The Strategist

Instagram introduces in-app shopping tool

03/21/2019 - 11:46

Mobile service threatens to compete with business model of stores like eBay and Farfetch: users no longer have to go to third-party resources to pay for the goods they like.

American users of Instagram can now make purchases right inside the mobile application. The service has implemented the function of integrated payment for goods, the company's website reports. “We present the function of placing an order on Instagram. When you find a product that you like, you can buy it without leaving the app,” says the developer.

Many leading brands have their own Instagram accounts. The function of “shopping tags”, with the help of which companies can show price of goods on their photos, appeared in 2016. However, in order to make a purchase, the client had to go to the website of the account owner and place an order with indication of billing information there. According to company statistics, 130 million people a month click on “shopping tags”.

Now all the information - name, email, payment information and shipping address - can be specified directly in the app, and Instagram will save the data for future purchases. The buyers will also be able to track the goods through the service: they will receive notification of sending and delivery directly to Instagram. The Verge writes that Facebook, which owns Instagram, will not check users' billing information.

Innovation will speed up the checkout process and potentially increase the number of purchases: a link to another site was an additional action that stopped a potential client. In exchange, Instagram will receive sales commissions from sellers.

So far, making purchases through the service is possible only in the United States. The function is being tested by about 20 brands, including Nike, Adidas, Dior, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Prada, Uniqlo, Warby Parker and Zara. Instagram has not specified when the function is extended to other markets and brands.

Embedded purchases are another step for Instagram to become a full-fledged shopping platform that in the future will compete with online shopping giants such as eBay and Farfetch. Last year, The Verge wrote that Instagram is developing a separate shopping app. The company did not disclose whether the new function will affect these plans.