Instagram’s long-awaited checkout feature is finally here. Now the platform offers a complete in-app shopping experience. It’s part of a closed-beta with 23 brands in the US.
Starting today, people in the US can now purchase items directly on Instagram from 23 brands, including Zara, H&M, Uniqlo but also Nike, Adidas, Outdoor Voices and Warby Parker. For these lucky brands which are part of Instagram’s initial invite-only closed beta test, it means that the entire purchase experience now happens within the app. Previously, product tags directed users to an external website in order to complete the purchase.
When you see a shoppable post from one of the brands taking part in this initial rollout, you will be able to tap on a product tag and then on “Checkout with Instagram” where you will be able to select a color and size or other product characteristics. You will have to enter an email address, delivery information and ether add your credit card details or link your PayPal account. Your payment details and delivery information will be stored within the app for future orders. To secure your account, Instagram will offer to add a PIN code for purchases.
Of course, Instagram is not doing this for free. But it is the brand which will pay an (undisclosed) selling fee to cover the service. This means that no extra cost will occur for the user. And as part of its purchase protection policy, Instagram will refund you the full purchase price plus shipping costs should there be an issue with your order and the merchant refused to refund you.
An Instagram spokesperson explained that, for now, users can only purchase one item at a time and the experience is currently limited to mobile. The beta test will run through the end of the year but could eventually be expanded to more retailers until then.
With “Check out with Instagram” the company intends to continue developing its revenue stream, which is already forecasted to drive the majority of Facebook’s ad revenue growth by 2020.
The full list of brands included in the closed-beta includes: Adidas, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Balmain, Burberry, ColourPop, Dior, Huda Beauty, H&M, KKW Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, NARS, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Outdoor Voices, Ouai Hair, Prada, Revolve, Uniqlo, Warby Parker, and Zara.