Instagram Checkout Receives Mixed Reviews From E-Commerce Experts

Facebook CEO
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook Inc's annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo)

A virtual business expert expressed skepticism over Facebook's rollout of its new selling feature on Instagram, Checkout, that could pose a threat to online retailers who already have established personal selling websites or accounts. Other industry analysts said the feature could actually work well for both buyers and sellers.

In an op-ed for Business Insider, Button CEO and Co-founder, Michael Jaconi, said Instagram Checkout can open opportunities for online retail startups but could be a dilemma for established sellers.

Jaconi noted that Facebook's new selling feature could be a downside for retailers who will become over-dependent on Instagram Checkout instead of focusing on selling their products directly and through their personal accounts.

For Jaconi, Instagram Checkout could potentially establish battles between online retailers that require intense optimizing on the platform. Whoever wins will sell products but the B2B experts stressed that success through the feature could be "short-lived.

Aside from potential disintermediation for online retailers, Jaconi pointed out that multiple-category may also be driven out of the e-commerce market. He said Instagram Checkout could possibly force established retailers to focus on one product now that Facebook is putting up a fight against Amazon and Google's selling platforms.

"Regardless of the risk of disintermediation or multiple-category retail going away, Facebook's announcement of Instagram Checkout poses both an opportunity and a risk," Jaconi said. He added that retailers should consider the offer in a skeptical manner.

Meanwhile, other e-commerce experts expressed positive thoughts on Facebook's new product. While the feature is still in being tested, some industry analysts said it could actually be a revenue stream for online retailers.

Instagram has been working over the past years to display an e-commerce friendly environment for entrepreneurs but the Checkout plays a major role in customer experience. It will allow buyers and sellers to make transactions directly on the app - minus the need to open another page for confirming payments.

Instagram's new e-commerce button has also been labeled as another driver in transforming the traditional shopping industry into a digital mall. While Amazon, Pinterest, and Google have their own ways of opening doors for online sellers, Instagram Checkout has its own method of making easier purchasing processes for buyers.

So far, the list of initial retail partners that buyers can explore through Instagram Checkout includes Kylie Cosmetics, Uniqlo, Burberry, Warby Parker, Nike, and more. The team is expecting to add more retailers if results from the beta testing come out well.

The team working on Instagram Checkout said the feature is centered on personalized customer experience. It aims to provide buyers with more convenient yet safe purchasing options through the app.

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts