Instagram, keeping pace with Amazon’s eCommerce innovation, is again trying to change how people buy things online. The social giant released a new checkout feature that brings the cart to the feed, closing the loop for in-app purchases. This IG Shopping integration will complement existing features (like Stories) in the company’s drive to create a premiere, influential buying platform for brands and creators.

instagram shopping example

Instagram shopping example. // Instagram Business Blog, March 2019

Instagram has become one of the best places for brands to drive awareness, due in no small part to the ever-growing creator community. And the initial eCommerce functionalities integrated into the platform have already proven to be a beneficial way to raise brand awareness and drive direct response — Instagram Stories made up 39% of all sponsored posts in Q4 of 2018.

Checkout functionality in Instagram Shopping will not only result in an exciting new in-app marketing tool, but it will be a way to prove out the value of both the platform and the creators (who to brands have become invaluable advocacy assets).

While this is a natural extension for Instagram and creators, it’s a bit of a different story for brands looking to move product. Many have tried social commerce in the past and found that it’s hard to transact at the point of impression. The journey to conversion is often arduous, involving several (if not dozens) of digital touch-points. In order to succeed with IG Shopping’s checkout feature, it’s going to take savvy marketers who understand their funnel and and whether or not their shoppers on Instagram are ready to buy.

Strategists need not worry about Facebook-owned Instagram’s commitment to their growing social economy, though; the company is on its way to becoming the dominant player in the social giant’s advertising stack, generating roughly $9B in ad revenue in 2018 with more than 500 million daily active users. And with Instagram continuing to round out its in-app shoppable offerings, creators and the direct response messages they sling will only grow as an integral part of the future marketing mixes.