Instagram is trialing a checkout feature in its app, letting users go from advert to purchase in mere seconds. The feature has launched in the U.S. today with 20 large brands, including H&M, Michael Kors, Adidas, Nike, and Zara.
When viewing an ad, users will see a ‘Checkout on Instagram’ button. They’ll then be prompted to enter their payment information, with the usual choice of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Discover, and American Express.
Payment and billing information will be stored for later use, but Instagram promises that, for now, it won’t be shared with Facebook. It also says merchants will only receive the info required for the order’s delivery, no your payment info.
Given Facebook’s track record for privacy, many will be skeptical it will stay that way. In the meantime, Instagram will provide merchants with detailed analytics about their sales.
Once an order has been placed, Instagram users will be able to track it via a new section on their profile. This will provide options for returns and cancellation, as well as a notification when an order ships.
Still in Testing
The feature is currently in closed beta and it’s very likely it will be rolling out to more brands after that period. As it stands, we know that Instagram will take a fee on every purchase, but not how large its cut will be.
“We started using product tags to make shopping more convenient for our customers,” said Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. “Checkout takes this experience one step further, making it even more intuitive and seamless for people who have discovered products they want to purchase instantaneously.”
Anastasia Beverly Hill,s Balmain, Burberry, ColourPop, Dior, Huda Beauty, KKW Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, MAC Cosmetics, NARS, Prada, and more will also be participating in the trial.
Despite the announcement, there’s no news on the rumored standalone Instagram Shopping app. That said, it would make sense for the company to nail down functionality on its existing app before releasing a specialized one.