After they were spotted in testing last month, Instagram has now officially announced the addition of its new gift card, food order, and fundraiser tools for Stories and profiles, which will provide businesses impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns with another way to generate income during the ongoing crisis.
As explained by Instagram:
"Businesses can share new gift card, food order, and fundraiser stickers in Stories and on their profiles. When you see gift cards or food orders, you can tap to make your purchase through our partner’s site. Fundraisers [when tapped] open on Facebook to a personal fundraiser created by business owners or their supporters."
With retailers forced to close their physical stores, they need options to generate revenue. For restaurants, delivery and take-out orders are now the key focus, while retailers are obviously losing out significantly without their regular foot traffic. eCommerce tools can help, but those that sell services don't have the same capacity in this respect. Considering this, providing easier ways to promote gift cards is a good option, giving loyal customers more ways to support the businesses they love amid the crisis.
Fundraisers are a slightly different proposition.
As Instagram notes, fundraisers will be attached to personal fundraisers on Facebook - earlier this month, Facebook added a new option to its personal fundraising options in order to enable business owners to create personal fundraisers to call on their customers for support.
Soon, businesses will also have the option to connect these personal fundraisers to a dedicated 'Support' Instagram Stories sticker (as spotted by Jane Manchun Wong in testing), as well a business profile button, adding more ways to raise awareness of fundraising campaigns.
The new measures provide more options for businesses to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 - and you can imagine that there's a range of ways in which these could be used.
A local bookstore, for example, could offer a 5% discount on gift cards to help offset losses, while kids play centers, movie theaters - there's a wide range of businesses that could run specific promotions around these tools to generate some level of income during the closures.
Obviously they won't offset the full impacts, or even most of them, but Instagram's looking to provide options where it can, and these are worthy tools to consider.
The new gift card and food ordering options are available in the US and Canada starting today, and will be rolled out globally in the coming weeks. The fundraiser integration will be launched shortly.