Instagram has grown into one of the, if not the best platform to share brand content on the world wide web. There is no better place for a brand to showcase their products, or reach their customers than Instagram. And with stories, IGTV, and more sponsored content and influencer opportunities, Instagram has been increasingly more effective as a platform for generating sales. But there is still something that has been sorely missing from the platform.
The ability to take payments.
Instagram now has this ability, and brands can start taking advantage of the fact that people trust Instagram to provide them with entertaining content from brands and people they trust. And they also spend a lot of time on the platform. Now, brands can combine the time people spend, and the content they love, with the ability to sell products on Instagram.
Allowing people to buy directly on Instagram, without ever leaving the platform. This means that if you wanted to drive conversions using your Instagram audience, you might be able to increase your conversion rates by leveraging the built-in e-commerce platform, as opposed to just linking your audience to your website, and requiring them to leave the app.
What are Instagram Payments?
Instagram payments is a native payments solution, similar to Facebook payments that allow users to save payment information to the Instagram application, and make payments natively through the application.
Being similar to Facebook payments this will allow Instagram users to buy directly through the app, instead of having to navigate to a webpage and continue to purchase there. This is already an improvement on the previous Instagram feature of shoppable tags. Those required clicking through to an external landing page to make a purchase.
Instead, this would be essential purchases in the app. Think Amazon, versus shoppable tags.
When Can I Start Using Instagram Payments?
Right now Instagram payments are only available to businesses in a limited partner roll out. Noticeably a company called Resy, which takes restaurant reservations, is one of the first limited partners that Instagram has allowed into the program.
There has been no news from Instagram surrounding payments since it’s initial announcement in the first half of 2018. So while for now, it looks like Instagram is going to be moving slowly and evaluating how best to roll this feature out and test it so that it works seamlessly and efficiently with their current application. It would be wise to expect that within the next couple of years, and potentially even months, there will be an option for your business to leverage native payments within the Instagram application.
How Can I Use Instagram Payments?
Although it’s not available yet, there’s no reason not to imagine that it won’t be available more widely in the future. Which means that if you have a business that sells goods or services on a website, you might soon be able to use Instagram as a source of revenue as well.
The obvious use for Instagram payments would be to sell goods. Whether you seel the same good that you do on your website, or not would be up to you. With users checking stories and feeds, this would be a great way to post your goods in ways that you can’t do on your website and get eyes on your products in different and creative ways.
Selling goods on Instagram may be the most obvious use case, but it will most certainly also be the most successful for businesses too. So if you sell goods on your website, it might be worthwhile to think about how you would deal with selling your goods on Instagram, should Instagram payments make its way into your toolset.
If you sell services like fitness coaching, web development, or others, you might also be able to use Instagram payments to show off the results of your services and try to take orders through the app.
If you can show image results of your services, you might find that for specific niches, it would be easy to find and convert customers through Instagram. That makes Instagram payments attractive not just for t-shirt business online, but also service-based businesses that work online, or because of Instagrams locations features, even offline.
If you’ve ever wanted to try selling a limited run of a product, Instagram payments might be an excellent way for you to run some experiments.
Instagram payments would offer an easy and convenient way for businesses to list product without having to set up an additional website or distract from their existing product set to run an experiment.
Last but certainly not least, would be to increase the conversion rates for your advertisements. This would undoubtedly be a game changer for Instagram if they figured out how to successfully convey this benefit to their business users.
By allowing users to buy natively through the application, ad clicks could more easily flow into ad conversions. Business users would pay handsomely for ads that perform better, especially as Facebook and Google Ads continue to be such a significant source of ad investment, and most of the conversions from those platforms still require that users find their way to your website to make the final purchase.
Instagram ads, alongside Instagram payments, could very well make Instagram the best social media platform for businesses looking to purchase ads that convert into sales better. And that could mean a lot for small businesses who often struggle to compete with more considerable budget competition on Facebook and Google ads.
Because Instagram is such a powerhouse social media platform, most businesses have seen or are beginning to see the value in using it as a way to reach their audiences. And because it is owned by Facebook, they have an incredibly powerful and capable engineering team that can introduce new features to try and deliver more value for businesses, as they begin to leverage the power of Instagram’s audience.
Enter Instagram payments. Similar to Facebook payments, but with the critical differentiator of Instagram’s compelling visual content, addictive newsfeed, and more engaged audience. This makes Instagram payments one of the more exciting feature announcements of 2018, and potentially one of the most essential features businesses will need to learn how to use on Instagram in 2019.
In this article, we went over some ways you might be able to leverage the power of Instagram and Instagram payments for your businesses. If you’ve already seen success on the platform, it might be a good idea to take a look at how your business could use payments, and be ready to take advantage of the new feature when it does drop.