Last month Instagram rolled out a new way of purchasing items that you see on your newsfeed: Instagram Checkout.
Previously, brands could tag their products, link to their website, and easily allow you to check out the item that was pictured. Now, Instagram has introduced Checkout. This feature allows you to see the item in the post, click on the picture, follow the link to the Checkout page, and purchase the item all within the Instagram app.
This streamline of purchasing is an impressive feat since, before, you would have to travel to a mobile version of the site of the chosen brand. Now, the process is 100% native. Instagram is taking a small percentage of each item purchased, but it is a small price to pay for brands who are getting more conversions at a faster rate.
Social Meets Commerce
This concept, which is only happening on Instagram for now, and only for a few chosen brands, is a monumental feat for the social media giant. This change means that socialization and commerce are all taking place in one digital space. This digital space mirrors that of a shopping mall (remember those?) and ushers in a new way to shop that is going to change commerce and e-commerce forever. If shopping malls weren’t on their way out, permanently, already, then this just engraved their tombstone.
Streamlining the Experience
Up until this point, shopping online still had its downsides. If you saw something on Instagram via influencers, you would click the link, try to navigate through the mobile version of the site. It was at that time you would have the thought “maybe this is easier to get on Amazon”. You might even go further and head to the brick and mortar location of the brand and purchase in a store, injecting more cash into the declining brick and mortar business model. Now that we see the capabilities that are at our fingertips, it’s only going to get worse from here on out for physical retail locations that do not have a heavy presence within the e-commerce space.
Now, with the Checkout feature, it is as simple as 1, 2, 3.
However convenient this feature is for big brands to move products; smaller companies are being left in the dust with an ever-changing algorithm. The rate of change of the algorithm does not seem to be slowing down, either.
Social Is King
Instagram is leveraging itself as a moneymaking shopping platform and this has been a long time coming. Essentially, Instagram is the newest version of the digital magazine where you can access all your favorite brands, people, and items on your newsfeed any time of day. Mixing social media brand awareness with the ability to purchase on the spot is going to mean that a lot of money is in the cards for the social media company and the brands that are leading the charge.
This new feature is changing the way we purchase goods, however, there are going to be some brands and companies that are left in the proverbial dust. We will just have to see who can adapt to such change and who has the inability to do so.