All About Instagram Shopping and the New Checkout Feature


In 2018, Instagram introduced Instagram Shopping, which allows online brands and merchants to apply product tags within their posts. Here’s the scoop.

Why consumers love Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shopping means users can browse the prices and features of an item they spy, all within the Instagram app while the original post remains open. 

With shoppable posts, customers now have even greater opportunity to connect with the brands they love. It allows them to see relevant information — like product descriptions and pricing — with a single click and without ever having to leave the Instagram app unless they decide on the spot to buy it using the included Buy Now button.

So, if a customer is only browsing, they don’t have to get redirected to the merchant’s website until they are absolutely sure that they would like to make the purchase.

Why merchants are loving it

On the Product page within Instagram, the merchant has plenty of room to type up a description, allowing for a more user-friendly shopping experience. 

Shoppable posts automatically provide links to the corresponding product pages on your website. That way, customers can quickly create a cart, browse your other offerings, and make a purchase. Unlike similar programs in Facebook and Pinterest, you are not required to go through their proprietary transaction system or pay a fee.

In March 2018, Instagram rolled out the first Beta version with 20 large e-commerce brands such as Kate Spade and Native Union. At the end of the 3-month rollout, these brands all reported  that Instagram Shopping significantly enhanced product discovery on the platform.

Today, Shopping on Instagram is available for online stores based in 44 developed countries throughout the world.

Early adopters of the technology are reporting increased traffic and sales from Instagram as a result of the tagging capability.

Instagram takes it a step further with Checkout

Checkout with Instagrambetalaunched in the U.S. in early 2019 with another 20 top brands, including Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics and Warby Parker. These sellers are no longer having to redirect customers to their websites to make a purchase when they see an item that Kylie Jenner is wearing and they want it right now.

Their first time through they’ll enter their payment information, which is stored for future purchases. With their protected payment information in one place, they can shop their favorite brands without needing to log in and enter their information multiple times. 

Instagram is also testing a selling fee for this checkout convenience. Much like Google Shopping Actions,  removing a major purchasing friction is expected to boost sales by reducing cart abandonment, thus justifying a fee that can be absorbed through higher revenues.  The company indicated during the closed beta period that the fee will be charged on the merchant’s side, rather than the consumer’s.  

Currently still in Beta, we can probably expect the full launch of Checkout in the coming months.

What you need to know to get started with Instagram Shopping

Facebook, which owns and controls Instagram,  is restricting Shopping on Instagram to merchants who sell physical goods in select product categories that fit their Privacy Policy.

The fastest way to get ready to sell on Instagram is to get your store approved by Facebook Shop. To use the feature, brands need only to push their inventory to Facebook. You can make this visible or not to your Facebook audience.

After doing so, the Shopping on Instagram toggle should appear in less than 2 weeks.

Once approved, you will see a message within your Instagram app guiding you to connect your Facebook Product Catalog to tag products on your Instagram posts.

Instagram By The Numbers

  • 800M monthly active Instagram users
  • 500M daily active users
  • 5X growth rate compared to overall social network usage in the U.S. (Source: Inc.)
  • 25 — Percent more likely it is that Instagram users are in the top income quartile than average Internet users. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)
  • 5M —Active Instagram business profiles (Source: Facebook)
  • 60%  of users say they discover new products on Instagram (Source:  Instagram)
  • 70% of users follow a business on Instagram (Source: Instagram)
  • 75  of users take an action after seeing a business post (i.e. visit a website, search, shop or tell a friend) (Source: Instagram)
  • 500,000 Instagram advertisers (Source: Facebook)
  • 150M— Number of daily active Instagram Stories users just 5 months after launch (Source: Instagram)

Instagram Shopping clearly has huge upside potential for e-commerce sellers. We can also tell you about other seller opportunities that will turbocharge online sales. Shopping Feed syndicates product listings on the all of the world’s most powerful marketplaces, syncs and refines inventory data, and automates order fulfillment.  Contact us for more info: contact@shopping-feed.com  (920) 333 3488