An Open Letter to Kev & Mike of Instagram


Kevin Systrom and Michel Krieger
1 Hacker Way
Menlo Park CA 94025

Dear Kevin and Michel,

No letter of this nature would begin with anything but an enormous congratulations (with love, from the team here at Fillr). You have taken your company to dizzying heights of success, and a quick scan of the news headlines reveals that you are becoming ‘Facebook’s next Facebook’, that teenagers worldwide are turning to you in droves, and that experts predict you’re on track to become the world’s most popular social network.

From one set of entrepreneurs to another, then, we can do nothing but applaud you.


Sort of.

But we’ll get to that.

When researching the stories of your success, we couldn’t help but notice that you now have over one million advertisers (double what you had just six months ago).  This is no surprising feat given that you’re now the top social platform for customer engagement, meaning, of course, that people see, like and share your content more than any other platform. And anyone who has used Instagram can see why this happens – you’re mobile-first (just like us!), visual in nature, and provide the perfect level of simplicity.

Yet, there’s one thing that we’re a bit concerned about.

As any discerning digital marketer would know, engagement only gets you so far. Likes, comments and shares are great vanity metrics, but ultimately pointless if they don’t convert into the one true thing that merchants really care about, and that is – sales.

And that, Kev and Mike, is where we think you might have a bit of a problem.

Mobile conversion – still a (huge) problem

We know that this information won’t surprise you, but the rate at which the ads you are selling turn into sales is quite, um, low. In fact, mobile conversion rates remain at a rather depressing 1.55%. Given the surge in demand for your ads, we know that what this means is that merchants are now basically paying more for less. At what point, we wonder, will they cease seeing engagement as valuable, and ask the all-important ROI question instead?

The problem, as you’re probably aware, is not that there’s anything wrong with the ads per se, but more with what happens when users leave your feed…

The abandonment economy

If you haven’t heard of the term ‘abandonment economy,’ we’d like to introduce it to you now. Basically, it’s the opportunity cost to the economy – which is huge – of having users see your wonderful ads, follow them to a merchants site, put an item straight in their shopping cart and then…leave it there. The sheer scale of the abandonment economy defies belief – it’s USD $4 trillion, which, in case you’re interested, is more than the entire world’s GDP.

Just stop to imagine, for a second, what the cumulative effect on merchants (and their associated advertising spend with you) could be if you could help them convert even just a few more of those sales.

But isn’t it someone else’s problem after customers leave Insta?

If your first reaction to the abandonment economy is to say that ‘isn’t it the merchant’s problem to take care of the customer?’ once they leave Instagram, we would (in part) agree with you.

After all, it’s a known fact that customers abandon their shopping carts due to payment and shipping issues, such as the fact that merchants don’t offer the payment options a customer needs, or that shipping costs are higher than expected.

Add to this the fact that sometimes customers may simply be browsing, or may get distracted while completing their purchase, we do agree with you: the (terrible) conversion rate on mobile is – at least in part – out of your hands.

But Insta can help!

But it isn’t entirely out of your hands. In fact, there’s something pretty big you can do.

You see, one of the biggest issues that merchants face when converting their customers is that checking out items takes, quite simply, too long, and it’s just too hard. Using Instagram on your mobile is seamless as all you need to do is scroll and tap a button. Buying something on your mobile is anything but. You have to navigate your way through multiple screens, and fat-finger your way through typing your name, address, credit card details (and usually a whole host of other information).

Basically, no one wants to do it and no one is doing it. Research shows that 27% of cart abandonments occur due to time restraints, and a further 23% occur as the checkout process is too complex.

Don’t think there’s anything you can do?

Think again.

Cue autofill-as-a-service: intelligent autofill that when integrated with Instagram, would allow customers to see your beautiful ads, click through to the merchants’ site, and then complete the checkout process up to 536 times faster.

Here’s how it would all work. You’d integrate the Fillr SDK, then, our world-leading software would effectively read the end merchant’s checkout form (in a manner not too dissimilar to what a human eye would), and populate it with all the information required quickly and accurately (we are talking names, addresses, email, phone. And when we say accurately we mean it, our service is 97% accurate, which, by the way, is about 40% more accurate than other autofills).

Then, the customer would complete their checkout.

Then, your merchant would make another sale. And another.

The ROI on their Instagram advertising would skyrocket.

More $$$ for you. More $$$ for them. Everyone wins.

How does this story end?

Kevin and Michel, we’d like to finish this letter by saying that we here at Fillr think that it’s in your power to put a dent in the abandonment economy, that pesky $4 USD trillion annual loss that is plaguing your merchants and assumedly, their advertising budget.  

And we think that a great way to start doing this would be offering your merchants a seamless advertising experience that actually achieves ROI – all with the help of autofill.

Experts do say, by the way, that 63% of all merchandise abandoned in shopping carts is potentially recoverable.

What would it mean for merchants, but more importantly, what could that mean for you, your followers, and your business should you help make that the case?

Yours Sincerely,

The team at Fillr

Fillr has developed ‘Autofill as a Service’, the world’s most intelligent and accurate autofill that seamlessly integrates into your social or shopping app.  Contact us today to find out how our technology can help your customers to transact faster and more effectively across millions of merchants sites, boosting your conversions and revenue.