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Instagram Checkout. Would you, should you, when can you?

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Adds everything to cart, including the cart.

Guys, we all need to settle the heck down very right now. That noise you can hear is the collective squeals of marketers around the world, because last week Instagram gifted us the gift of all gifts – Instagram Checkout. *everyone squeals again and falls on the ground in excitement*

The words ‘making a splash’ doesn’t even cut it here. If you’re a retailer/digital marketing/ecommerce profesh/own a computer this is bigger news than that time an egg beat out Kylie Jenner for top ‘Gram bragging rights. IT’S THE SOCIAL MEDIA PRINCE WHO WAS PROMISED! (Not even sorry, currently binge re-watching GoT before the final season airs #TeamStark).

Instagram has literally removed all barriers to purchase and ‘Buy It Now’ doesn’t even have to disturb your nightly scroll, you can add to cart and check out without even leaving the app! Oh, and the best part? Once you’ve saved your deets, that’s it! Saved. Nex’ time you spy a lil’ something that has #TreatYoSelf written all over it, ‘your information will be securely saved for convenience the next time you shop’. (Read: barring a broken finger there is legitimately nothing standing between you and that sweet, sweet ping of a shipping notification…)

And thus Digital Marketing professionals around the world wept tears of joy. (While credit cards quivered in fear. And AfterPay employed more staff.)

There’s a reason this update has us drooling more than shirtless Hemsworth pics. It’s. Gonna. Be. A. Game changer.

Anyone at the helm of a consumer facing, retail driven brand knows the power of the ‘Gram – and it’s ability to deliver results, fast. Instagram is known for being agile enough to adapt to consumer demands – think the introduction of shopping tags to solve the age old ‘what top are you wearing in this shot??’ – problem that was 98.7% of every fashion brand’s comments until it’s implementation. They know their audience buys. And they know that less clicks = lower abandonment rates. Because let’s be real, the longer it takes you to get to the check out, the more time your grown up self has to win the ‘spending v saving’ battle…

Yes please, where do I sign?

Uh, nowhere. (soz) For now, it’s only available in beta to the select few, including Kylie Cosmetics, Uniqlo and Zara. Which means us mere mortal brands need to get the hell in line.

And apparently it’s a rather long line.

While no offish date has been released, word on the street (and by ‘streets‘ I mean ‘here’s some things I’ve heard 17th-hand from a friend of a friend‘) is that there’s been a few kinks with address validation and shipping, so it’s unlikely to be subject to a full roll out until the new year. That’s right. No Christmas bonus for y’all. Bring a deck chair, your thermos of tea and be prepared to wait.

In the meantime, we judge. Because that’s what we do when Zuckerberg doesn’t immediately let us play with the new toys.

While there’s no denying this is gonna be a rad addition (capital R, capital A), – I do have some questions, if I may. (BTW, that’s not a question, this is my piece of the internet, so you don’t get a vote.)

‘Hey Mark, what’s this gonna do to my UPT, mate?’

For those of us who rely on the impulsive nature of the average shopper, this is a pretty obvious place to start. I mean, do we want our customers just buying that one product, right now? Because the data tells me that if I can get them to site and wave a whole lot of other shiny things in their face, they’re gonna keep adding to cart.

Many of us incentivise by adding free shipping thresholds, not because we’re really nice people who think our hard working customers deserve complimentary delivery, but because it psychologically tells the customer to buy more – BECAUSE SOMETHING FOR FREE! The cost of acquisition can generally be a hefty one, so when we finally see your pretty little face (credit card in hand) poking around our site, we want to make the most of it. Limiting your check out to a singular item or group seems to be a bit of a recipe for decreasing basket sizes. How we gonna upsell, guys?

Also, there’s a real argument for products that lure vs products that convert. We see this quite often with sale items. You’ll see a crazy amazing sale promoted on Instagram (usually on a fabulous looking influencer), and you’ll click through, because SALE! Only when you get there, there isn’t really much that takes your fancy, or no sizes – and suddenly you find yourself adding full priced products to cart that you had no intention of purchasing fifteen minutes ago, but you most definitely need a denim jacket with studs in your life.

Are we exclusive yet?

While I’m a firm advocate for social as a key pillar to your digital marketing strategy, I firmly believe that it’s your enabler to build a relationship with your customers, not the relationship itself. It’s kinda like chatting with someone on Bumble. Eventually you got to get out and meet them in actual real life if you want to make it to the happily ever after part.

You want customers to hit your website. Period.

The value of a direct relationship, not one that is controlled by the good graces of Mark Zuckerberg, is literal gold. You should be using every chance to get to know them, to interact, to gather data. Don’t leave your fate in the hands of others – I mean we all remember that time circa 2012 that Facebook convinced us that the way to build communities was to run ‘Like Campaigns’ and then they lol-ed and started charging us to reach the folks we’d just paid to acquire, yeah?

Question Time aside – there’s no denying, this is a club we all want to be a part of.

But don’t get too impatient. There’s something to be said for letting the big fish (with the big budgets, yo), poke around a bit, iron out the kinks and figure out what the deal is, before you dive in yourself. (No one seems to know exactly what clip of the ticket they’re gonna command, but let’s all assume they’ll follow a similar ‘come use this stuff for free and then when you’re hooked we’ll make you pay!’ model of features past.)

Am I gonna use Instagram checkout? Abso-freaking-lutely. This is definitely one of those ‘watch these space’ moments, because this is gonna be a doozie, kids.
(And if you’re one of the sacred few who get early access – I’d LOVE to hear what you think…)

In the meantime, let’s just settle in and pretend we’re not jealous.

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