Instagram Now Offers Ecommerce

Shrinking the path-to-purchase, Instagram has officially morphed into an ecommerce platform.

Now -- along with discovering and being pitched new products -- users can complete purchases within Facebook’s popular platform. The addition is a response to consumer demand, according to Facebook.

“They want to be able to buy directly in the app,” a company spokesman said.

Launch partners include top brands in the fashion and beauty business, including Burberry, Balmain, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Dior, H&M, Nike, Adidas, Prada, Uniqlo, Warby Parker, and Zara.

While completing purchases is new, plenty of Instagram users already use the platform to shop.

On a monthly basis, more than 130 million users tap to reveal product tags in shopping posts, according to internal figures. That’s up substantially from the 90 million taps that Instagram recorded last September.

Company watchers applauded the new feature, on Tuesday.

“Previously, shoppers would find a product they liked on Instagram, track it down on the brand’s website, go through the checkout process, and then fumble with entering credit-card info and filling out other tiny fields on the go,” said Laura Musa, Director of Channel Solutions, digital-marking firm Adlucent. “Or, they would save it for later and likely never go back to complete the checkout process.”

Now,“the Instagram Checkout feature allows Facebook and Instagram to close a full shopping experience cycle within its walls, from product discovery to purchase,” said Oz Etzioni, CEO, creative video startup Clinch. “Instagram is changing the traditional funnel as we know it.”

How does the new feature work?

When users tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, they should now see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. They can then tap the button to select from various options, such as size or color, and then proceed to payment.

Of course, the system will require users enter their name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time they check out.

Shoppers can also expect to receive notifications about shipment and delivery directly within Instagram’s platform.
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