Instagram has leveled-up again.
First launched as a photo-sharing app in 2010, Instagram has quickly gained popularity across the social media domain.
Over the years, it has added many features such as Stories and even IGTV.
This year, Instagram has introduced another game-changing add-on.
It recently announced a closed beta release for Instagram Checkout.
In essence, Checkout is Instagram’s answer to growing ecommerce demands. Checkout allows users to browse, shop and pay for products without leaving the Instagram app.
How big of a deal is this?
If you’re a business owner looking to tap on social commerce as part of your marketing strategy, it’s a huge deal. Having a feature that allows customers to make in-app purchases is projected to increase sales.
And we’re sure you want in on that! Here’s how it works.
A Brief Understanding of Instagram Checkout
Instagram debuted a feature called “Checkout” in March 2019 allowing users to purchase products within the app. It is the most recent addition to the Instagram shopping suite on top of the Instagram Shoppable feature released in 2018.
Checkout is currently in closed beta. The initial rollout features only 20+ handpicked brands, including names like Kylie, H&M, Michael Kors, Adidas and more.
And not only is it limited to certain brands, it’s also limited to users in the US alone.
The feature was released in beta so Instagram could gather feedback before releasing the feature to everyone. The selected brands are not allowed to run ads to promote their items, which means all data gathered and purchases made must be organic.
What started out as a simple need to provide Instagram users with a better shopping experience has now grown into a full-fledged social commerce experience.
Instagram’s Social Commerce Evolution
As an almost completely visual network, Instagram has been the perfect place for ecommerce brands to show their wares.
All those high-quality product images and videos of your product in action are the perfect way to generate engagement.
However, the problem has always been with converting engagers into customers.
Instagram knew there was an issue with the social media purchase journey. And a couple of years ago they implemented their first fix.
Initially, businesses could create Shoppable posts and lead customers to their ecommerce site.
Shoppable posts would add little tags to relevant products which, when clicked, would lead users to your ecommerce store.
This was a great way to increase engagement, but it did little to increase overall conversions.
The problem was that the complex user journey was still in place. Users would go to engaging with fun posts on Instagram to trying to complete a purchase journey on your store.
There was a disconnect there.
With Checkout, users can now enjoy a seamless shopping experience all within the Instagram app. They can click on the product on your virtual shop front and make payments directly on their Instagram feed.
Users can also save their preferred payment methods to make purchases at the click of the button. There’s no need to login in and re-enter payment details repeatedly.
At the moment, Instagram is said to charge businesses a small fee and has partnered with PayPal to process payments securely.
This virtually guarantees a faster, smoother and more secure purchasing journey for a buyer, and convenient setup and tracking ability for the seller.
How Instagram Checkout works:
- Tap on the product you like
- Select your preferences (color, quantity etc)
- Click on “Checkout on Instagram”
- Enter payment details (only for your first purchase)
- Click Place Order
You’ll receive a notification from Instagram about your purchase and shipping details.
Checkout tags can appear on feed posts and Stories from approved brands in the closed beta release.
Everything within one social media platform.
Sounds pretty neat, doesn’t it?
Sure does! But…
Why Your Business Should Use Instagram Checkout
Trying to make a sale through social media is nothing new. Unfortunately the conversion rates have hovered between 1-3%, which is pretty low. One of the lowest of any digital channel.
Users have cited safety and flow of purchase as top reasons why they don’t end up purchasing.
Research by Baymard Institute has also gathered that 26% of US online shoppers abandon an order because of complicated or long-winded checkout processes.
Instagram Checkout addresses this issue headfirst. It provides a seamless experience to the consumer.
Instagrammers scroll through the app for entertainment and to discover new things. On a monthly basis, over 130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products.
But having a multi-step purchasing journey isn’t going to entice a customer to stop scrolling and buy something from you.
By reducing the purchase journey to two steps – engaging with a post they like and want to purchase, you should be able to increase overall conversion.
Did you know? Research says Instagrammers are more likely – we’re looking at 60% of users – to purchase a product if they could buy it direct from a social network.
And there’s more…
We should probably also mention how Instagram has more than 1 billion users (and growing). That’s a huge market to cater to.
With Checkout, a billion Instagrammers get what they’re looking for. The ability to visually explore something before purchasing, plus a frictionless shopping experience thanks to in-app purchases and stored payment data.
With such ease of transaction, businesses can now see higher conversion rates as users don’t need to leave the Instagram app or log into another platform.
If businesses already see revenue rise from Shoppable posts, Checkout might be the answer to previously lost conversions.
Did you know? Blockbuster motion studio Marvel achieved a 58% conversion rate through a direct social commerce checkout. The lesser the steps for the customer to purchase something from you, the better your revenue.
Plus, with Checkout, you now have a quantifiable measurement as to how much returns you’re getting from social media.
All via the Instagram app.
What Can You Do While Waiting?
To see your business flourish online, however, you’ll have to be patient and wait for the full-fledged release of Checkout.
But you don’t have to be quiet. While Instagram Checkout is still in closed beta, you can already start adding your products by using the shoppable posts feature.
This way, when Checkout is launched worldwide, you’ll be able to make the switch quicker.
Some tips to make your Instagram profile Checkout-ready:
- Know your audience and post relevant content. Run a survey if you’re not sure what they’re looking for.
- Make your profile pretty with consistent branding, colours, good quality images. Clean up your captions.
- Write call to action copy that is clear and enticing for a customer to make that purchase.
- Focus on engaging with your customers (current or potential) through central dashboards like Jumper for all your social media profiles.
- Catalog your products so you can launch them easier when Checkout is released in full.
- Align your strategy with latest social commerce developments and versus what your competitors are doing so you’re in line with what the market wants.
- Be prepared to launch by designing collateral to announce your social commerce options. Don’t forget to include email marketing campaigns and work on a remarketing strategy for your conversion funnel.
Want to Implement Checkout on Other Social Networks?
Instagram Checkout is a fuss-free way to boost online sales.
It’s already making waves long before its mass release, making claims that it has the potential to give big players like Shopify a run for their money.
It’s a huge indicator of the potential social commerce has. Of the opportunities it presents for brands both large and small.
But there’s also an inherent flaw with Instagram Checkout.
It’s limited only to one social network.
Your users aren’t only on Instagram. They’re also using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more.
The future is bright for social commerce, but only for brands who leverage it across networks.
With Jumper, you have the ease of selling on multiple networks via one dashboard. Selling your products and maintaining stock for all platforms at the same time becomes much easier.
By using an automated checkout solution like Jumper, you can set up your processes to be used across multiple networks, then get back to building your audience to double down on sales.
If you want to continue growing your brand but can’t wait for Instagram to roll out Checkout for everyone, sign up for a free Jumper account.
You won’t need to pay a penny today, and can get multiple social commerce campaigns set up within minutes.
Take your user’s shopping experience to the next level.
Sign up for a Jumper account today.