← Back to Blog
Ecommerce, Instagram

Instagram Checkout: Everything You Need to Know

Instagram Checkout was first released in 2019 to just a handful of mega-brands in the US and after a year of beta testing, we could soon start to see it in our feeds worldwide!

The Checkout feature allows users to make a purchase without ever leaving the Instagram app — creating a streamlined, 2-tap process to converting Instagram followers into loyal customers.

To help you prepare, we’re taking a deeper dive into the benefits of Instagram Checkout. Plus, we share 5 top industry tips to drive maximum sales with this new feature!

What is Instagram Checkout?

Instagram Checkout lets users buy products from brands *directly* on Instagram — without leaving the Instagram app!

With Instagram Checkout, customers can tap to view a product from a shoppable post and then continue to the payment process, all within Instagram! All they have to do is enter their name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time they check out.

Checkout first launched in March 2019 with just 26 brands (including Zara, Revolve, Warby Parker, and Nike) making up the original beta test group. 

Fast-forward 12 months and hundreds of brands across the US are now trialing the new checkout feature — with huge names like SoulCycle, Steve Madden, and Hollister in the mix.

But Instagram Checkout isn’t open to all brands and it’s currently only available to shoppers based in the US. However, given Instagram’s recent progress in the e-commerce space, it’s likely we’ll see this feature continue to roll out across the US (and beyond!) in the not so distant future.

Speaking to Glossy, Dan Gardner, CEO of digital creative agency Code and Theory, explains that  as more businesses gain access to the feature, the more successful it will become. 

“If the [in-app Checkout] feature rolls out to everybody, it will have some level of success. Consumers will get more used to it and [brands will] see a bigger lift happen. Brands won’t necessarily replace [their] own e-commerce channels with Instagram Checkout, but it will be another meaningful way to convert,” said Gardner.

Mike Karanikolas, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of early adopter Revolve, shared how Instagram Checkout has been a success for the brand so far, but isn’t currently a big part of the company’s business. 

We’re excited about the long-term opportunity of it,” he said during the brand’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February.

Instagram has also already made it possible for a select number of influencers and content creators to drive sales through checkout on behalf of brands — creating a complete e-commerce marketplace.

With Instagram’s Shopping for Creators feature, influencers and content creators can now add product tags from their brand partners to their Instagram posts and stories that users can tap on and pay for directly within the Instagram app.  

There currently is no affiliate model in place for influencers driving sales on behalf of brands through Instagram Checkout — but savvy influencers and creators are likely to be charging more for this extra level of product endorsement.

With over 200 million users visiting at least one business profile every day, and 83% of users discovering new products and services on the platform, it’s no surprise that Instagram is making moves to connect the dots between brands and shoppers.

And while Instagram is still in the process of rolling out some of these features, the future looks promising for brands, businesses, and influencers looking to make sales with Instagram Checkout!

What Are the Benefits of Instagram Checkout for Business

There’s no doubt that Instagram Checkout comes with a ton of benefits for businesses and brands on Instagram, and even more so if you’re an early adopter of the feature!  

The ability to drive your audience from browsing to purchasing in just a few quick taps can have a huge impact on your conversion rate as it creates a seamless experience for your customers.

Plus, early adopters of Instagram Checkout can benefit from all of the extra exposure opportunities within the Instagram app. 

For example, when users click on the “Shop” tab from the Instagram Explore page, there are various curated edits that showcase products from Checkout-enabled brands.

Instagram’s new @shop account (with over 200K followers) also features brands that are embracing Instagram Shopping tools — creating a huge opportunity to reach potential new customers.

However, despite such obvious advantages, Instagram Checkout might not be for everyone. 

For some, Instagram’s transaction fees may be a cause for concern. According to their Business Help Center, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. 

And Instagram Checkout can also mean brands lose out on valuable customer data (such as emails) as all communications are handled by Instagram rather than the brand directly. 

Luckily, there are additional ways to drive traffic and make sales on Instagram!  

For example, the link in your bio is super easy to find and readily clickable, making it one of the most valuable traffic-drivers on your Instagram profile. 

And the good news is, with Linkin.bio by Later, you can turn your whole Instagram feed into a clickable landing page that updates with every new post you share.

drive traffic from instagram

This means you can share multiple links to your products for every Instagram post you publish. 

And if you’re on a Later for Business plan, you can even connect your Shopify account to Linkin.bio! With just a click, you can tag Shopify products in your Linkin.bio posts, making it super easy for your followers to shop your feed.  

With a fully optimized link on your bio driving traffic to your website and the easily shoppable Instagram Checkout feature (when it rolls out internationally), you have all grounds covered for making sales on the app!

Ready to start driving more traffic and sales from your link in bio? Start using Linkin.bio by Later today — it’s free!

 

5 Tips to Drive More Sales with Instagram Checkout

Instagram Checkout is almost guaranteed to help drive more sales for your business, but there are several ways to make this new tool work even harder for your brand. 

Here are our top 5 tips for driving sales with Instagram Checkout:

#1: Be Consistent with Product Tags

As with most strategies on Instagram, consistency is key!

Take note of how Rebecca Minkoff adds product tags to almost every post on their Instagram feed:

By consistently adding tags to every Instagram post, your audience will soon connect that they can find product details and shop just by tapping on your posts.

Another great tip is to always include a quick call-to-action in your captions. This will help train your followers to “tap to shop” your posts, and can even be as simple as adding “#taptoshop” like Hatch Collection:

Followers will soon start to see you as a reliable source of shoppable inspiration — and will be ready to shop your posts every time you hit publish!

#2: Share an Exclusive Product Drop on Instagram

A great way to drive more sales with Instagram Checkout is by sharing an exclusive product launch on Instagram. 

SoulCycle has started sharing limited edition product drops that are only available through Instagram, creating a unique offering, especially for their audience. 

Whether a completely exclusive line or just a 24-hour preview, this can be an effective way to create hype around a new product. Plus, it also rewards your community on Instagram — which can be great for building brand trust and loyalty!

#3: Provide Multiple Routes to Shop 

Instagram’s shopping tools are a great way to streamline the route to purchase for your audience, but it’s still a good idea to create as many opportunities as possible to drive conversions for your brand. 

Check out how The Gut Stuff tags products directly in their posts, drives people to the link in their bio, and even adds a call-to-action to drive people to their website:

While fashion giant H&M uses product tags and includes searchable product codes in every caption for their audience to shop:

 

Keep in mind that Instagram Shopping tools are still relatively new to most users, so covering all the bases is a great way to capture as many sales as possible. 

#4: Partner with Influencers Who Have Access to Shopping from Creators 

In 2019, Instagram launched Shopping from Creators, which allows influencers, artists, and celebrities to add shopping tags to their posts.

For example, influencer Raissa Gerona uses Shopping from Creators to tag Revolve products in her posts:

Her followers can click on the shopping tag and purchase the product, without ever leaving the Instagram app. 

Although this feature is currently limited to a select number of creators, this is a huge advantage for brands looking to drive more sales through influencer marketing on the platform. 

And just like Instagram Checkout, we predict that Shopping from Creators will gain real traction in 2020.

#5: Don’t Forget About Shoppable Instagram Stories Stickers

Our final tip is to regularly add shoppable product stickers to your Instagram Stories. 

Much like tagging a product to an Instagram feed post, product stickers create a direct route for viewers to browse and buy your products from your stories. 

However, Instagram Stories product stickers are often overlooked — which is a missed opportunity for driving sales! 

Optimizing your Instagram profile for shopping is key if you want to start making sales and converting your loyal followers into customers.

And while Instagram Checkout is slowing being rolled out, now’s the time to get ahead of the curve and level-up your Instagram strategy so your business is ready to make quick changes and more sales!

Want to get organized on Instagram? Don’t forget you can plan, schedule and auto-publish to Instagram with Later — for free! 

 

Written By

Jillian Warren

Jillian is a content marketer at Later based in the UK. She is an aficionado of London brunch spots and an avid listener of true crime podcasts. You can connect with her on Instagram @jillwrren.

Schedule Instagram Posts Easily schedule photos, videos & carousel posts with a few clicks Create Free Account
Instagram Analytics Get the insights you know and love from the Instagram app, plus additional analytics for calculating engagement rates, best times to post, and more. Learn More
Linkin.bio Add Your Link in Bio & Drive Traffic from Instagram Create Free Account
User-Generated Content Find photos and videos that’ll resonate with your fans right from your desktop, then share to your social channels in just a few clicks. Learn More
Schedule Instagram Stories Save time and get more views on stories by planning, optimizing, and scheduling Instagram stories right from your desktop! Start Scheduling Stories
Instagram Hashtag Tools Extend your reach, get more engagement on your posts, and save a ton of time while managing your profile. Get Started For Free