Instagram, which started in 2011 as a simple photo-sharing app, has revolutionized engagement, branding, shopping, and entire industries. The latest development indicates that the Facebook-owned platform has its sights set on transforming e-commerce as well. With a partial rollout on March 18th, Instagram announced that users would be able to purchase directly within the app itself. The initiative began with a tightly curated selection of twenty launch partners. With the checkout process now a part of Instagram, users will be able to bypass the e-commerce experiences of the retailers themselves. “Over time as we are creating value for people, this could be a significant part of our business,” remarked Vishal Shah, head of product for Instagram.
For spring 2019, Glossy completed a case study with over 100 executives in the beauty and wellness industries. Their biggest complaint with Instagram was, unsurprisingly, proving ROI through that channel. This new development will alleviate that concern while simultaneously heightening Instagram’s data capabilities.
“With this move, Instagram is furthering a frictionless experience for consumers,” said Jenna Manula Linares, Senior Director, Social Media at Stella Rising. “Instagram sees a major opportunity and has even hinted that there will be more changes like this to the platform in 2019. With that in mind, it will be crucial for brands to have a savvy social media strategy that can keep pace with change.”
The new checkout feature will, in many ways, increase DTC brands' dependence on Instagram. Accordingly, the key will be in taking advantage of checkout while maintaining a healthy marketing mix with other channels.
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