Instagram to Become Next Major Marketplace with Launch of In-App Payments
- Written by Mike Glover
Instagram have made yet more inroads into being a major commerce force. With users now able to make purchases directly inside the app. The feature has been quietly rolled out to a select few users (for now) in the US and UK. Giving them the opportunity to store payment details and make purchases right there in the app. It seems only a small number of restaurants and salons are currently able to take in-app payments for bookings made through Instagram. But a brand new Instagram marketplace will effectively be created as retailers start to gain access. And one with a fast, convenient and frictionless buying experience to boot.
SEE ALSO: Analysis: Why Google’s New Marketplace is Amazon’s First Serious Competitor
How big would an Instagram marketplace be?
Instagram is so much more than a little photo sharing app. It's a place where hundreds of millions of people spend a good chunk of their time every single day. In fact:
- Techcrunch reports that Instagram has now hit 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million of those engaging on a daily basis.
- That same Techcrunch article also reports Instagram added 100 million users in just a single month. A growth rate far in excess of the 70 million its parent company Facebook managed to add through the entirety of Q1 in 2018.
- To put this into context, consider that latest figures show Amazon only has 310 million active user accounts worldwide and eBay just 171 million.
- Plus, an AdWeek study found that Instagram was particularly fruitful for brands. With company accounts seeing 3x more engagement than on Facebook and up to 30x more than Twitter.
“I believe the next two years will see Instagram become the biggest worldwide marketplace after Amazon, eBay and Google. “Instagram is the number one social network choice for the millennial generation and also a marketplace that appeals to both luxury and household brands, unlike Amazon or eBay.”
~ Matt Warren Founder & CEO, Veeqo
Doesn't Instagram already have a marketplace?
Kind of, yes. It's called 'Shoppable Posts' - something Instagram finally rolled out to users outside the US back in March. But it's far from an optimal buying experience. Currently, business users can ‘tag’ any of their products that appear in organic posts so that live pricing appears:
Browsers can then click on any of those products to see more information while staying inside Instagram:
Before finally being taken away to the specific product page on that retailer’s ecommerce site (and hopefully complete a purchase) should ‘Shop Now’ be selected:
A great way for retailers to increase online store sales via Instagram. But still maybe a few too many hoops for browsers to jump through.
Introducing Instagram in-app payments...
In-app payments brings a subtle, yet powerful improvement to this whole process. With users now having significantly fewer steps to take between:
- Seeing a product in their feed, and;
- Completing a purchase.
They'll be able to add a credit or debit card to Instagram and keep it saved in their account:
And create a security PIN to verify transactions:
So users will be able to see a product in their Instagram feed and simply enter a security PIN in order to purchase it right there and then. All of it happening via a slick, instant checkout solution that takes place without ever leaving Instagram. And meaning the social media channel will effectively create a new and exciting marketplace among its 800 million monthly active users.
Will Veeqo support this?
This isn’t exactly a surprising move from Instagram. And is very much in line with where online shopping seems to be moving. In fact:
- Google recently announced the launch of Shopping Actions as an attempt to reinvent how people search and shop.
- While Snapchat have started selling merchandise in their app with the apparent aim of proving the potential for an in-app commerce platform similar to Instagram’s.
All fixated on providing a fast and frictionless shopping experience that removes the usual barriers to online impulse buying. But (as usual) Veeqo are definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to these developing new marketplaces. Integrations to Instagram and Google's Shopping Actions are high on our product roadmap and currently being worked on. With plans to release them in the coming months. Making it simple for retailers using our software to access the most advanced selling platforms while still managing everything in one place. What are your thoughts on the Instagram native payments news? Exciting opportunity, or media hyperbole? Let us know in the comments below?