Instagram Launches New In-App Shopping Feature

This past Tuesday, according to Wired, Instagram released Checkout, a new feature where users can purchase items from shoppable posts. Instagram’s goal is to create their own digital mall where one will never have to leave the app. From past behaviors and purchases online, Instagram will provide ads that are made for each individual user. There are over 20 brands participating in Checkout, including: Nike, Dior, Warby Parker, Zara, Burberry, Uniqlo, Kylie Cosmetics, Outdoor Voices, and more.

Last year, Instagram introduced its promotion of brands through advertisements and branded content. Users were able to see an advertisement, click on the item, and be able to see a tag showing the item’s name and price. They also introduced the Explore tab where users’ personalized interests in food, travel, shopping, and more were compiled into sections. In the shopping section specifically, it is filled with shoppable posts from a user’s followed accounts, followed brands, and even possible advertisements based on one’s online behavior.

Users will be able to view the targeted ads on their feed and purchase the depicted items faster, rather than be transferred to a company site to complete the sale. Instagram will also store payment information and user email addresses for easier buying.

Through research, Instagram found that over 130 million users tap on shoppable posts and view advertised items from a wide range of brands. However, many felt that the old purchasing process, in which a link would bring them to a mobile site, was inconvenient.

Ashley Yuki, the product management lead on the new Checkout feature, states that “Instead of having to go through this clunky mobile web flow and checking out, you can now check out directly on Instagram.”

Wired continued to explain the Instagram and Advertiser relationship. Vendors will pay a certain percentage of their sales to Instagram, but the specific percentage amount is unreleased.

Instagram counts more than 1 billion users on its platform every month, so the Checkout feature provides a profitable opportunity for both the social media service and vendors. Since Instagram is a Facebook-owned company, its power of detailed online user profiling helps Instagram predict the best ads for individual users.

Yuki adds that “We’re excited to take it one step further and say, what would happen for our community who comes to Instagram and just wants to be shopping? It’s personalized for you, based on brands you follow and that you might never have discovered in another way, and you can shop them all in one place. That’s pretty interesting for us at Instagram.”



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