Instagram is the third most used social-media channel platform, behind YouTube and Facebook. It’s the only social media platform that allows you to add links anywhere in your posts. You can only consider one link in your bio.
This can pose a problem for eCommerce companies. This can lead to fewer people visiting your site via Instagram. This can harm sales. In 2018, Instagram introduced an alternative: Instagram Shopping.
Instagram Shopping is more than just a way to combat the “no link” problem. It can also enhance the user experience and make the platform more efficient for sales. Instead of dealing with unattractive and cumbersome links, Instagram Stories and Shopping posts feature clickable images which allow users to view featured products in greater detail and then shop for them on the platform. This will enable brands to work with influencers to increase sales.
Social commerce will play a growing role in online Shopping going into the 2020s. More than 75% of brands use Instagram to shop, an impressive increase from the 53 percent recorded in 2016. Social Shopping will become a more widespread phenomenon over the next decade thanks to emerging technologies like augmented reality.
This means that now is the correct period to create your brand on Instagram Shopping and take advantage of all it offers in eCommerce stores.
We are setting up a shop on Instagram.
It is easy to set up an Instagram Shop. Go to Settings-> Shopping if you already have an Instagram . If you do not have an Instagram account, make one. Next, you will need to:
- Register for a Business account. You can convert an existing non-Business Instagram account by going to Settings.
- Connect to your Facebook page. Connect your Facebook page to your Business account.
- You can have physical goods and products. Instagram’s Shopping features are currently only available to brands with material goods.
- Connect your Facebook catalog. Connect your Facebook account to a Facebook catalog. This can be done through Facebook or eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce.
What features can Instagram Shopping offer?
Instagram’s Shopping features have been expanded over the years. This makes it easy for brands to advertise their products and engage with customers.
These are the top features that brands can use as of 2020. We’ll be discussing each of these features in detail in this article.
- Shoppable posts
- Shoppable stories
- Influencer tagging
- Checkout in-app
- Instagram Shop
- Explore our Shop
- Augmented reality
Shoppable posts were first introduced to Instagram in 2018. They allowed brands to feature products on their profiles and provide a link to the brand’s eCommerce website.
You can highlight a product or tag multiple products in a post. This can be done either as a single image, or as a carousel.
Shoppable posts are only available on the Instagram app for mobile and not the limited version you can view on a computer. Shoppable posts are an excellent way for Instagram users to follow brands, find new products, and then buy them from their phones. This makes Instagram a powerful sales channel for eCommerce companies
Shoppable Stories allow brands to direct users directly to the links in their Instagram Stories, just like shoppable posts. Stories are interactive, unlike posts. Brands can mix in videos, swipes, polls, and other elements to make them more creative.
Instagram reports one-third of the most viewed stories come from brands, and 60% of users discover new brands and products through the platform. A staggering 85 percent completion rate for brand stories is a sign of high engagement and broad reach.
Instagram has launched a new upcoming feature that allows influencers to social shop in 2019, which takes the power of Instagram to new heights. Instagram no longer restricts product tagging only to brand posts. Instead, it allows influencers to tag products in their seats.
Research on the human mind shows that the appearance of a product on someone else is “social proof” for it. This term was first used by Robert Cialdini’s 1984 book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Celebrities and micro-influencers promote products so well. Brands can promote their products on Instagram by working with active Instagram influencers.
Instant Checkout is another feature that was introduced in 2019. It’s simple, but it’s revolutionary for Instagram in that users no longer have to leave Instagram to purchase an item.
The Checkout function allows users to purchase on Instagram directly. It also offers features such as tracking and shipping notifications. Users can also save their payment information to make future purchases.
Although Instagram Checkout is currently only available to a select few brands in the U.S.A, likely, the platform will soon be rolling it out to many more brands.
The Shop tab is essential for Instagram brands. It allows them to set up a shop on their account. Customers interested in purchasing your products can browse your catalog to view all available items, and then click through to your site to place an order.
To view an eCommerce brand’s catalog, click the Shop tab.
The Shop tab can be accessed through your profile, but it may also appear on users’ Shopping feeds when they are looking at similar products (more details below).
Instagram users can click on Explore to open the app. From there, they can go to the Shop tab at the top to view curated products by brands that match their interests based on previous activity (brands followed and posts viewed).
Brands who enable the Shop tab in their profiles have an additional opportunity to reach more people. This includes users who may not have heard of their brand but have liked similar brands. They can also use this feature to “explore shop” for users interested in buying items.
Augmented reality (AR), the latest shopping feature on Instagram, allows brands to use the technology to add an interactive element to product ads.
Brands can use the AR filter to create various effects that allow users to try items out before purchasing them. Like the Checkout feature, the AR filter is not yet available for everyone, but it is something that you should keep an eye on in the future.
How to get shoppers to your brand’s Instagram account
These are some ways to engage and interact with customers now that you are aware of the features available to brands.
Use hashtags to build community and increase discoverability
Have you ever wondered why so many people use hashtags in their posts? You would use them on Instagram for two main reasons: discoverability and community.
Your posts will be visible to users who click on a hashtag on Instagram to find more posts using that hashtag. This is why it is important to choose the right hashtags and not random ones that will not reach your target audience.
Homesick used multiple hashtags in this example, but it wasn’t overwhelming or spammy. They also use hashtags from various categories.
- Brand hashtags: #homesickcandles #homesickstory
- Related category hashtags : #homedecor and #candles
- Sentimental and communal hashtags: #yourhappyplace or #fallwithus
A study showed that 11 hashtags per post are enough to increase your discovery and not look like spam. The current limit is 30.
Create excitement with giveaways and promotions
Promos and giveaways are a great way to spread the word about a new product launch or sale. This can increase engagement on Instagram by referring friends to your account.
ModCloth invites customers to share photos of their friends wearing their products to be eligible for a gift certificate. This is an excellent way for customers to refer friends and family.
There are other ways to generate buzz. For example, users can ask their friends to tag them in the comments. Users who were unaware of the brand before can now follow it by referring a friend.
A contest or regular Instagram post can ask users to sign-up for your email newsletter. You can either pay for Instagram Ads to direct your CTA page to the sign-up page or ask users to click the link in their bio to go to a subscription landing site.
Drive loyalty by republishing, tagging, and featuring customer content
A great way to build community is to ask users to share photos with a brand hashtag and then feature them on your profile with a reposting application.
It makes it easier to find users and influencers posting photos or stories related to your products. You can also repost their pictures or tag them in your posts.
Customers who feel that you are engaging with them and showing appreciation (and giving them public recognition) generate more loyalty, engagement, and satisfaction.
According to demographics, millennials prefer Instagram more than any other social media. Facebook is second. Gen Z shoppers also find this true, with Snapchat being the most used app, followed closely by Instagram.
Gen Z consumers are also more active on their mobile devices, with 53 percent making purchases on mobile in the last six months. Another 80 percent of teens get their beauty tips via social media.
These trends indicate the growing influence of social commerce among younger generations. This will undoubtedly impact shopping trends for the next decade. Brands will have more options to create immersive online shopping experiences. This will help to draw customers to your products in engaging ways.
Instagram Shopping is an excellent example of this new shopping experience. Customers actively use the platform to shop, but it’s more social than commercial.
These features will make your brand stand-out on Instagram.
- Shoppable posts. Tag products in your posts and link users to your site to buy.
- Shoppable stories. Shoppable stories: Feature products on Instagram Stories. Let users swipe up to view more information.
- Influencer tagging. To have influencers tag your products in their posts, you can partner up with them.
- In-app Checkout. Customers don’t need to leave Instagram to make purchases.
- Instagram Shop. Instagram Shop.
- Shop. Create your Instagram Shop to make it easily discoverable by users who share similar interests.
- Augmented reality. Customers can view your stories through AR and create new experiences.
Use these features to increase engagement and make Shopping for your brand a pleasant experience.
- Use the correct hashtags. Use hashtags relevant to your product search, product category, and emotion.
- Hosting giveaways and promotions is a great way to reward your loyal followers. Regular giveaways and other promotions can be a great way to reward loyal followers and attract new ones.
- Feature customer content. Repost user-generated content that features your products to create a sense of community.