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article imageInstagram adds in-app checkout as it pushes e-commerce

By Tim Sandle     Mar 19, 2019 in Business
Instagram has moved closely towards being a fully-fledged e-commerce site with the addition of a new checkout app, available for mobile devices. The service is starting with 20 fashion brands.
Instagram may be best known as a photograph and video-sharing social networking service, now owned by Facebook, Inc., but the social media site is rapidly transforming into an e-commerce player.
Currently, Instagram's shopping feature allows users to tap on a product they like in 'Stories' or 'Feed' and click a tag that takes them to the company's product list. Users can also build a shopping list inside the platform. These features have been added to by the new checkout functionality.
Instagram's new checkout feature allows users to store their payment information so that purchases can be made rapidly. The cost of the new service is with retailers rather than the user. For the start, the service is open to fashion brands and over twenty brands have signed up. These include names like Nike, Adidas, Dior, H&M; plus, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Uniqlo, Warby Parker and Zara.
An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch about the cost to advertisers: “We will introduce a selling fee to help fund programs and products that help make checkout possible, as well as offset transaction-related expenses.” It is unknown what the 'small fee' amounts to.
In recent years, Instagram has been adept at drawing on its, and probably Facebook's, vast archive of user data to target ads. Being photo rich, Instagram can develop advertising-friendly aesthetics to appeal to those going about their regular swiping activities.
Reviewed by Engadget, with the new app Instagram is betting on the fact that by allowing people to complete their purchases inside the app, this will inspire them to shop more and hence drive up advertising revenue as well as encouraging people to use the service more often.
There is probably more to come in relation to e-commerce for Instagram. The Verge reported in 2018 that the company is building a standalone shopping app.
More about instagram, Ecommerce, Shopping, App
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