Instagram is taking a new step in the e-commerce market: the platform is launching a new “pay by chat” feature. Users can now easily purchase products from small businesses and track orders via direct messages on the app…
More purchases 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, around 1 billion people message businesses every week. With that in mind, Meta said it wants to help users “find and buy the products they love in a simple and seamless experience, right 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 that have a business account on Instagram to create payment requests and collect payments from customers. Its capability will first be rolled out to 300,000 US small businesses in the coming weeks.
For now, the feature is available for small businesses in the US, meaning they don’t have to set up a digital storefront using Instagram Shops. SMBs in the United States that are not yet using these virtual stores can thus discuss products with their customers, create orders with customer details and accept payments, directly in real-time chat, without going through another application all in your DM.
In recent years, Instagram has become a popular shopping destination. Many small businesses depend on the platform to gain visibility and optimize marketing strategy. From shop tab 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 via DMs, for payments they depended on other platforms.
This new shopping experience on Instagram helps users to pay brands directly on the platform. The transaction will start when a user inquires about a product they are interested in. Payment is made via Meta Pay and is protected by PayPal, Instagram’s payment partner.
Meta Pay is the rebranded Facebook Pay. This feature provides an easy and secure way to shop, send money, and donate across Meta’s corporate networks, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. In addition, this payment method encrypts and securely stores your payment card numbers.
Just send a message to a qualified company you want to buy from. The company initiates a payment link, where you can purchase, track the order, and ask follow-up questions. Meta Pay will also be enabled for an easier payment experience.
The company Jaw Surf, for example, has tested the feature to sell its handmade surfboards and fins. Company owner Joshua Weisfeld said customers often contact him via Instagram chat before buying. But since in-chat payments have been enabled, customers can pay directly from the chat thread which always remains open so customers can send messages regarding their purchase.
At this time, this feature is only available to qualified small businesses who have created a business account and only in the United States. The company hopes to soon offer it in other countries.