On average, over 130 million users browse through Instagram shopping posts each month. With so much online traffic and the introduction of new shopping features, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the world’s largest mobile shopping platforms. E-commerce retailers owe it to themselves to get on board or risk losing sales. We’ve gathered a few helpful ideas to further your sales success in this venture.
Fine Tune Your Business Profile — Your Instagram business profile is the new storefront. It’s the first point of contact a customer has with your brand. Consumers are increasingly choosing Instagram over Google to search for the brands they crave, so you want to make a good impression. Your business profile should be polished, succinct, and should reflect your audience’s tastes. Choose a brand-centric photo that is easily identifiable.
Your Instagram bio is incredibly important, and should let users know exactly what you’re offering. The URL section of your bio is the only clickable link you can add to your Instagram page, so make good use of it.
Creating a consistent brand aesthetic and sticking to it can turn casual visitors into valued customers who will spread the word about their new favorite online shop.
Set Up Your Instagram Shop — When you set up a “Shop” on Instagram, your products can appear on the Explore page where millions of users visit each day. More than half of Instagram users check out the Explore page every month. (That’s about 500 million people, according to the latest Instagram statistics.) Which posts are shown in the feed is determined by the Instagram algorithm, which considers things like posts that people have liked, posts with high engagement, and accounts similar to those that potential customers already follow.
On the Explore page, users can browse through IGTV videos, shop, or search posts by tags such as fitness, decor and style. The Shop tab can show your products to potential customers who don’t necessarily follow your regular feed. Creating at least one shop post will activate the Shop tab on your profile. Instagram allows you to set up and customize your Shop for free.
Use Instagram Checkout — This feature is only available through the mobile app and not a computer, and only for a limited number of brands. Instagram Checkout allows shoppers to buy featured items from a brand without leaving the platform. Users tap a shopping bag icon on a profile of a participating brand. This icon indicates that the post is tagged with products available for purchase. Also, shoppers can look for a double-arrow “Buy on Instagram” or “Checkout on Instagram” button on a product page. Items bought from Checkout are covered by a purchase protection.
Tag Your Products — When you post images in your feed or in Instagram Stories, you can tag products that appear in your images. Tagging is allowed for up to five products per image or Stories video. A shopping bag icon appears in the corner of your image, letting shoppers know that items have been tagged and are available for purchase. When users click on the icon, the products for sale will be displayed. Clicking on the items will reveal details about the products, so it helps for retailers to be as succinct as possible, using the most relevant information available for each description. Benefits, specs, price, and availability are always good to include.
Another option is to tag a product in an Instagram Story video. However, only one product can be tagged and these videos only last for 24 hours.
Swipe Up for More — Business accounts with over 10,000 followers can incorporate the “swipe up” feature in Stories. Include an image and some eye-grabbing text, and add the “See More” or “Swipe Up” tag at the bottom. Users will then be led to your website to continue their journey.
Instagram Ad Campaigns — Competition for online shoppers and Instagram’s constantly changing algorithms make ads critical to sales success. Once your business profile is established, you can decide how much you want to spend, how long you want your ads to run, and where you want your ads to be seen.
Establishing Instagram ad campaigns is fairly simple, but many small business owners might find it intimidating. A simple way to run ads is by promoting posts you’ve already shared on Instagram. Just select the post and click the “promote” button.
Instagram will automatically choose “similar audience” that you can share the post to, but you can also tailor your ad to a specific audience in the app by choosing an interest, age range, and gender.
The key to successful Instagram ad campaigns is to keep it simple. To best drive your e-commerce sales you should focus on clearly explaining how shoppers can purchase your products.
Use Hashtags Wisely — Hashtags are the basic go-to research option for users on social media, so it helps to use them for every post. Word to the wise, however; use on the hashtags that are relevant to your product. Do your own hashtag research to see which ones are popular, but not too popular because you’ll end up getting lost in the search shuffle. Also, you wouldn’t want to include what you think is an innocent hashtag, that turns out to be inappropriate for your audience.
Don’t overdo it, though. Too many hashtags clutter up your posts and make your business look less professional. Basically, select your hashtags carefully and just use a few.
Nurture Your Community — This seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked: Engage with your followers! Build your community of followers with honest communication and genuine excitement. It helps to let consumers know why you do what you do, not just what you’re doing or selling. Work hard to create stories and dialogue with your followers and potential customers. Find out what they’re passionate about, reach out to answer their questions, offer deals that matter to them, and share their successful shopping experiences through reviews. Just remember to be positive and treat your customers like you want to be treated. This will go a long way in creating repeat customers and rabid fans of your business!
Driving product sales on Instagram can be easy and effective, but you have to keep your customers in mind at all times and stay current with changing trends and technology. Of course, this is just one part of a complete marketing strategy for your e-commerce business. If you’re looking for success beyond the basics, Commerce Pundit can help you with in-depth digital marketing, social media management, e-commerce solutions, web design and development, and much more. If you’re ready to expand your business beyond your current boundaries, contact us today.