Instagram is ramping up its e-commerce capabilities, most recently by expanding its checkout feature. First launched in 2019, new updates aim to make it easier for brands to facilitate in-app purchases. However, even with these updates, Instagram still essentially serves as a digital window shopping experience for brands, rather than a purchase-making one.
In the latest #BoFLive, deputy editor Brian Baskin speaks with BoF correspondent Cathleen Chen and senior editorial associate Alexandra Mondalek as well as Amira Rasool, founder and chief executive of luxury African and diaspora e-commerce platform The Folklore, about how Instagram can create a popular shopping platform for brands and consumers with its e-commerce expansion.
Even as Instagram has invested in new shopping tools, brands feel that it still doesn’t offer as complete of an experience as their own platforms do — and therefore can’t drive the same amount of sales. “I think [Instagram] really limits the exploration and the discovery of more products and more skews because it’s way more difficult to browse through Instagram than it is on our actual platform,” said Rasool. Although with the social media platform facilitating viral item trends, Chen said “this is where [brands say] Instagram checkout comes into play [when] you want to capture that desire for instant gratification.”
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