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2022 Social Media In-app Checkout Tools: An Overview

Alice Wong
August 12, 2022
Almost every major social platform, from Snapchat to TikTok, now lets you set up a storefront on their app. Use these strategies to optimize checkout.

Almost every major social platform, from Snapchat to TikTok, now lets you set up a storefront on their app. This means they let businesses upload their product catalogs, and they have a buy button that takes customers directly to the purchase page on your Shopify site.

But right now, only a few social platforms actually let customers check out in the app—meaning that customers can enter the payment and shipping info without having to go to an external site. These companies are Facebook, Instagram, and—as of 2022—Pinterest. 

Wait, Pinterest has in-app checkout?

Pinterest is the newest social media platform to join the race for in-app checkout. It announced in March 2022 that it was introducing Pinterest Checkout, a tool where users can input their payment info and shipping addresses and make purchases directly on the Pinterest app. 

Right now, Pinterest’s shopping tools are in beta for a small number of Pinterest businesses that have activated the app’s integration with Shopify. The rest of these features will get rolled out over the course of 2022. 

By all accounts, Pinterest Checkout should be a smooth process: Pinterest has an API that automatically updates the details of products in your catalog, so when you change your in-stock availability on Shopify, the same changes will show up on your Pinterest store, too.

Why should brands care about in-app checkout? 

By all accounts, social media checkout is a small but rapidly growing niche. In 2021, people bought $36 billion worth of products they discovered on social media first. Hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt have created a large audience of shoppers who go to social platforms in order to find new products. 

Of those social commerce shoppers, most made a purchase through the retailer’s website. But 38.5% of social commerce buyers still made a purchase directly in-app, making in-app checkout a fast-growing purchase medium that brands need to be informed of. 

In-app checkout also increases the conversion rate on a purchase, because there are much fewer steps—and much less friction—between discovering a product in an Instagram or Pinterest post and actually going ahead and purchasing it.

How does Checkout work? 

On Instagram and Facebook, which have dominated in-app checkout until recently, you can save your contact and billing info permanently after making one purchase. When you buy a shirt off of Instagram for the first time, Instagram will automatically remember it, so that in the future you can make purchases with a few clicks. 

The one downside is that social media platforms do take a percentage cut of all transactions that happen on their platforms. Pinterest hasn’t disclosed how much of a commission it will take when businesses use its Checkout feature. On Facebook and Instagram, for orders above $8, each take a 5% cut when you check out with either app. (For orders under $8, they instead take a flat $.40 fee.) 

What else do you need to know? 

In-app checkout is clearly part of a growing trend, and it will likely become a prominent part of how e-commerce shoppers make purchases in the coming years. 

When your customers buy from your brand entirely on social media, they’re also going to expect customer service to happen on social platforms, too. Chatdesk Teams provides flexible customer support teams who can answer customer questions directly in the comments or DMs, and who know the ins and outs of customer service on social media.

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