Instagram users in the US can now pay for their orders directly in their DMs with a particular seller. Users can also ask any questions they might have and track their orders in the same message thread.
This new payments in messages option will only be available for qualified accounts that have already set up a business account on the platform.
Instagram and other Meta platforms, including Facebook, have been adding new shopping features to make life easier for small business owners by letting customers find and shop from them without these businesses having to set up their e-commerce stores or go to other platforms where they may have to spend extra to get their products seen.
The new feature aims to remove the additional step of sending an invoice, which often requires using another app, as shopping becomes a more central part of Instagram’s in-app experience. Overall, qualified small business owners on the platform will be able to do the following:
- Talk to customers in real-time to answer any queries and confirm purchase details.
- Create payment requests with item descriptions and prices.
- Request and collect said payments.
Payments will be made through Meta’s in-house payment platform – Meta Pay allows faster and more secure checkouts without ever leaving the app.
Instagram has been facing stiff competition from rival TikTok, which has driven the platform to get more creative with its approach. Instagram has constantly been adding features to its Shop tab and making it more prominent to reduce friction between small businesses and their customers on the platform. Even Reels, the platform’s answer to its main rival TikTok, received e-commerce features in 2020.