your Instagram profile settings, click on ‘Business’ and then sign up to ‘Instagram Shopping’ to submit your account for review. Once approved, create your first post and tap ‘Tag products’ to choose from your catalogue and start selling!
Who should use Instagram’s new checkout feature?
Emerging online retailers
Whether you’re new to the online store game or just don’t have the technical skills to create a large-scale commercial website, the new checkout option may be your simplest solution. You’ll be able to quickly get the word out on product launches and especially with the current low barriers-to-entry, early adopters of this feature have the best opportunity to gain exposure within the app.
Retailers with a limited catalogue
As everything you post shows up on your Instagram feed, it gets pushed down overtime. Retailers with a large number of products may find it difficult to showcase their entire catalogue. However, with limited products, consumers will find it easier to locate specific products as well as browse through your catalogue offerings.
Well-established Instagram retailers
Brands that were founded or grew popular through Instagram will find that adding Instagram checkout offers an effortless upgrade. Established brands have high social media traffic and since most of them are already posting images of their products, simply adding a tag and price can significantly boost sales conversions.
What are the benefits of Instagram checkout for businesses?
Connect with potential consumers
According to Instagram, 60% of people say they discover new products on the app and 200 million users are said to visit at least one business profile daily. With these statistics it’s not hard to see why Instagram stores are gaining major popularity.
On the discover page of Instagram, there is now a ‘Shop’ tab where users can browse through recommended shops. This creates a huge opportunity to raise brand awareness and connect with thousands of target customers.
Improve conversion rates with multiple channels
To create as many possibilities to drive traffic and sales, brands don’t necessarily have to
replace their own online channels with Instagram Checkout. It’s a great idea to use the
feature alongside multiple shopping routes to have the best chance of making conversions. Additional ways to drive sales include optimising your page with a URL listed on your bio, using call-to-action captions with ‘tap to shop’ hashtags, and posting shoppable tags on Instagram stories. Followers will have all the channels they need to engage with your brand and easily find out more information.
Marketing insights to measure results
Another wonderful thing about Instagram checkout is that it allows retailers to measure exactly how much revenue is made on a particular post. Brands can now quantify the level of success they achieved from marketing campaigns and use these metrics to improve future marketing strategies.
Maximise Influencer partnerships
Content creators can now also offer checkout on behalf of brands. Partnering with influencers that have access to shoppable posts allows sellers to track results and to profit by making conversion much simpler. Retailers can have all the information they need to enhance influencer marketing strategies and better understand their value moving forward.
With this knowledge and while Instagram checkout is still fresh, now is the time to make simple changes to step up your social media strategy and make more sales!!
A third-year Melbourne university student majoring in marketing & finance, aspiring to undertake opportunities within social media and digital marketing.