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Instagram launched the ability to buy products without ever leaving the app. 
What we know about Instagram’s product update “Checkout”:

  • Shoppable tags will now connect users to a “Checkout on Instagram” page, which prompts consumers to choose size, color, and quantity, and even pay, without leaving Instagram
  • Users can enter their personal and payment information, with the option to save it to make future shopping more convenient
  • Checkout can be used with shoppable product stickers in Stories or with product tags in Feed and Explore
  • Shoppable product tags are not currently available via Instagram Ads
  • This feature is currently available in the U.S. and is in beta testing with several brands, but is expected to slowly roll out to more brands in the coming weeks

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Instagram has introduced a number of features on the platform to make shopping easier for consumers. From product stickers and swipe ups in Stories, product tags in Feed and even a shopping destination in Explore, it’s clear that the platform is continuing to invest in e-commerce. According to the platform, 130 million users tap to view product tags in shopping posts each month.1

The most recent update to Instagram shopping makes it easy for users to discover a product, learn more about it, and buy it, without ever leaving the platform. Reducing obstacles in the consumer journey is the best way to drive conversion, so Instagram Checkout has the power to revolutionize shopping as we know it, making room for always-on social commerce.
If you’re worried about privacy, Instagram only shares data with the retailer that is pertinent to delivering the items to the consumer – their name and address. The consumer can choose to include their email address and/or loyalty program information which would, of course, allow the brand to retarget them down the line.2
While Instagram has yet to confirm whether or not content with Shoppable tags will see a lift in the algorithm, they have confirmed (via Techcrunch3) interacting with Checkout will determine ranking for the content you see in Feed.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR BRANDS

Shoppable tags, and the addition of “Instagram Checkout,” have the ability to transform your organic content strategy in Feed and Stories to an e-commerce hub. Brands that utilize this feature will be able to encourage more specific user behavior that correlates with their KPIs.
With the inevitable rollout of Instagram Checkout in ads, it could equally revolutionize advertising and ROI measurement on the platform. Instagram shopping opens up several opportunities for brands to expand their e-commerce footprint, reach a larger audience, and find new consumers.
Sources:
1. https://www.google.com/url?q=https://business.instagram.com/blog/new-to-instagram-shopping-checkout
2. https://adage.com/article/digital/x/317025/
3. https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/19/instagram-checkout/