This may or may not come as a surprise but Instagram has slyly added a native payments feature for some of it’s 800 million users.
This new feature allows you to register your credit or debit card details as part of your profile settings. Once you’ve set up a security pin you’ll be able to shop directly through the app without ever having to leave. Dangerous, I hear you say!
One slight catch... this new feature isn’t fully functional just yet.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram is keeping their cards very close to their chest, stating that the native payments feature is currently being used for the purpose of booking appointments at beauty salons and restaurants. Instagram announced back in March 2017 that “we’ll roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile later this year,” but the new payments feature was never mentioned. Instagram also says that we can soon look forward to direct payments for things like cinema tickets.
The payment setting has now been rolled out across the US and is also available to some of it’s UK users (I can confirm, I am one of the chosen ones). This feature can be found by going to into your Instagram settings.
What does this mean for e-commerce?
With a multitude of brands already using Instagram for organic and advertising purposes, it could prove very popular in the e-commerce world giving brands an even greater reason to advertise through the app. It could mean higher conversion rates, higher click-through rates and lower abandon cart rates.
Facebook began to experiment with native commerce back in 2013 and started to roll out peer-to-peer payments through Messenger. Direct payments for shopping is still in beta within the chat app. It’s unclear if peer-to-peer payments might come to Instagram, but adding credit or debit card details to a users profile is a huge stepping stone.
It’s likely that the payments option will work alongside Instagram’s recently introduced “Shoppable Tags”. This new feature has seen Instagram join forces with e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, to allow clickable products links. Since its introduction, a number of brands have successfully used the feature to drive more sales.
Instagram Payments could make impulse buying even greater, enticing more bands to utilise the platform. Even if Instagram takes no cut of the revenue, brands are likely to boost their ad spend to get their shoppable posts seen by more people.
We’re hoping for more details soon but, nevertheless, this new payments feature means that Instagram is ever becoming a major player in the e-commerce world.
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