Alegria Adedeji
Alegria Adedeji
Posted 21 March 2019

How Instagram’s ‘checkout’ impacts retail marketers

Picture-sharing social giant Instagram, has taken itself a step further towards being a viable commerce platform by now adding in-app checkout to the customer journey.

Starting with a few select brands such as Adidas, Burberry and Colorpop Cosmetics, and integrating with ecommerce technology like Shopify and BigCommerce, those browsing in the app will be able to make a purchase from a picture, checking out without being redirected the site of the seller.

This is a massive feat for the seamless customer journey and, with the route to purchase shortened, a high conversion for brands is sure to follow.



The checkout functionality will not be available on ads, with the current focus on organic posts. The checkout will also feature on feeds and stories, enabling brands to engage with consumers at multiple touchpoints within the app.

What this all means for retail marketers

So, what does this mean for retail marketers? We spoke to members of the Ometria team to find our their views on the latest from the social media app.

What this means for customer shopping behaviour

As shoppers scroll through the app, they’re more likely to be making purchases on a whim, rather than more planned purchases for luxury or household items; for this reason this move only stands to complement a retailer’s existing marketing activities. This being said, customer behaviour may change as they become used to this functionality, so now more than ever marketers will have to work to drum up interest in their brand and highlighting their value – Customer Success Manager, Ali

What this means for giving customer exactly what want

Instagram shopping solves today’s challenge of product discovery. The problem to purchase something specific that you need is already solved today with the likes of Amazon, however, the problem of product discovery will be led by social interaction based on lifestyle choices. Instagram combines both worlds and removes any unnecessary barriers from making a purchase in the moment – Chief Product Officer, Djalal




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What it means for customer data and the single customer view

As retailers strive to amass more and more data on their customers – their interests, behaviours, preferences and more – to create super personalised experiences for them, how does selling via third party platforms like Instagram stand to impact the single customer view?

When you sell through Amazon, it’s clear these customers are Amazon’s, not yours, as the retail giant strictly withholds any data involved in the transaction. Thankfully, it seems that Instagram is less draconian – offering retailers a solid opportunity to increase sales amongst casual browsers without hitting a blind spot when it comes to identifying who those shoppers are (it’s rumoured retailers will get all details necessary to fulfil the order, presumably including their email address, items purchased and opt-in status).

I’m excited about the impact this could have on retailers’ retention marketing strategies – I imagine encouraging existing subscribers to engage on Instagram will become a priority (especially since the checkout function only applies to organic posts), and I think we’ll see a lot more cross-promotion of Instagram feeds in email marketing and other channels.

When (and if) this is rolled out to sponsored posts is where it gets really exciting, as retailers will be able to use custom audiences to target individual shoppers and customer segments with highly personalised ads – and all without the usual friction of getting someone from Instagram to your site and through your own checkout. Magical. – Head of Demand Generation, Hannah

What this means for social strategies

This move shows Instagram’s dedication to their ecommerce strategy and provides greater opportunity for any brand not already selling on Instagram. Creating social marketing experiences with directly attributed ROI is something every marketing director will want to explore. Of course we’d expect Instagram to control this in their favour, it’ll be interesting to see how it’ll work in terms of customer data, purchasing fees and advertising spend. – Product Manager, Marcus

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