Although Facebook is still the champion in terms of total social media users in Malaysia, but the average age of Facebook users are aging.
In contrast, Instagram is booming now especially for younger generation (below 25 years old). In a few years time, the majority of Instagram users will have higher buying power, they are the next wave of future consumers.
Good news from Instagram, you can buy and checkout without leaving Instagram. Yes, perform all transactions within the app without leaving for other apps.
To illustrate the process, watch the demo video below:
One thing I love about the latest feature is simplicity. In short, you just need to tap on the item(s) you wish to buy, select various options such as size or colour, followed by payment without leaving Instagram.
Of course, we still need to enter the name, email, billing information and shipping address the first time we check out.
Not only payment function within the app, you will receive notifications about shipments and delivery right inside Instagram, which is great for tracking, history record and convenience.
As usual, the latest feature from Instagram is always in closed beta for business accounts in the United States. The following brands already have the checkout feature and more brands will join soon.
- Adidas @adidaswomen & @adidasoriginals
- Anastasia Beverly Hills @anastasiabeverlyhills
- Balmain @balmain
- Burberry @burberry
- ColourPop @colourpopcosmetics
- Dior @dior
- H&M @hm
- Huda Beauty @hudabeautyshop
- KKW @kkwbeauty
- Kylie Cosmetics @kyliecosmetics
- MAC Cosmetics @maccosmetics
- Michael Kors @michaelkors
- NARS @narsissist
- Nike @niketraining & @nikewomen
- NYX Cosmetics @nyxcosmetics
- Oscar de la Renta @oscardelarenta
- Ouai Hair @theouai
- Outdoor Voices @outdoorvoices
- Prada @prada
- Revolve @revolve
- Uniqlo @uniqlo
- Warby Parker @warbyparker
- Zara @zara
Will this feature kill E-commerce online stores?
It really depends on the industry, target audience and buyer behaviour. Just like there are still a lot of merchants who do not even have an E-commerce website/store.
Many just sell using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Page conversation and receive payment with online banking.
We expect the fashion and beauty to do well since they have strong brand presence on Instagram. That’s the reason why certain selected brands get the closed beta feature first.
This may move certain customers towards Instagram, but we don’t think it will end the traditional E-commerce online store.
Many existing features found on online stores offer complete buying experience. For example, comparing feature, view all products and other essential E-commerce functions.
What about the online payment method?
The majority of online consumers still prefer online banking as their preferred payment method, which only supports PayPal and credit cards. This may lower the acceptance rate of this new feature in Malaysia.
What about those eWallet payment options? Can those be incorporated into the Instagram checkout payment method? We see a big potential out there.
Questions about the shipping and delivery
When the full
What I’m trying to say here is that there is still room for improvement for our local shipping companies in Malaysia. For example, Lazada uses its own LEL Express for their own last mile delivery. This solves many issues as Lazada can control the system and operation. System integration with shipping companies in Malaysia also plays a big part.
Will the checkout feature coming to Facebook page, Messenger or WhatsApp?
After the launch of Insta Story from Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp followed — FB has “Stories” and WhatsApp has “Status”.
While there might still be many technical difficulties faced by the developers, here are my hypothetical dreams for the future:
- Able to complete payment (checkout) at all our platforms without leaving the app. New way of online ecommerce experience, easier, faster, simpler.
- Check the delivery information across all platforms. Automatically send shipping notifications to all platforms, check purchase history without visiting the website. All can be done in the app itself.
Users always welcome new features from any social media, new technology or new ways that improve online purchase experience.
Nowadays, no one can say for sure which feature, trend or industry will boom in the future. New forces or innovation can replace the old technology quickly or even overtake them regardless of their sizes.