Shopping on Instagram: Customers Can Now Pay Directly in Chat

Shopping on Instagram just got more interesting! Business will now be able to receive payments from Instagram customers directly in the Instagram Direct chat. Meta just announced the feature. We explain how that works, what shops qualify, and what advantages and disadvantages there are. 

Big news for businesses on Instagram: starting now, you can receive payments directly in the chat. As Meta announced, certain qualified small business will be able to chat with their customers, receive purchase orders, send tracking information, and receive payment—all without ever having to leave the Instagram Direct chat.

In the following, we explain everything you need to know about the new feature.

Shopping on Instagram: how does the in-chat payment work?

Starting now, certain small qualified businesses will be able to receive in-chat payment on Instagram. Meta describes the process as a one-stop-shop for talking with customers, taking down an order, receiving payment and sending them tracking information—all within the Instagram Direct chat.

For example, if a customer is interested in a product, a business can first send them more information about it. In the next step, the customer can order the product directly in the chat, and now also pay.

shopping on Instagram, Meta Pay

From chat to shop on Instagram Direct. (Source: Meta)

The payment will be funneled through Meta Pay (recently re-branded from Facebook Pay), and, according to Meta, will only take “a few taps”. After a purchase is completed, customers will be able to use the same chat for follow-up questions or to check on their order status.

Meta Pay, Instagram shop, Instagram Direct

Meta promises that payments will be easy and secure. (Source: Meta)

How do you qualify as a business for the in-chat payment?

In order to be able to use the new in-chat pay feature, you have to qualify as a small business, and have a business account on Instagram. You set up your Instagram business account by first signing up as a business on the Commerce Manager on Facebook.

Once approved, you can connect your Facebook shop to Instagram, and start using the payment feature as well.

💡 Find out how brands are already using Instagram Direct to sell more!

How do you set up Instagram payments?

There are two ways to set up the Instagram Direct payments

  1. Go to your dashboard, and select the option “payments in chat”.
  2. Use the symbols send or messenger, and then in the chat where you are requesting a payment. Select the amount, add a description of the product, and tap “request”. Your customer will now see the payment request, and will be able to complete the purchase.

Sellers will also have to provide personal information, such as legal name, date of birth, and a social security number.

Is shopping on Instagram secure?

Meta promises that payments for Instagram shopping will be “securley processed” and “protected”. Meta Pay uses several features to ensure this safety, such as and anti-fraud monitor, a PIN code, data security, and a 24/7 customer support.

Advantages and disadvantages of the new payment feature

The new feature offers businesses new opportunities, but there are also some risks.

Advantages of conversational commerce

Conversational commerce, that is, selling while conversing with your customers on a messaging app or chat, has many advantages. Selling through dialogue means that you already have established a personal connection with an interested customer, so you can offer not only a more personalized customer experience, but you also get to know your customers much better.

In a chat, there is no need to use tracking cookies to find out what your clients want. You can just ask them! This will give you highly valuable customer data, and you will know exactly what each customer really wants (instead of having to extrapolate this from website data).

Furthermore, these personal conversations will help build more trust and higher loyalty with your clients, and turn sometimes shopper into recurring customers.

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Customers will purchase more if they can chat with your business.

For your business, being able to offer a full shopping experience on Instagram, also means that you can diversify your target group, and expand your business to new channels. Conversational shopping also has a lower customer acquisition cost, and renders higher net promoter scores.

Get ready to unlock the secrets to growing your business through messaging!

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However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when trying out Instagram’s new payment option.

Disadvantages of Instagram Payment

While it’s great to be able to receive payments from your customers directly on Instagram Direct, it’s not enough for the payment process to be secure. You also have to ensure that your customer’s data is protected. With Meta’s servers being in the US, a GDPR protection, for instance, is not guaranteed.

Another disadvantage is that, while you are able to collect direct user data through messaging on Instagram Direct, it’s not particularly useful, until you can integrate it in your CRM system.

In addition, handling sales on a new channel also requires more resources, unless you are able to automate the process, for example with the help of chatbots.

Unless you have a professional solution, you won’t be able to do any of these things directly on Instagram, and that’s where Professional Business Solution Providers like MessengerPeople come in. They are official Meta partners, and offer your business a ready-to-go software solution that allows you to:

  • connect to the Instagram API
  • guarantee your customers 100 percent data protection
  • integrate your CRM system
  • add chatbots

In addition, you will also be able to handle all of your customer messaging conversations, from Instagram Direct to WhatsApp to Apple Messages for Business on one single platform. Given where Meta (and the customers) are headed, expanding in your messenger communication is a worthwhile investment.

Meta is pushing for business communication on messaging services

The new Instagram payment feature is yet another update that shows how Meta is pushing the business use of their messaging services.

In May, at the Conversations conference, Meta said that conversational messaging was the future of interaction, not only with friends and family, but also with business. According to Mark Zuckerberg, one billion people message a business across the Meta apps every week.

Mark Zuckerberg, messaging, Conversations

Mark Zuckerberg points out how customers now message businesses. (Source: Meta)

In order to further this development, Meta has already started making several changes in its family of apps. For example, the WhatsApp Business Platform (formerly: WhatsApp API) is now open to all businesses, Instagram is supposed to follow this fall. At the same time, Meta is working on a subscription model with premium features for WhatsApp Business.

Yet another update this year was that recurring messages on the Facebook Messenger are now open to all businesses again. Before, only certain media publications could use the feature.

With the in-chat payment feature on Instagram, Meta has now made another strategic move to enhance the business use of its messaging apps.

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