What In-App Check Out in Instagram Means for Your Paid Media Campaigns

instagram in-app purchase

For a little while now, Facebook has been pushing its Marketplace section as a sort of Craigslist killer. There are quite a lot of listing and a decent amount of traffic inside Facebook’s Marketplace system. But it hasn’t caught on the way Facebook hoped. While the Facebook Marketplace is not going anywhere, as of now. Facebook is doubling down and creating in-app purchases for ecommerce products inside Instagram, a social platform owned by Facebook.

So what does it do exactly?

You start by adding your payment and shipping information into the app before your first purchase. As you scroll through the Instagram feed, you’ll have the option to purchase directly in the app, without having to navigate to the retailers’ website. You’ll see a large “check out on Instagram button,” and away you go!

This is a big step past Instagram’s standard “shoppable posts,” in which you tag products featured in the images with the link leading you to the product page on the retailers’ website.

Right now only a few big brands by the likes of Nike, Adidas, Dior, H&M, Warby Parker, Zara, and a handful more are participating in the initial rollout. This is big news for online retailers trying to reduce payment friction to make it easier for social media shoppers to buy without thinking twice (check out our previous blog on payment friction for ecommerce).

What does this mean for Instagram?

It’s clear that Instagram has had enough of clunky checkout processes and complaints from retailers about shoppers dropping off when leaving the app the purchase. This move also signals that Instagram wants to be more than just a social network. It wants to be the next online mall. Instagram wants to encourage brand involvement on the platform because it can lead to direct sales – making its advertising platform more enticing for potential advertisers in the ecommerce space. To put it simply, it’s a big change, a new opportunity, but not a huge surprise. So there you have it,  Instagram is a branding and shopping paradise – now what’s next for advertisers?

What does this mean for advertisers?

Because this new functionality is in beta there’s no need to panic to get you items onto Instagram just yet. But it is for sure time to get ready.

Talk to who is managing your organic social media accounts about the changes and start developing a content plan around selling in-app.

The new functionality will likely use product feeds sent through your website to an Instagram product hub – similar to the way it’s currently set up on Facebook. So it’s just another reason to look at the products on your website:

  • Are your products organized correctly within collections or product groupings?
  • Do the product pages have enough information for a shopper to make a purchase?
  • Do you have high-quality product images?
  • Are all the products tagged properly within your system?
  • Are your shipping options competitive enough to spur in-app purchases?
  • Is your product feed clean and organized?

If you feel comfortable with all these questions – you should be in a great spot when the beta becomes open to the public.

The final step is to have a discussion with your paid social media team to find out the best way to drive ROI with this new update.

As updates come from Instagram – we’ll continue to update you through the Granular Blog.

About the Author

Matt Freter

Matt comes to Granular with a wide range of skills. He has experience in both client-side and agency-side roles – offering Granular clients a unique perspective. From leading a team of creatives to designing eCommerce sales strategies, Matt is a Swiss Army Knife of digital marketing. Matt earned his degree in advertising and philosophy from Marquette University.