Instagram takes a new step in the e-commerce market: the platform launches a new “Pay by Chat” feature. Users can now easily purchase products from small businesses and track orders via direct messages on the app…
More purchases directly on Instagram!
Social commerce has mushroomed in recent years, with TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat. And in Meta apps, which also includes Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp, about a billion people message businesses every week. With this in mind, Meta said it wanted to help users “find and buy the products they love in a simple and seamless experience, right from the chat thread.”
The company has announced the launch of a new chat feature for businesses that will allow more purchases to be made directly on Instagram. It allows small businesses with an Instagram business account to create payment requests and collect payments from customers. Its capacity will be rolled out first to 300,000 small businesses in the United States in the coming weeks.
Right now, the feature is available to small businesses in the US, which means they don’t have to set up a digital storefront with Instagram stores. US SMBs that have not yet used these virtual stores can discuss products with their customers, create orders with customer details and accept payments, right in the real-time chat, without going through another app all in your DM.
In recent years, Instagram has become a popular shopping destination. Many small businesses rely on the platform to gain insight and improve their marketing strategy. From the store tab to product tagging, the Meta-owned platform has improved the shopping experience over the years. Although merchants were already answering questions and organizing customer support via direct messages, they relied on other payment platforms.
This new Instagram shopping experience helps users pay for brands directly on the platform. The transaction will start when the user inquires about a product they are interested in. Payment is made via Meta Pay and is protected by PayPal, Instagram’s payment partner.
Meta Pay is the renamed Facebook Pay. This feature provides an easy and secure way to shop, send money, and donate across Meta’s networks, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. In addition, this payment method encrypts and securely stores your payment card numbers.
Just send a message to a qualified company that you want to buy from. The company initiates a payment link, where you can purchase, track the order, and ask follow-up questions. Meta Pay will also be enabled for an easier payment experience.
Jaw Surf, for example, has tested the feature to sell handcrafted surfboards and flippers. Company owner Joshua Weisfeld said customers often contact him via Instagram chat before making a purchase. But since in-chat payments are enabled, customers can pay directly from the chat thread which always stays open so customers can send messages regarding their purchase.
Currently, this feature is only available to eligible small businesses that have set up a business account and only in the United States. The company hopes to introduce it soon in other countries.