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Instagram launches 'checkout'

Published: 25 March 2019 - Fiona Garcia

Users can now buy products from major brands without leaving the social media app and will only need to enter their details the first time they check out.

Whilst the service is currently only available in the US and on selected brands, the social media platform plans to roll the format out further and says “more will be coming soon”.

Now, when users tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, they see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. They then simply tap it to select from various options, such as size or colour, before proceeding to payment without leaving Instagram. They will only need to enter their name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time they check out.

Once their first order is complete, a user’s information will be saved for convenience the next time they shop. Shipping and delivery notifications will also be sent within Instagram, so users can keep track of their purchase without having to check email or text.

Ecommerce agency, Visualsoft’s head of social Daniel Dixon said of the launch: “In a world where the consumer expects a more seamless shopping experience than ever before, shopping directly via social media is the natural next step. 

“Social media has long been viewed as an invaluable brand awareness and engagement tool, but conversion has always been an issue – how do you successfully turn those “likes” into measurable sales?  Instagram’s shoppable posts are providing the answer to this and have already been adopted by almost half of ecommerce businesses due to their sales-boosting abilities. The platform’s latest update is therefore set to build on this success by enabling shoppers to make a purchase without even leaving the app – maximising ease of purchase.”

Mr Dixon concludes: “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 one million, the growth opportunities are tremendous for businesses who can take advantage of this new trend.

“However, if this is to be successful on a wide scale, retailers need to keep followers engaged on an ongoing basis. This can be achieved through creative Instagram stories and social posts."



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