Remember when Instagram was just a place to share photos of sunsets and lattes and selfies? Those days are long gone, especially since the app first introduced their shopping feature back in 2016. Now, Instagram has become a one-stop shop for users to discover new brands and purchase goods. (But still post pictures, of course.)
This morning, the app rolled out a brand new feature that allows users to shop without ever leaving the platform. With the “Checkout” feature, users are brought to a product page after tapping on the shopping bag icon, as before. From there, users can continue to checkout where they will select size and colors before entering their shipping, billing, and payment information right there on the app, instead of being directed to the company’s website. (All this info will also be securely stored on Instagram to make future purchases a breeze.) Users will even receive tracking and shipping notifications for their orders.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new feature is an effort by Instagram to capitalize on its popularity among fashion and consumer-goods companies, which makes complete sense. According to a study by PwC, social networks are the most influential online media used by shoppers around the world when finding inspiration for their purchases.
The Checkout feature is currently available only in the mobile app, with 20 brands (including super Insta-trendy companies like Outdoor Voices, Ouai Hair, and Colourpop), but as a rep told BuzzFeed News, it will expand to others in the near future. Current participants are:
It’s clear that Instagram is committed to expanding the ecommerce aspect of the app, given these new features and the amount of sponsored content you see in your feed on a daily basis. The new addition is certainly a time saver, but also will likely increase unnecessary or impulse purchases. Which, of course, is likely the intention.