The Closed Beta for Checkout on Instagram is Here for Select U.S. BigCommerce Merchants
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For the next several months, Instagram opened the checkout experience to a number of handpicked brands, allowing those retailers to test the checkout process and provide feedback before a wider release.
Now, thanks to our integration with checkout on Instagram, this closed beta is now available for select U.S. BigCommerce merchants.
What is Checkout on Instagram?
Checkout on Instagram is the next step in enhancing the shopping on Instagram experience. This is just the latest in a long string of new features that enhance engagement between customers and brands.
Since 2017, Instagram has continued to release new features so the platform can bring brands closer to their customers — for instance, allowing brands to tag their products on their organic posts.
In 2018, Instagram launched their enhanced shopping solutions which includes features such as adding product stickers on Instagram Stories, a Shopping Channel in Explore, and a redesign of the dedicated shop tab on business profiles.
In 2019, Instagram announced checkout on Instagram — yet another shopping feature that allows Instagrammers to checkout directly within the app.
Photo courtesy of Instagram
Why Checkout on Instagram? Why Now?
Discovery has been part of the Instagram experience from the very beginning.
Instagrammers, as a result, are a cohort of people who want to explore and find new things from brands they love. In fact, 80% of users follow a business on Instagram.
Since shopping features first launched on Instagram in 2017, the app has quickly become a shopping destination unlike anywhere else. That’s because Instagram allows shoppers to visually explore all of their favorite products and discover new ones that inspire them.
Today, Instagram reports that they now have “130 million Instagrammers tapping to reveal product tags in shopping posts each month.” That creates a huge opportunity to connect with customers at the moment of inspiration.
Now, with the introduction of checkout on Instagram, you can do more than just meet them there. You can provide a seamless, simple, and convenient path to purchase.
And Instagram has ensured the platform’s security as well. Customers’ payment credentials will be securely saved in the app, making future transactions even more convenient.
How Checkout on Instagram Works
For customers, the process will be simple and seamless:
- After discovering a checkout-enabled product in posts or stories, a user will see the option to “checkout on Instagram” when they tap to view more details.
- After filling out contact, shipping and payment information, the user can place their order directly within the app.
- After placing an order, a user can also use the Instagram app to view their order status, estimated delivery date and tracking number, as well as cancel orders, initiate a return, or request additional support.
If you’re a retailer considering checkout on Instagram, there are a few more important details you should understand:
1. All new product tags will use checkout.
You’ll no longer be able to tag your products with links to an external website. At least, not for your U.S. customers — instead, they’ll be able to move through the checkout process directly on Instagram. International customers, however, will continue to be able to follow a link to the product on your external website.
2. Checkout only supports products with prices in USD.
If you tag products in other currencies, they will link to your external website.
3. You will be subject to Instagram’s commerce policies and merchant terms.
Some of these policies relate to customer service time-to-response, as well as inventory, shipping, and return/refund requirements. You can find more information on Facebook’s Commerce Policies page.
How You Can Get Checkout on Instagram
While checkout on Instagram is still in closed beta, BigCommerce’s integration will make it possible for our merchants to join this program — assuming that it passes the criteria that the team is looking for.
If you’re interested in applying to join the checkout on Instagram beta, visit BigCommerce’s website to complete a signup form. If Facebook approves your participation in the program, you’ll be ready to get started with checkout on Instagram!
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