Why Instagram’s In-App Shopping Feature for Influencers Matters

 In Social Media

You may have missed the big news, but Instagram announced back in March that it was beta testing an in-app shopping experience — Instagram Checkout — with 23 retail partners, including Zara, H&M, Dior, Nike, and Warby Parker.

But wait, there’s more! Now, devoted followers can snap up their Insta-idol’s best looks without ever leaving Instagram.

On April 30, the crafty social media giant revealed that it’s allowing those brands to team up with content creators and influencers (think Vogue or Kim Kardashian West) so that whenever an influencer tags a partner brand, their followers can click right on through to Checkout.


This is huge news in the retail, commerce, and technology world because it makes selling easier for major brands and shopping faster for big-name influencers’ fans and followers.

While only 23 companies and 50 influencers are part of the beta launch, the Checkout is sure to expand very, very soon.

Instagram reports that 130 million people tap on posts to see shopping tags! Now that select influencers like Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and body-positive entrepreneur Katie Sturino can tag images with looks they love, their followers can vote with their dollars as well as their likes.

Instagram is Amazon and More

Imagine that. Soon, all fashion-forward followers will need to do is tap on those tags to see a product page and a “checkout on Instagram” button will appear for affiliated brands.

It’s like Amazon but prettier, more personal, and curated to your tastes.

The new feature lines up seamlessly with Instagram’s vision of becoming a global e-commerce giant. You may have noticed that your feed is increasingly populated with advertising. Deutsche Bank analysts predict that shopping on Instagram will soon become a $10 billion business (The Atlantic).

Buyers can pay by saving their payment information on the app, entering it during checkout, or paying with PayPal.

As it stands now, influencers aren’t paid by the click, they’re rewarded in data. The new Instagram feature, which is currently only available in beta to 50 top creators, helps influencers by building credibility and demonstrating their value.

Both brands and creators receive metrics such as engagement, reach, product views and clicks.

“This data will only further prove the power of influencer marketing for both brands and agencies working with these creators. Agencies can now look across their talent and see which products are selling with which influencers, at what price points and categories and so much more granular information to set them up with the right brand” (AdWeek).

Basically, Instagram Checkout adds another stream of data into the influencer’s metrics bucket. In other words: based on how often their followers click and buy, influencers will be able to forge new partnerships, endorsements, and sponsorships directly with top brands.

What does this mean for smaller retailers, entrepreneurs, and niche influencers?

It’s time to start building your base and upping your Instagram game. Because we’re pretty sure it won’t be long before Instagram Checkout comes to a feed near you.

Need some help making your Instagram shine? Contact Amplification today!