TECHNOLOGY

Instagram shortens path to social shopping

BY Dan Berthiaume

Instagram has eliminated a step in buying products on its app for select brands.

The social platform is introducing checkout on Instagram. When customers tap to view a product from a select brand’s shopping post, they will see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. Shoppers can tap the button to select various options such as size or color. Once finished, customers can proceed to payment without leaving Instagram.

After entering their name, email, billing information and shipping address for their first order, customers will have their information securely stored for future in-app purchases. Notifications about shipment and delivery will be sent inside Instagram, as well.

Checkout on Instagram is currently in closed beta for businesses and offered to all U.S. users. The 23 brands participating in the closed beta test include Adidas, Burberry, Dior, H&M, Michael Kors, Prada, Uniqlo, Warby Parker, and Zara. Instagram plans to add more companies to the beta in the near future.

Instagram has been expanding its capabilities as an e-commerce platform since the fall. In September 2018, Instagram launched two new social shopping updates. Users can shop on Instagram Stories, a feature that reveals images and video content in a slideshow format. As brands post items in their Stories feed, users can tap on the product to learn more.

Separately, Instagram launched Shopping in Explore, an option that enables users to shop based on their specific interests. The functionality curates shopping posts from the brands users follow, as well as brands that fit into their browsing history.

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