“Instagram launches payment-in-chat feature for businesses” by Dani James via Retail dive

“Instagram launches payment-in-chat feature for businesses” by Dani James via Retail dive

Instagram launched the ability for U.S. businesses to complete transactions in chats with shoppers. Courtesy of Meta

Dive Brief:

  • In an effort to simplify the customer journey for small businesses, Meta on Monday launched the ability for users to pay for products within Instagram chat, according to a press release.
  • Qualified small businesses on Instagram can directly convert customer inquiries and interests directly into purchases using Meta Pay, without users needing to leave the chat. Completed orders can also be tracked in the same chat, creating a dedicated space for follow-up questions, per the release.
  • The feature allows small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have an Instagram Shop digital storefront to still transact with shoppers in app.

Dive Insight:

Buying and selling on Instagram for businesses of any size just got a lot easier.

“We want to help people start conversations with businesses they care about and help them find and buy products they love in an easy, seamless experience, right from the chat thread,” said the release.

The ability to pay for products in chat means that businesses can more easily convert curious shoppers’ questions and concerns into purchases and allows for a more personalized experience where businesses could give direct recommendations.

This launch is a step forward in Instagram’s evolution to become a one-stop retail destination. One billion people message businesses every week across Meta’s apps, which include Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. According to a study from NPD last year, Facebook and Instagram were both listed among the top platforms where consumers discover and learn about products. 

Social commerce is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional e-commerce, according to an Accenture report from January. Gen Z and millennials are expected to contribute most to that growth, but the report showed that privacy and purchase security are significant concerns.

That’s not news to Meta though, as the company specifically notes in the release that “you can shop with confidence knowing that your payments are securely processed and your purchases are protected.”

Meta rolled out some business-friendly messaging features in May, including the ability for businesses to send marketing chats to customers who opt in via Facebook Messenger. Instagram in April expanded the product tag feature to all users, and in May celebrated Instagram Shop with an in-person pop-up store

It isn’t the only platform looking to capitalize on the potential of social commerce though. Pinterest and Snap have also stepped up their business features this year. Image sharing platform Pinterest in June acquired AI shopping platform The Yes, and then weeks later hired Google’s former president of commerce as its CEO. Additionally, Snap in April released new AR tools for virtual shopping, and then began allowing users to share eBay listings.

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