Whether you are an established brand or a new startup business, Instagram has become an extremely useful tool in converting passive customers into active ones. No other platform is so focused solely on visuals quite like Instagram so being able to take advantage of it to show off what your brand offers is becoming increasingly important. We are here to help boost your e-commerce business.
So how does Instagram work for your e-commerce business?
Firstly, It gives consumers easy, mobile access to your online products. Around 91% of all social media is accessed via a mobile device. This makes Instagram the perfect storefront.
Having high-quality images that showcase your products creatively, to make them stand out from the generic product photography offerings of your competitors, is something a lot of brands are embracing increasingly. The more creatively you are able to showcase your products, the more engagement you are likely to have and this usually, in turn, means more conversions.
Instagram also has the potential to expand your brand’s reach, allowing for more customers than you would otherwise normally hope to. With the effective use of the correct hashtags you can help potential customers find you. This also gives the added benefit of potentially more engagement.
All of the above will collectively assist customers with their buying decisions however these things alone are not the be all and end all of successful e-commerce businesses on Instagram. We will now take a look at some required steps to help boost your business.
Make sure your Instagram account is a business account.
This is perhaps the most simple, yet important step as it allows you to create shoppable links on your posts which allows the customers to shop for the products in your images.
To do this you need to follow these steps;
- Go to your profile and tap the menu icon in the top-right corner.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Account.
- Tap Switch to business account. (We recommend that you connect your business account to a Facebook Page that is associated with your business. This will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses)
- Add your business details, category, and contact information.
- Tap Done.
Upload your product catalogue, submitting your account for review, and turning on shopping.
Before you can start selling, you need to create a catalogue of everything your business sells. Luckily, instagram can make this very easy for you if you already have a catalogue on one of their certified e-commerce platforms such as shopify or BigCommerce and will allow you to import your catalogue.
Or if you’d prefer, you can start from scratch and build a catalogue from the ground up.
Once this process is complete, it will be time to submit your account for review.
This is a process just to confirm that the products you are selling meet Instagram’s guidelines and terms of service. This can typically take a few days however it can sometimes be longer.
Once you have received notification from Instagram that this process is complete, the next step is to turn on shopping to enable customers to actually purchase your products.
- Go to your business’s Instagram profile and tap
- Select “Settings”.
- Tap “Business” and then tap “Shopping”.
- Select the “product catalogue” that you want to connect to your account.
- Select “Done”.
You are now ready to sell products directly on Instagram.
Post high-quality, creative images and video.
This again may seem like another obvious step but quite often it is something overlooked by a lot of businesses.
How you decide to showcase your products is something that is going to entirely depend on what product your business sells, but finding a way to stand out from your competitors that sell similar products will certainly help attract the eye of any potential customers.
For example, if you were running an online vintage clothing store and you wanted to showcase a nice dress, rather than simply posting an image on the dress on a mannequin and having a link to your businesses website, you could create a short video where you get somebody to model the dress, allowing it to be seen what it looks like while being worn whilst also giving you an opportunity to show off a bit of your brand’s personality.
Are you a quirky, laidback, or professional business? These are things you have the opportunity to show in your posts and it can help your audience connect with you.
So now that you have uploaded your product catalogue and you have started to share your amazing content to your Instagram feed, what is the best way to get customers visiting your website to purchase the product they’ve just seen?
Luckily Instagram already has the solution for you.
You can tag that amazing product you want to show off in your posts and reels. Thankfully, it is very simple and works exactly the same as tagging a person in a photo.
- Tap “Add photo”.
- Add a caption.
- Tap on “Tag products”.
- Tap on photo.
- Search for products.
- Select product.
- Tap “Done”.
- Tap “Share”.
Now whenever a customer clicks on that photo or reel, they will have the ability to see that tag which will then take them to that particular product on your e-commerce site.
Posting amazing images and videos on Instagram is not enough, unfortunately. Using hashtags helps Instagram catalog various kinds of images and products. If you are using appropriate hashtags, your products will be seen by a larger group of people, and more specifically, your target audience. Picking the right hashtags for your products and e-commerce brand is vital.
Hashtags also make your profile easier to discover across other social platforms. When your Instagram content is shared on Facebook, the hashtags automatically get published there too.
Embrace user-generated content.
Positive word of mouth is the best advertisement after all.
Whenever a customer tags you in an Instagram story, you have the ability to repost that short video they have made to your own story. More often than not, customers will be tagging you with good reviews and according to surveys and studies, over 81% of people use Instagram to research a product or service, and what could be better than a review from a happy customer? Especially since around 50% of people say they have visited a website to buy a product or service after seeing it in an Instagram story.
Has a customer posted an image leaving your brand a glowing review? Contact them via direct message and ask if it would be okay if you were to screenshot their review and post it to your own feed or story. Encourage customers to send you photos and videos of them using your product or service, make them feel like their opinion is important to you and your brand and you will find that this level of engagement will only boost your company in the long run.
Using influencers is a very popular way of marketing online for a lot of e-commerce businesses. It works very similar to word of mouth and user generated content in that it enables you to increase the reach of your business without seeming too much like an advertisement. When a brand collaborates with an influencer their image becomes more powerful. Their followers take them more seriously and rely on their product reviews, helping brands improve conversions and attract more revenue.
Finding the right influencers for your niche is of course important but once you have pinpointed the right influencer for the job (ideally somebody with a large following) we have a few tips to get the best out of your mutual arrangement.
- Work together to create a mood board of the kind of content you would like them to post.
- Ultimately, let them decide on the content they want to post, they will have a better idea of what their audience will engage with.
- Use some of your influencer’s content on your page (with their permission) on your product page.
- Ask your influencer to share promo code, fans of influencers are more likely to check out your business if they are recommended it by someone they trust, even better if they can get a discount.
If you require any additional help with your social media, we have more blog posts with tips on how to grow your social media following, or the latest social media trends.
Alternatively, you can always get in touch, we are always happy to help.