Instagram Checkout: Everything You Need to Know

Instagram Checkout was first released in 2019 to just a handful of mega-brands in the US and after a year of beta testing, we could soon start to see it in our feeds worldwide!

The Checkout feature allows users to make a purchase without ever leaving the Instagram app — creating a streamlined, 2-tap process to converting Instagram followers into loyal customers.

To help you prepare, we’re taking a deeper dive into the benefits of Instagram Checkout. Plus, we share 5 top industry tips to drive maximum sales with this new feature!

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Checkout

What is Instagram Checkout?

Instagram Checkout lets users buy products from brands *directly* on Instagram — without leaving the Instagram app!

With Instagram Checkout, customers can tap to view a product from a shoppable post and then continue to the payment process, all within Instagram! All they have to do is enter their name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time they check out.

Checkout first launched in March 2019 with just 26 brands (including ZaraRevolveWarby Parker, and Nike) making up the original beta test group.

Fast-forward 12 months and hundreds of brands across the US are now trialing the new checkout feature — with huge names like SoulCycleSteve Madden, and Hollister in the mix.

But Instagram Checkout isn’t open to all brands and it’s currently only available to shoppers based in the US. However, given Instagram’s recent progress in the e-commerce space, it’s likely we’ll see this feature continue to roll out across the US (and beyond!) in the not so distant future.

Speaking to Glossy, Dan Gardner, CEO of digital creative agency Code and Theory, explains that  as more businesses gain access to the feature, the more successful it will become.

“If the [in-app Checkout] feature rolls out to everybody, it will have some level of success. Consumers will get more used to it and [brands will] see a bigger lift happen. Brands won’t necessarily replace [their] own e-commerce channels with Instagram Checkout, but it will be another meaningful way to convert,” said Gardner.

Mike Karanikolas, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of early adopter Revolve, shared how Instagram Checkout has been a success for the brand so far, but isn’t currently a big part of the company’s business.

“We’re excited about the long-term opportunity of it,” he said during the brand’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February.

Instagram has also already made it possible for a select number of influencers and content creators to drive sales through checkout on behalf of brands — creating a complete e-commerce marketplace.

With Instagram’s Shopping for Creators feature, influencers and content creators can now add product tags from their brand partners to their Instagram posts and stories that users can tap on and pay for directly within the Instagram app.

There currently is no affiliate model in place for influencers driving sales on behalf of brands through Instagram Checkout — but savvy influencers and creators are likely to be charging more for this extra level of product endorsement.

With over 200 million users visiting at least one business profile every day, and 83% of users discovering new products and services on the platform, it’s no surprise that Instagram is making moves to connect the dots between brands and shoppers.

And while Instagram is still in the process of rolling out some of these features, the future looks promising for brands, businesses, and influencers looking to make sales with Instagram Checkout!

What Are the Benefits of Instagram Checkout for Business

There’s no doubt that Instagram Checkout comes with a ton of benefits for businesses and brands on Instagram, and even more so if you’re an early adopter of the feature!

The ability to drive your audience from browsing to purchasing in just a few quick taps can have a huge impact on your conversion rate as it creates a seamless experience for your customers.

Plus, early adopters of Instagram Checkout can benefit from all of the extra exposure opportunities within the Instagram app.

For example, when users click on the “Shop” tab from the Instagram Explore page, there are various curated edits that showcase products from Checkout-enabled brands.

Instagram’s new @shop account (with over 200K followers) also features brands that are embracing Instagram Shopping tools — creating a huge opportunity to reach potential new customers.

However, despite such obvious advantages, Instagram Checkout might not be for everyone.

For some, Instagram’s transaction fees may be a cause for concern. According to their Business Help Center, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

And Instagram Checkout can also mean brands lose out on valuable customer data (such as emails) as all communications are handled by Instagram rather than the brand directly.

Luckily, there are additional ways to drive traffic and make sales on Instagram!

For example, the link in your bio is super easy to find and readily clickable, making it one of the most valuable traffic-drivers on your Instagram profile.

And the good news is, with Linkin.bio by Later, you can turn your whole Instagram feed into a clickable landing page that updates with every new post you share.

drive traffic from instagram

This means you can share multiple links to your products for every Instagram post you publish.

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