Target and Instagram Checkout

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Target and Instagram Checkout

May 29, 2020

Our fifteenth minisode of the third season of “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes, Spotify, and premier platforms everywhere.  In minisodes, we answer questions that our listeners have emailed Jon.  In this minisode, Jon talks about Instagram Checkout and Target’s recent arrival to the service as a predictor for things to come in the new world of “social media retailing.”


A transcript of the episode follows:

This week’s question comes from Rosa.

Hi Jon,
I’ve heard something on the news that Target now sells through Instagram. Does this mean that they just got an account or is this something new? I don’t understand what fuss is about. Do you know?
I’m sure you get lots of emails, so in the off chance you see this, thank you for your time!

Well, Rosa, thank you!

What you probably heard is that Target announced on May 21 that they are the first major retailer to make its products available through Instagram Checkout.

What does that mean? You can now purchase products displayed in @Target and @TargetStyle posts directly from Instagram.

Each shoppable post is marked with a shopping bag icon in the corner. From there, guests can tap on a product, modify it (like choose a color or size) and check out—all without leaving Instagram.

It’s no longer social media marketing—it’s really social media retailing! And it’s pretty cool!

Now for those of you that know your way around Instagram, this may be old news. The Instagram Checkout feature has actually been available for over a year; it launched in March 2019. But, before now, adoption of the feature was limited, and tended to be used by retailers that catered more directly to Instagram—the kinds of fitness and wellness products that you tend to see advertised in your feed. Especially now ,given the pandemic and that everybody’s home.

Now that a major retailer like Target is using the feature, it is a good indication of the growing maturity of the feature and, I think, is the reason why you may just be noticing that Instagram Checkout exists.

When you think about it, it’s a major step forward for mobile e-commerce. Nearly all Instagram users access it through the app on their phones (rather than through a web browser, typically how you typically think about shopping online). This means that Target’s embrace of Instagram is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to shopping on your phone, while you are, for example, standing in a socially distanced line waiting for a latte.

I expect we will see many more stores and companies follow Target’s lead into the new “social media retailing.”

Rosa, thank you for your question.

The Creative Influencer is a bi-weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California.  Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.

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