In recent years, social media and eCommerce have become increasingly linked, with major platforms like Facebook and Twitter creating a wide range of in-app shopping tools.
This phenomenon is known as social commerce, meaning consumers have the option to purchase products directly in social media platforms. By 2023, the social commerce market is expected to exceed a cool $735 (£696) billion and now is the time to get in on the action.
Follow our social commerce series where we’ll be featuring tips on how to blend the best of social media and eCommerce together across different platforms. The first on our list is Instagram.
Top Instagram eCommerce statistics
· Instagram helps 80% of users decide whether to buy a product or service.
· 83% of consumers use Instagram to discover new products and services.
· 130 million people tap on Instagram Shopping posts per day.
· 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories.
These stats are indicative of Instagram’s massive social commerce potential and here are some of the reasons why it’s important to start an Instagram eCommerce strategy.
Benefits of using Instagram in your eCommerce strategy
A highly visual platform
Instagram is perfect for capturing the attention of your customers as soon as they come onto your profile. Think of the platform as an online shopping window, where you can showcase your best-selling items with high resolution imagery and engaging videos.
Learn in-depth insights about your audience
Instagram is ideal for helping you find out more about customer behaviour. This information is uncovered through following trending hashtags in your industry and using the platform’s Insights function.
Instagram Insights lets you drill down into metrics such as demographics, age, location and when people are most active. This will help to shape your social commerce campaigns.
Create an engaged community of brand ambassadors
When used in the right way, Instagram is the perfect platform for launching a community of customer advocates. Your audience will be encouraged to create User-Generated Content (UGC), shout about your brand on their own Instagram channel and follow you for updates.
A platform to be used across multiple touch-points
Another benefit of Instagram is that you can use it to amplify your eCommerce strategy across other channels such as Facebook and Google. Whether it’s creating retargeting campaigns or cross-promoting content on another platform, there’s so much you can do!
Key Instagram eCommerce and social commerce features
Instagram Shopping is a set of features that lets consumers research and buy products directly through Instagram. People can explore product collections, read detailed production information and checkout through the platform. (Please note the Checkout feature is only available to brands in the US currently).
Types of Instagram Shopping features
· Instagram Feed Post Shopping: These posts let you tag up to five products on a single image and in video posts.
· Instagram Shops: Curate a list of shoppable items that can be accessed via a ‘View Shop’ button on your Instagram profile page.
· Instagram Stories Shopping: Consumers can click on product stickers within a Story to learn more about an item and make a purchase.
· Instagram Live Shopping: Provide a live broadcast and tag products directly for shoppers to tap and buy.
Instagram Reels Shopping
Instagram Reels has become one of the most popular features to use for promoting short form video content and it has eCommerce functionality. Brands can tag products within Reels and viewers have the option to either buy, save or learn more about featured products.
There is also a branded content tool in Reels to make it clear when you are working in partnership with another business.
Instagram Reels best practices
· As a mobile-first format, Instagram Reels need to be designed with the right specifications in mind. We recommend the aspect ratio be 9:16 and the size be 1080 x 1920 pixels to ensure the best user experience.
· Create Reels that strike a balance between educational and entertaining content instead of a straight sales pitch.
· Create Reels that announce new offers and exclusive deals for increased engagement.
· Consider using Reels in combination with Instagram ads to reach targeted audiences.
As a long-form video tool, IGTV provides powerful engagement opportunities for brands and it has an eCommerce element for discovering and purchasing products.
How to use IGTV to sell your products
· Tag items in your IGTV video that consumers can tap for more information.
· Show products being used in real-life situations to highlight practical benefits.
· Offer Q & A and tutorial videos to provide more context.
· Optimise IGTV videos for silent viewing and provide subtitles.
Instagram Guides is a tool for sharing product recommendations and tips that can be presented as step-by-step guides or curated content. There are three different Guide formats:
1. Places: Recommended places in your location and beyond.
2. Products: Favourite product recommendations.
3. Posts: Recommended posts that you’ve created or saved.
All formats are suited to the needs of the user. For example, Posts is ideal for creating a curated list of educational content in your niche. Products is great for curating goods that are available in your Instagram Shop.
There are several benefits to using Instagram Guides:
· Provide extra context to help consumers make an informed buying decision.
· Create partnerships with influencers, who can use the tool to develop a list of recommended products.
· Offer educational resources to showcase your brand authority.
Embrace Instagram eCommerce and supercharge your business growth
From putting the focus on your highest-selling items to creating deeper connections with your audience, Instagram has several eCommerce advantages. It’s one of the best platforms to use for creating a strong social commerce strategy and future-proofing your brand.
It’s likely that new Instagram eCommerce tools will continue to be developed and we think it’ll be leading the future of social commerce alongside TikTok, Facebook and more.
Want to start an Instagram eCommerce strategy today? Get started with Trio Media and contact us on 0113 357 0440.