Recent research shows that Instagram posts earn more user engagement than popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Some reasons why Instagram content tends to generate more user engagement include its algorithm (which favors relevant content) and the amount of time that users are spending on the platform (24 to 32 minutes daily on average).
Another reason why Instagram should be attractive to marketers is that the platform is not flooded with paid advertising content like other social networking platforms. While 71 percent of U.S. businesses have an Instagram account, there are only 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram. While 2 million may sound like a lot, it pales in comparison to the number of brands advertising on Facebook and Twitter. With less paid advertising content for your business to compete with, Instagram presents you with a powerful way to get your brand in front of your target audience.
New Instagram Feature to Benefit Marketers
One of the biggest reasons why consumers choose to use Instagram is that it presents them with the opportunity to find out about new products and services. In fact, 60 percent of consumers say that they use this visually-driven social media platform to discover new products.
In addition to using Instagram as a discovery tool, marketers are attracted to the high engagement rates that platform offers. However, on the downside, Instagram has historically required users to leave the app and visit the business's website to make a purchase. Many marketers did not like this as it disrupted the user experience.
In an effort to address marketers' frustration with users having to leave the Instagram app to make a purchase, Instagram recently announced that it will be adding a new "checkout" feature that will allow consumers to make purchases without having to visit a retailer's website.
Currently, this new checkout feature is in the testing stage and is only available to a few retailers, such as Nike, Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics, and Zara. While a date has not been specified, the "checkout" feature will eventually be available to all businesses, which has been one of the most demanded features since the platform rolled out Instagram Shopping in 2016.
Why Instagram is Adding a Checkout Feature
With rivals such as Google, Amazon, Pinterest, and Snapchat already offering checkout features, it makes sense that Instagram would follow suit. While Instagram offered the ability for marketers to put tags on images and include a "shop" button, users would be directed to the business's website upon clicking on the shop button. With the addition of the new checkout feature, Instagram is now able to fulfill the platform's e-commerce ambitions, enhance the user experience, and drive more sales for Instagram marketers.
Instagram's new checkout feature is able to retain credit card information provided by consumers, which will make it easy and essentially seamless for consumers to make purchases on the platform as they won't be required to enter their credit card information with each purchase. For security reasons, Instagram will require users to input a pin number to complete the purchase, and retailers will only have access to the necessary information from consumers to fulfill the order.
The Potential Downside of an Instagram Checkout Feature for Retailers
Some retailers may be skeptical about taking advantage of Instagram's new checkout feature as it means that they won't have direct ownership of the customer relationship. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the testing phase with the initial retailers that have access to this feature. However, with Instagram being such a powerful tool for helping consumers discover new products and services, many retailers may find that it's worthwhile to give up some control over the ownership of the customer relationship by embracing the new checkout feature on Instagram.
In summary, while this new Instagram feature is not yet available to every business, we can expect that retailers of all sizes will be able to take advantage of this checkout feature in the near future.
How New York Ave Can Help
Are you using Instagram to promote your business? Are you satisfied with the results that you're getting from your Instagram marketing strategy? If not, we can help!
Our team of social media marketing specialists at New York Ave is well-versed in Instagram and how you can use this visually-driven platform to increase your online visibility and revenue.
Contact us to learn how we can help you to leverage the latest Instagram marketing features to enhance your online presence and generate more revenue for your business.