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Discovery shopping on Instagram - now you can buy directly from the app

Instagram checkout
Instagram users can now buy some items directly from the app from over 20 brands.

IMPULSE BUYERS REJOICE! Instagram has now enabled users to make some purchases directly from the app. Unlike Amazon, where shoppers go when they already know what they want, Instagram's new checkout feature allows customers to "discover" things they didn't even know they wanted and buy it on the spot - without being redirected to a retailer site.

After years of avoiding implementing purchasing capabilities into the app, they are finally giving it a go. While it may not sit well with some users, Instagram hopes to prevent hurt feelings by not allowing shopping products to be placed in Instagram ads. This way, users will only find shopping capabilities if they are already following a brand or retailer. At least this is the plan for the initial roll out. We're betting it's only a matter of time before ads will carry the shopping function, too.

“Checkout is just one part of our long-term investment in shopping,” the company stated in a blog post. “We’re excited to introduce even more ways for people to enjoy shopping on Instagram this year.”

Impulse buying

Eliminating the need for users to leave Instagram to complete a purchase is key to capturing impulse buyers. The more steps someone has to take to complete a purchase, the more likely they are to change their mind or give up. Allowing shoppers to checkout through the app enables buyers to act on their impulses immediately.

While this new purchasing capability will definitely capitalize on impulse buys, some brands may not be a big fan. Usually customers are redirected to the retailer's website when clicking on a product and exposed to a wider variety of offerings, increasing the the odds for a bigger sale. With this new feature, users can only purchase one item at a time, eliminating the chance that they'll purchase multiple items.

The initial roll out will be available in the U.S. for more than twenty brands including Nike, Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, H&M and Warby Parker, with more brands being added in the coming months. Instagram will receive a selling fee for each purchase made through the app and payments will be processed through PayPal. Items that are eligible for direct purchase will have a blue "Checkout on Instagram" button below.

Have you used Instagram's new direct purchasing feature? Do you think it will fare better or worse for retailers? Let us know what you think! Email us: or give us a call: (303) 536-5505.



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