Shoppable Search and Instagram Checkout: What Brands Need to Know

Checking out the e-commerce way has never been easier and your media buying agency is the best way to keep up with the shoppable assets within media.

Retailers and consumers take note: Google and Instagram are determined to radically simplify the buyer’s journey. Elegant simplicity is one of the highest aims of user experience, and both Google and Instagram are making moves to simplify and streamline purchases made within their ecosystems.
Brands are in a position to reap significant rewards from these efforts — and the right media planning agency can help them take advantage.

The birth of “Checkout on Instagram”

Instagram is a natural space for e-commerce — it’s a highly visual medium that lends itself perfectly to product showcasing and placement. With the recent introduction of “Checkout on Instagram,” the platform is on the way to realizing its e-commerce potential.

The new feature works like this: Instead of seeing a “view on website” button when using Instagram’s shopping tags feature; platform users will see a “check out on Instagram” button. By pressing this button, users can immediately purchase the item they are viewing without being referred to a third-party site.

Instagram will make these in-platform checkouts fairly seamless by storing payment data from users’ first purchase, which eliminates the need for payment details to be entered repeatedly. Users can also track delivery and shipment information directly within Instagram.

Currently, this feature is a closed beta with only 23 pre-selected businesses participating. Instagram will charge each business a fee for each completed transaction. However, given the platform’s reach (one billion active users) that seems like a price most businesses and media planning agencies will be willing to pay.

Google extends shoppable ads to image search results

Customers (and brands) are always searching for ways to reduce the number of touch points on the path to a sale. Google is particularly well positioned to provide greater simplicity thanks to its massive search index and image library.

Now, the company is capitalizing on that positioning by introducing shoppable ads to Google Images search results. Taking a cue from Pinterest (which recently announced its shopping results would be positioned at the top of search pages) and Instagram, brands can now tag multiple products on an ad. Users then see the product type and price when hovering.

During a keynote talk at Shoptalk (a retail industry conference), Google President of Retail Shopping and Payments Daniel Alegre said Shoppable Ads would help better connect brands and consumers by reducing touch points.

By making these images shoppable, Google allows retailers to theoretically increase conversions by interacting with consumers when they are primed and ready to buy. The greater the number of touch points, the higher the potential for a consumer to become sidetracked or successfully converted by a competitor.

Given the combined activities of Instagram, Google, and Pinterest, it’s clear that major platforms are seeking to make search results and ads more shoppable. These efforts dovetail nicely with the desire of audiences for simpler, faster, and better e-commerce options.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we help brands identify the ideal mediums for their marketing messages. Contact our team today and we’ll show you the kind of impact the right media planning agency can have when paired with the right display advertising services.

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