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Instagram’s Checkout Feature: What Brands Need To Know


Instagram is no longer a simple photo-sharing social media platform; from influencer marketing to Shoppable Instagram for brands, the app now caters to ecommerce more than ever. 

For brands, understanding Instagram’s ecommerce features are crucial to succeeding on the app. Instagram has product tags in feeds, product stickers in stories, and a shopping destination option in the explore button. Instagram has made it a point to allow its viewers more space by including options to save and share products. Social commerce has transformed how people discover and buy products, especially through Instagram. 

Launched in 2019 with just 26 major brands, Instagram’s checkout feature offers a seamless purchase experience for app users, and another point of conversion for community-driven brands. 

How Does Instagram Checkout Work?

In order to use Instagram checkout, brands need to fill out an application providing information about their business and their business on Instagram specifically. All eligible businesses on Instagram can now use Instagram checkout, even without an established following. 

With Instagram checkout, brands can easily sell their products directly on Instagram, without customers having to leave the app to make a purchase. The main difference between shopping and Instagram checkout is the absence of any other platforms during the whole process in the latter. Instagram does the work of the shopping platform, user management, and also payment processor. 

Not to replace your storefront, the Instagram checkout can be a great way to appeal to the Instagram Algorithm. It can also be a terrific way to acquire new customers to later incorporate further into your brand community. 

What Are The Benefits of Instagram Checkout for Brands? 

  • The process is easy and smooth for brands from setup to checkout, and is open for all eligible businesses to use. 
  • Customers might be more likely to convert as they have the option to complete transactions with just a couple of clicks. 
  • Instagram’s checkout feature allows brands to very easily determine how likely their social audience is to convert. This helps to prove ROI on a brand’s social media efforts.
  • This feature can potentially expose a brand’s products to a much broader net of potential customers, with a low cost-of-acquisition as no users are being pulled off of the platform.
  • Speaking of conversion, the seamless user experience that doesn’t require the user to visit your ecommerce site can sometimes improve conversion.

Key Ways to Make the Most of Instagram Checkout

Engage Followers Proactively – Even if They’re Not Customers Yet 

Engaging your followers is an important part in generating purchase intent. This will help you gain a loyal set of customers and allow you to better understand their buying behaviors. By engaging customers, you can boost brand experience, gain beneficial feedback, increase sales, and improve customer relationships to enhance brand loyalty. 

Using user-generated content is another way to engage customers. UGC helps develop brand loyalty, which in turn will lead to increased sales and also allows for helpful product feedback. Another easy way to engage with customers is to reply to customer comments on social media posts. Directly communicating with customers strengthens their trust in a brand and will likely increase brand loyalty. 

Run a Social Media Contest to Generate Content 

A social media contest is a great way to engage customers and generate content. Social media contests can help increase brand awareness and engagement, generate sales and web traffic, and generate valuable UGC that can be used across multiple channels. Additionally, running a social media contest can generate content that can be used in posts with product tags and Instagram checkout. With customers being more likely to purchase a product after seeing their peers using it, brands can benefit from incorporating UGC into their Instagram checkout experience. 

Make Shopping Effortless By Doing Consistent Product Tagging

Consistency pays handsomely when done correctly. Ensure that you post relevant content in the form of stories and posts and always tag your products. 

This will bring the products to your audience’s attention and make the shopping experience easier and faster for them. 

Pixlee’s shoppable instagram makes it easy to tag products and use user-generated content (UGC) together. Brands can drive traffic from Instagram using UGC and making content fully shoppable.

Morphe, product tagging Morphe, product tagging

It’s just a matter of a couple of taps and the deal is almost done. Imagine yourself in your customer’s shoes, wouldn’t you make a purchase if you like something and it can be purchased in just 3 clicks?

Use Influencer Marketing 

Instagram has a feature that allows influencers to tag products they are using in their feeds. 

This allows customers to look at products and check their functionality. The buying decision becomes easier as the customer gets validation from someone they already like and believe. 

Influencers can help increase visibility for your brand and can provide social proof for your customers. With Pixlee, brands can more easily discover influencers that fit with their brand, manage relationships, and encourage influencer participation. Using influencer marketing can generate authenticity while also promoting your brand to large audiences. 

Brands like Alo Yoga use influencers with Instagram checkout so customers can see a product in a post and immediately make a purchase. In fact, brands can give influencers the ability to tag products, making Instagram checkout available to customers directly from the influencer’s profile. So, if a potential customer is following an influencer but not your brand’s account, you can still benefit from Instagram checkout! Below, influencer @natalie_roser is wearing Alo Yoga and tagged the products, which can be purchased directly from her post. 

Alo Yoga, influencer marketing, instagram checkout Alo Yoga, influencer marketing, instagram checkout Alo Yoga, influencer marketing, Instagram checkout

One can make the purchase without even having to leave the app. This can be a huge gain for brands that already are in touch with a lot of influencers. 

Instagram Checkout brings with it a sizable Instagram opportunity by bringing in both community and conversions on the same platform. Ultimately, this can be a great way to acquire new customers, and bring them closer to your brand through a popular channel. 


Shantanu is the SEO expert and founder of Page Potato, a digital marketing agency in Melbourne. He helps small-scale businesses strategize smart social media marketing solutions tailor-made for their specific business needs. Other than work, Shantanu also loves trying new recipes and spending lazy Sunday afternoons playing with his kitten, Smokey.

Special thanks to our friends at Pixlee for their insights on this topic.
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