You can now buy new clothes directly from Instagram
Online shopping is all about ease. Both for brands, which can speak directly to customers without the cost of a storefront, and shoppers, who can shop without the hassle of physically doing anything. Easy! And Instagram wants to make that experience even easier: Now, you can shop brands directly on Insta—without leaving the app.
If you're an avid Instagram user, you may have seen shopping features pop up on the app recently. It was a big step, but it would bring you to the retailer's website rather than holding you in the app. This meant the extra effort of switching apps, uploading your billing info, and clicking back to Instagram to keep scrolling once the transaction was through. The most recent shopping feature lets you click on a product in brand's posted image and shop it right there. According to Business of Fashion, Instagram will charge an undisclosed selling fee to brands.
Here's how it works: If you're on a shoppable post from a partnered brand, you'll see a shopping bag in the upper righthand corner of the feed photo. When you tap to view the tagged products, clicking on a product will bring up its description and an option to checkout. You'll include your billing information for the first purchase, and it'll be saved in-app for future use.
In other words: Instagram is now a store, in its own way. And it's already tailored to your likes and dislikes, because you've been curating your feed for who knows how long to make it your own. That means that, while this may seem like a small advancement, it's actually a huge leap forward in personalized shopping.
There are around 20 brands testing the feature today, according to Instagram's director of fashion partnerships, Eva Chen. The companies participating in the beta rollout of "Checkout"—launching today—include major fashion houses Dior, Prada, and Burberry; sportswear purveyors like Nike and Outdoor Voices; and even brands like Warby Parker and Uniqlo. It's a pretty major list.
While it's too early to say exactly what kind of impact this will have on the evolving e-commerce experience, we'll bet it impacts how user-friendly—and inescapable—other e-comm sites and social media apps try to make shopping become. For now, let the black hole of Instagram scrolling persist.