All About Instagram Shopping and the New Checkout Feature

Julie Stewart • August 1, 2019


In 2018, Instagram introduced Instagram Shopping, which allows online brands and merchants to apply product tags within their posts. Here’s the scoop.




Why consumers love Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shopping means users can browse the prices and features of an item they spy, all within the Instagram app while the original post remains open.

Shoppable posts connect users with their favorite brands. They can view product descriptions and pricing without ever having to leave the Instagram app–unless they decide on the spot to buy it using the Buy Now button.

So, if a customer is only browsing, they don’t have to get redirected to the merchant’s website until they are absolutely sure that they would like to make the purchase.




Why merchants are loving it

On the Product page within Instagram, the merchant has plenty of room to type up a description, allowing for a more user-friendly shopping experience.

Shoppable posts automatically provide links to the corresponding product pages on your website. That way, customers can quickly create a cart, browse your other offerings, and make a purchase. Unlike similar programs in Facebook and Pinterest, you are not required to go through their proprietary transaction system or pay a fee.

In March 2018, Instagram rolled out the first Beta version with 20 large e-commerce brands such as Kate Spade and Native Union. At the end of the 3-month rollout, these brands all reported that Instagram Shopping significantly enhanced product discovery on the platform.

Today, Shopping on Instagram is available for online stores based in 44 developed countries throughout the world.

Early adopters of the technology are reporting increased traffic and sales from Instagram as a result of the tagging capability.




Instagram takes it a step further with Checkout

Checkout with Instagrambetalaunched in the U.S. in early 2019 with another 20 top brands, including Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics and Warby Parker. These sellers are no longer having to redirect customers to their websites to make a purchase when they see an item that Kylie Jenner is wearing and they want it right now.

Instagram shoppers only need to enter their payment once, and their account information is then stored. The convenience of shopping favorite brands without all the frictions of logging into an account, entering a credit card number and address, etc., is a big attraction.

Instagram is also testing a selling fee for this checkout convenience. Much like Google Shopping Actions, removing a major purchasing friction is expected to boost sales by reducing cart abandonment, thus justifying a fee that can be absorbed through higher revenues. The company indicated during the closed beta period that the fee will be charged on the merchant’s side, rather than the consumer’s.

The full launch of Checkout will be out in a couple of months’ time.




What you need to know to get started with Instagram Shopping

Facebook, which owns and controls Instagram, is restricting Shopping on Instagram to merchants who sell physical goods in select product categories that fit their Privacy Policy.

You don’t have to make your ads visible on Facebook, but Facebook Shop is the portal you’ll use to set up for Instagram.

The “Shopping on Instagram” toggle should appear in less than 2 weeks.

Once you’ve met with their approval, your Instagram app will guide you to connect your Facebook Product Catalog for tagging the products appearing on your Instagram posts.




Instagram By The Numbers

  • 800M monthly active Instagram users
  • 500M daily active users
  • 5X growth rate compared to overall social network usage in the U.S. (Source: Inc.)
  • 25 — Percent more likely it is that Instagram users fall into the top income quartile. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
  • 5M —Activated Instagram business profiles (Source: Facebook)
  • 60% Discover new products on Instagram (Source: Instagram)
  • 70% Number of users who follow a business on Instagram (Source: Instagram)
  • 500,000 Advertisers on Instagram (Source: Facebook)
  • 150M— Active Daily Instagram Stories users from 5 months after launch (Source: Instagram)

Instagram Shopping clearly has huge upside potential for e-commerce sellers. We can also tell you about other seller opportunities that will turbocharge online sales.

Request a demo and a free 14-day trial of our powerful automation tools.


Julie Stewart

My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.

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