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Consumers Can Now “Checkout” on Instagram

Instagram is giving consumers a shot at instant shopping gratification via the launch of its new “Checkout on Instagram” feature. As of March 19, Instagrammers can finally buy what they love without leaving the platform.

In the olden days (circa 2016), Instagram launched the Shopping Tag feature for posts, allowing consumers to get more detailed information about a product and then link to that product’s website for purchase. Now, when you tap on a shopping post, a Checkout on Instagram button will appear on the product page. This reveals a menu with product options, where you can make your selection and then proceed to payment on the Instagram app. After checkout, you can return seamlessly to your Insta feed.

Your billing and shipping data will be securely stored on Instagram for future in-app purchases, and you can track your shipping and delivery data in the new Orders tab.

Checkout is being launched in closed beta with 23 select brands and is available only in the U.S.

Merchants will want to know a few details for when the Checkout feature becomes widely available. Merchants will be charged a fee to participate, and they will only receive the consumer information needed to fulfill an order, excluding payment details. This means they will obtain less data than if the order originated on their website, but Instagram says it will provide sales tracking statistics about in-app purchases.Many merchants are eager to get on board, since Instagram now has more than a billion monthly active users. A recent Facebook survey of 21,000 Instagram users in 13 countries reveals that 83 percent use the app to help them discover new products or services; 81 percent use the app to research new products or services; and 80 percent use it to make consumer decisions.

So why are consumers so infatuated with Instagram as a means of selecting the things they want to buy? It has a lot to do with the way our brains receive and process visual data. Dr. John J. Medina is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School.” He claims that vision eclipses all other senses. “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”

Instagram’s visual focus makes it an ideal medium for product discovery. The platform has given companies and social influencers a stage on which to display emotionally evocative images that motivate consumer behavior, sheer genius in terms of leveraging consumer psychology.

Instagram is fast catching up to Facebook as a preferred marketing platform, making the addition of Checkout a critical feature. The “2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” says that 80 percent of marketers are using visual assets, both photos and videos, in their social media marketing. It also says that although Facebook is considered by far the most important social platform for marketers, Instagram jumped in the rankings from number seven to number four in 2017. Marketers reported that after Facebook, Instagram is the platform where they purchase the most paid ads, and that they plan to use the platform considerably more in days to come.

These statistics strongly suggest that future investment in Instagram e-commerce is a sound one for merchants.

At Big Chief Creative Media, we help companies make the most of their digital presence through strategic integration of web development, social media, SEO, PPC, content, email marketing and video production designed to grow your business. Contact us for more information about how we can help you command the notice of buyers everywhere.