Facebook at F8 announces Instagram In-App Purchases

The image sharing app Instagram which is owned by social media giant Facebook is getting a commerce focus feature set that will be a game changer for Shopify merchants.

On April 30, 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new release of the Instagram software which would allow for In-App Purchases from vendors (Shopify merchants) who have integrated with the platform. What is an In-App Purchase? In-App Purchases are purchases made from within a mobile app without leaving the software to visit another website or app to make payment.

This is a huge game changer for Shopify merchants as buyer trust is getting harder to gain in the shadows of e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay.

In-App Purchases allow new customers to buy from you with confidence and convenience all rolled into one experience. Speedy checkout is facilitated by pre-populated credit card info and shipping address.

Instagram has been testing this with large brands like Nike and Dior in Q1 of 2019. They are expecting to roll it out to the masses any day now.

Making shopping easier is always a huge priority for merchants so the new features are very much anticipated. However, the feature does come with a few strings attached. Mainly Instagram will be keeping a percentage of each sale (call it a lead generation fee) which could dig into already slim profits of e-commerce companies trying to maintain a competitive advantage online.

From a Shopify merchant perspective, this is a great thing. You will now be able to not only show your products and have direct buy links but allow them to make the purchase right on Instagram in much less time than before.

If you have every optimized an online sales funnel you will be familiar with measuring the amount of time a user spends on the site before making a purchase. Often if the site is complex or has a myriad of other complexities or issues the bounce will increase and your conversion rate drops.

Instagram looks to solve all that by adding in-app purchases to Shopify stores. It is still too early to know when this feature will be fully available on Shopify and to the masses but it is a well-deserved feature for the Image sharing giant’s software.