Instagram is taking a new step into the e-commerce market: The platform is launching a new “pay by chat” feature. Users can now easily buy products from small businesses and track orders through direct messages on the app…
Shop more directly on Instagram!
Social commerce has exploded in recent years with TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat. And in Meta’s apps, which also include Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp, nearly 1 billion people message businesses every week. With this in mind, Meta said it wants to help users “find and buy their favorite products in a simple and intuitive experience straight from the chat thread.”
The company announced the launch of a new in-chat checkout feature for businesses that allows more purchases to be made directly on Instagram. It allows small businesses to create payment requests and collect payments from customers who have a business account on Instagram. Its capacity will first be rolled out to 300,000 US small businesses in the coming weeks.
For now, the feature is available to small businesses in the US, which means they don’t need to set up a digital storefront using Instagram Shops. SMBs in the United States who are not yet using these virtual stores can thus discuss products with their customers, create orders with customer details and accept payments, via direct real-time chat In, without any other applications in your DMs.
In recent years, Instagram has become a popular shopping destination. Many small businesses rely on the platform to gain visibility and optimize marketing strategy. From shop tabs to product tagging, the Meta-owned platform has improved the shopping experience over the years. Although merchants were already answering questions and organizing customer support through DMs, they relied on other platforms for payments.
This new shopping experience on Instagram helps users to pay brands directly on the platform. The transaction will start when a user asks about a product they are interested in. Payment is made via Meta Pay and secured by PayPal, Instagram’s payment partner.
Meta Pay is rebranded Facebook Pay. This feature provides an easy and secure way to shop, send money and donate on Meta’s corporate networks including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. In addition, this payment method encrypts and securely stores your payment card numbers.
Simply message the eligible company you wish to purchase from. The company rolls out a payment link, where you can buy, track orders and ask follow-up questions. Meta Pay will also be enabled for a smoother payment experience.
For example, the company Jaw Surf sells its handmade surfboards and fins to test this feature. Company owner Joshua Weisfeld said customers often contact them via Instagram chat before buying. But since in-chat payment is enabled, customers can pay directly from the chat thread which is always open so that customers can send messages regarding their purchases.
At this time, this feature is only available to eligible small businesses that have created a business account and only in the United States. The company hopes to launch it in other countries soon.