Instagram is shaking up the mobile shopping experience.
In March, the social media platform unveiled Checkout, a feature that lets users shop seamlessly within the Instagram app. On May 9, Instagram will launch Checkout part two: a new feature that allows creators to tag specific pieces of clothing, accessories or products, complete with links to purchase.
“In 2019, you’re inspired to shop in so many different ways,” said Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships. “It can be from brands, but a lot of the time, it’s from superinfluencers. We wanted to create something that people will benefit from in a lot of different ways.”
At Instagram, a creator is considered to be “anyone who’s creating great digital content,” Chen said. “You could have a manicurist who’s a creator, an influencer like Negin [Mirsalehi], a model, a designer, someone creating digital content in a compelling way for their community.”
Mirsalehi is one of a select group of influencers approved to use Instagram’s newest feature. With Shopping From Creators, Mirsalehi will be able to cut down on the amount of time she spends responding to comments and direct messages about where certain items of clothing she wears are from.
“We’re always trying to find ways to strengthen our relationship with our audience,” Mirsalehi said. “Once people see something they like, they want to buy it and they don’t have time to search for it. [Shopping From Creators] directly makes the entire experience more fun.”
The Shopping From Creators feature works in tandem with Checkout. About 20 brands — including Nike, Burberry and Revolve — are approved by Instagram to use Checkout. Brands upload product catalogues that double as live views of their inventory, and Instagram charges a selling fee that is used to fund “programs and products that help make Checkout possible, as well as offset transaction-related expenses,” according to a representative.
Checkout-approved brands have whitelisted a group of creators who are enabled to use the Shopping From Creators feature. Starting May 9, a small beta group of brand owners, influencers and publications will be able to tag products from brand’s catalogues — so long as the brands approve them to do so.
Among the initial list of brand-approved creators are: Aimee Song, editor-turned-influencer Alyssa Coscarelli, Camila Coelho, Chiara Ferragni, Gigi Hadid, Elle USA, Vogue, GQ, Hypebeast, Huda Kattan, Kim Kardashian and Kris and Kylie Jenner. Instagram will add new creators as brands approve them.
“As Instagram, we’re neutral in this process — we’re the platform,” Chen said. “The extent of our involvement in this is making sure all 20 businesses did not all request [the same creators]. Some brands have lists of 10, 15 creators, including creative directors, for instance. Other brands have said, ‘We’re a founder-based business and the founder tells the story the best.’ Everyone does Instagram in a different way.”
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