Instagram’s E-Commerce Expansion: Shopping From Creators


On August 25, Instagram announced that “in the next coming weeks, all eligible sellers in the US will be able to start using Checkout on Instagram.” Checkout makes it easy for people to make a purchase in just a few taps without leaving the app at all. To use checkout, businesses must have Shops and use Facebook Commerce Manager or its partners Shopify and BigCommerce.

Additionally, Instagram is waiving selling fees for businesses through the end of the year to “reduce the cost of doing business online, especially given the current economic crisis.”

These are all just part of Instagram’s efforts to improve its new feature called Shopping From Creators. Rolled out in May 2019, this feature allowed creators to tag products in their photos, and make them instantly shoppable. Read on to learn what it entails and why it could possibly be the next biggest hit in today’s e-commerce industry.

What Exactly Is it?

Shopping From Creators gives influencers and creators alike the ability to make their posts “shoppable” all in one click: upon viewing their brand promoting posts, their followers can tap the “view products” tag in the photo and directly proceed to purchase the tagged products in Instagram Checkout. No longer do brands have to tailor post promotions to a single central link listed in the bios on their profiles. Instead, they can tag up to five separate items in a single photo — a specific hat, a book, a pair of glasses. Users can follow a tagged product link to find more information on the product or purchase it.

Why It’s a Big Deal

“The ease of transacting provided with this update will allow us to deepen our relationship with our followers and improve their shopping experience within the platform,” said Huan Nguyen, a VP for men’s fashion retailer Hypebeast. Creators on the platform benefit by gaining a broader reach as their products — and Checkout pages — are more readily distributed across the app via their influencer relationships.

The social media platform said in a statement that its new commerce eligibility requirements will help more creators sell on the platform. Any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase.

As of 9 July, all countries where Instagram Shopping is supported will be able to access the new requirements. With this new policy, businesses must tag products on Instagram from a single website that they own and sell from, increasing trust and transparency for shoppers. They are also updating the sign-up flow to give clearer guidance to businesses and offer more transparency into the creators who want to grow their business on Instagram.

This change is inevitably great news for e-commerce retail brands that want to sell their products via their owned and operated profiles as well as for influencers who have an e-commerce site. And it’s proven to be a success - over 130 million Instagram users tap into the feature every month.

We already know that influencer marketing can catapult a brand’s success and help drive product sales to lengths we haven’t seen before. Pair that with Instagram’s streamlined Checkout service and suddenly Instagram can see itself becoming the one-stop shop for everything in the digital and business realm.

Instagram is clearly planning to continue promoting this feature as it is actively taking steps to amp up Shopping From Creators. Take a look at its dedicated Creator Looks tab on the Instagram Explore page:

The Creators page is essentially an algorithm-generated catalog that rolls out whatever is trending or relevant to you and the interests you have taken to. With this thriving marketplace of influencers, consumers, and brands, Instagram will undoubtedly be a serious e-commerce competitor for brands looking to drive sales online.

Better Tracking

It’s undeniable that Shopping from Creators comes as good news for brands looking to drive more sales from Instagram. Not only does it make creator partner posts so much easier to shop, but it also allows you to track exactly how many product views and clicks the tagged post is attracting. This is a super useful insight into what drives engagement and most importantly, what drives sales.

Organic Growth

This feature offers a new method for forging strong and organic connections between brand, influencers, and audiences. It’s impossible to predict all the ways in which shoppable posts might be used, but what is clear is that they have the potential to alter the fabric of the advertising landscape on Instagram and even further, to the rest of the social media realm.

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