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In-App Shopping on Instagram: What It Means for Marketers

It’s no secret the retail industry wants to engage with, nurture and sell to consumers via social media. Similar to Snapchat’s latest monetization efforts, Instagram is quietly expanding their shopping capabilities. 

What Does Shopping on Instagram Entail?

With an initiative launched last year, Instagram allows brands to deploy interactive posts with shoppable tags that link to webpages, pushing users out of the app to complete a purchase. Partners like Kate Spade take advantage of this feature. Originally available only in the U.S., Instagram’s shopping capabilities went global in March.

Does Instagram Have Plans to Keep Shoppers Within Their App?


Instagram is testing in-app shopping with select retailers, like restaurants and salons. Within the app, Instagram users can book reservations and make native (in-app) payments.

Appointments are scheduled on a retailer’s Instagram profile page by selecting the “book” call to action (CTA) located just below the company bio. Users then select their services and review their appointment details before confirming the reservations.

Snapchat has also tested native payments for their own branded store, indicating expansion past reservation making may be in the plans.

To make in-app reservations on Instagram, users must save debit and/or credit card information to their profiles and set their PIN numbers for security. This capability is rolling out throughout the U.S., but it is not yet available to all U.S. Instagram users.

Though Instagram payment capabilities are limited in comparison to Facebook payment capabilities, Facebook payment rules apply to Instagram accounts.

What Does Instagram Shopping Mean for Marketers?

Although their brand follower growth is on a downward trend, with 800 million monthly active users (MAU), Instagram is a dominant social media platform that should not be ignored.

In fact, 60% of internet users with a household income of more than $100,000 are on Instagram.

The in-app Instagram shopping capabilities are currently too limited to have much impact for marketers. But as Instagram expands native shopping across their artistic and easy-to-consume content feed, there will be more opportunity for brands drive revenue.

Once in-app Instagram shopping expands, it will deliver a seamless conversion process to more Instagram users. Allowing for quick, “impulse buys,” as TechCrunch puts it, native purchases can drive shorter conversion lifecycles and higher conversion rates.

In the meantime, retailers with an audience that matches the Instagram profile should consider posting with shopping tags that push traffic outside the app. Although the in-app conversion rate may be lower, a click drives that Instagram user directly to your landing page. Click here to read the Instagram instructions on how to get started.

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About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, LLC (DMS) is the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand direct and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS deploys a robust database of consumer intelligence and leverages massive proprietary media distribution to provide customer acquisition campaigns that grow businesses. Continuing to experience explosive year-over-year growth, DMS has been continuously recognized on the Inc. 5000 list, securing its sixth consecutive ranking in 2019, and the Entrepreneur magazine 360 list. Earlier this year, DMS announced it is anticipating becoming a public company under a reverse merger deal with Leo Holdings Corp. Named one of America’s “Best Places to Work” by Inc. magazine and awarded the Excellence in Lead Generation Award by the LeadsCouncil, DMS brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people, efficient processes and sophisticated technology across the digital marketing spectrum. For more information about DMS, visit Keep up with DMS news at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

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