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Instagram: Like, Post, Shop

It’s time for a shopping spree with our dear friend Instagram!

instagram tags screenshot

Most of the time Instagram makes a huge deal about new features, even the minor ones. But, it hasn’t mentioned much about its new payments feature, which has been rolling out across the United States. Before now, Instagram used shoppable tags to redirect its users to an external site to make a purchase.

The payment feature will make this process take place on Instagram itself, expediting the purchasing process. Instagram has essentially changed the game by creating “action buttons” for businesses users. These “action buttons” have the ability to reserve, book, and buy whatever the business is selling. Several partners have already been established including StyleSeat, Resy, MindBody, and Eventbrite.

Head to your settings and you’ll notice that you now have the option to add a credit or debit card in the payments option. As of right now, Instagram has yet to reveal what you can purchase, but with time the possibilities will be endless.
Right now the payment feature has three separate tabs that all have different purposes:

  1. The first tab is entitled “Activity” and it will show your recents purchases. It will be blank for everyone right now.
  2. “Profile” is the second tab and this feature will be where you add your contact information and your cards.
  3. The third tab is designated as “Security.” You can add your pin here to prevent unauthorized purchases.

As our world of technology continues to grow, the time and effort between spotting something, falling in love with it, and actually making the purchase is diminishing to seconds. With the new action buttons, when a store posts a desirable product, users will be able to click and purchase without ever leaving the app.

The new purchasing capability goes hand in hand with the booking and reservation services that were unveiled in March 2017. So, if you’re looking for the perfect dinner spot on the gram you can easily make an in-app reservation.

Instagram is working on finding the optimal partnership for the in-app purchases and reservation features. Currently, they are using Resy, the reservation service for the restaurant booking feature.

To book with Resy, Instagramers need to go to the profile page of the restaurant and tap reserve. After that, a Resy booking schedule will pop up, where you will be able to pick your time and guests. It even gives you important “need to know” details about the restaurant. The one stipulation with Resy is that you must create an account with Resy in order to make a reservation. However, once you do, you shouldn’t have to enter your details again unless you’re logging in.

reserve with resy

At first, Instagram’s booking feature didn’t have credit card integration. It said that payment would be collected at the time of your appointment. However, with Resy and the in-app purchases feature, a credit card is required to use your account. It is highly unusual for restaurants that use Resy to ask for an upfront deposit. Moreover, the credit card integration is used to discourage no shows and cancellations.

The in-app purchases feature has the potential to be highly successful for businesses because Instagram easily attracts the advertisement of food, products, everyday life, and beauty. If you’re like me, being able to make an in-app purchase might be a little bit dangerous! Being able to make in-app purchases will completely feed my shopping addiction. It may even cause some compulsive buying!

With in-app purchases and booking power, Instagram scrollers can become buyers in just a few seconds. Active retailers especially in lifestyle and fashion companies will certainly benefit from these impulsive purchases, which will also allow Instagram to rake in extra cash.

Look out world! Before we know it, Instagram will be the next leading online shopping platform!


Lena Speir

Community Coordinator with a passion for travel and a love for learning. Born and raised in South AL, but loving the city life in Birmingham!

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