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Checkout on Instagram: How Does It Work and Is It Right for Your Business?

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen a beautifully decorated living room or a perfectly styled outfit from one of your favorite brands and thought to yourself - 'I would love to copy that look?' Well, Instagram recently launched a closed beta program to make purchasing from your favorite brands easier than ever. 

In this new program rolled out to 50 different brands, shoppers can now buy their products without ever leaving Instagram. Watch the video or keep reading to see how it works and what it means for your business. 

HubSpot Video

Here’s how Checkout on Instagram works:

  • 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.
  • Once someone fills out their contact, shipping and payment information, the user can place her order directly in the Instagram app.
  • After placing an order, a user can also use the Instagram app to view her order status, estimated delivery date and tracking number, as well as cancel orders, initiate a return, or request additional support.

Is Checkout on Instagram right for your business?

You know your business better than anyone else. There are pros and cons to Instagram's newest program, and it's ultimately up to you to decide whether it's going to make sense for you once it becomes available to all merchants. Here's the good and the bad. 

The good

Convenience is king. Anytime you’re making it easier for a shopper to buy your products, that’s a win for everyone. More exposure and fewer clicks equal more sales.

The bad

As Amazon sellers (or anyone who sells on other marketplaces) know, anytime you are selling on someone else’s platform you are beholden to what they allow. If/when they decide to make changes to policies, there's nothing you can do about it. You relinquish control over the overall shopper experience, which reflects on your brand.

In conclusion

Just like Amazon, or any other channel, Instagram can be a great way to supplement your onsite sales. But as always, the best thing to do is to invest in your own website where you can also grow your email list, put displays in place to reduce abandonment, and drive people who have abandoned back to your store with automated cart recovery emails.

And lastly, you can fully own the end to end experience – ensuring your customers have a positive and lasting impression of your brand that will keep them returning again and again, and referring their friends and family.

Do you think enabling Instagram checkout would be good for your business? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Josh Mendelsohn

Josh brings his marketing chops and lifelong passion for jam bands, craft beer, and SMBs to the team at Privy. Having spent time working at SMB and ecommerce leaders like Constant Contact and Salsify, he has a deep understanding of how to help small and medium sized ecommerce businesses be all that they can be. In addition to leading Privy's marketing team, Josh spends too much of his time managing his pug Marvin's instagram account.

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