There’s no doubt about it – Instagram is the place to be if you want to drive ecommerce and capture sales. There are over 1 billion active accounts on the platform, and 800 MILLION of these accounts follow at least one business on Instagram. That’s a HUGE potential audience, making ecommerce sales on Instagram a powerful tool for retail businesses.
In fact, Instagram drives one of the highest average order values among social media networks, according to a study from ecommerce platform Nosto.
Nearly seventy percent of US marketers use Instagram for marketing purposes – and many use it to promote an ecommerce store. To make Instagram ecommerce even easier, the platform has regularly added features like shoppable posts and is testing out Instagram checkout.
To help you maximize your existing Instagram sales strategy, or even provide a jumping-off point if you’re looking to break into ecommerce on Instagram, here are four proven, powerful strategies to know.
1. Make Your Instagram Posts Shoppable
Prior to launching Shoppable posts, Instagram retailers had to rely on a strong CTA in their caption to drive shoppers to the link in their bio and eventually, their website.
An example is this post from Madewell…
As you can see, they included the call to action ‘shop the new collection-link in bio’. This means that people need to go to the profile and search for the post in question (which, by the time they see it could be pretty far down in the list), click on the URL in the bio to view the product. The extra steps can discourage some people from following through on a purchase . ☹️
If you’re simply changing your profile URL to promote another product, it then makes it difficult for people who are just now seeing your old post to find that product on your site. Frustrating!
Now with shoppable posts, you can tag products right in your Instagram post. People can click on the tagged product, learn more about it, and go to the direct page on your website.
One brand taking advantage of this feature is Magnolia Boutique. Since implementing Instagram shoppable posts their traffic and sales from Instagram increased by 4% and 20% respectively.
When you see their posts in the feed, a bag sign will appear in the bottom left corner of the post indicating that products have been tagged in the post.
Their followers just tap on the photo once to see all the tagged products.
They can click on the tags to learn more about the products. And they can click on the ‘View on Website’ button to go to the product’s landing page.
How do I Set Up Shoppable Posts on Instagram?
Magnolia Boutique were able to set up shoppable posts as their site runs on BigCommerce. You can also take advantage of this feature by setting up your ecommerce store with BigCommerce and or Shopify. Once you get it set up, tagging products is simple. You can tag products in both photos and videos… and even in your Instagram Stories!
2. Creat Shoppable Instagram Stories
Since their introduction, Instagram Stories have become very popular. 500 million users use Instagram Stories every day and 50% of Instagram business accounts share at least one Story a month. You can also tag products in your Stories just like you do in shoppable posts.
Using Instagram Shoppable Stories
The best way ecommerce stores can make use of shoppable Stories is by promoting offers. As Stories last for 24 hours only, they can work very well for limited time offers.
So, take a top quality photo or video of your product in action, upload it as a Story to Instagram and then tag products in the photo by using the product sticker. For this sticker/shoppable Story option to be available, you should have already set up your store and online catalogue using a platform such as BigCommerce.
You can also add a countdown sticker along with the product sticker to make your Story more engaging. People can subscribe to the countdown timer and it will notify them when the time is up. So, you could set the timer to end 1 hour before the offer ends. That’s scarcity in action!
3. Nurture Followers with Blog and Email Content
Only a small percentage of your Instagram followers will purchase from you as soon as they discover your account. Most will want to buy from you later. This could either be because they don’t need the product immediately or because they don’t trust you or your brand enough to close the deal just yet.
Creating long-term loyalty will make capturing sales much easier. One way you can do this is by nurturing an ongoing relationship with your followers through email and blog readership.
You can convert some of the traffic you receive into email subscribers and nurture them even more. And eventually convert them into customers. When you nurture people through blog content, email, and Instagram together, you will gain their trust more quickly than if you utilize only one. A company that does this well is Cape Clasp.
Cape Clasp is an online store that sells jewelery like bracelets and necklaces with sea creature pendants. They also donate a percentage of their profits for marine conservation. Hence, they publish posts related to sea creatures and the dangers they face on their blog. And then publish photos like the above one and ask people to visit their blog to read the post.
On their blog they have optin forms like this one, which helps convert site traffic into email subscribers.
You should optimize your blogs for email conversion, then publish posts like these on your blog and promote them on Instagram. Make sure you use a top-quality photo in your Instagram post to generate maximum attention. You can easily purchase one for from a site like Depositphotos.
When you publish the post on Instagram, don’t forget to update link in your bio and add a call to action that asks people to click on it to read the post.
4. Invest in Influencer Marketing Instead of Ads
When businesses want quick results from social media, they usually turn to ads. But a more affordable (and effective!) option could be influencer marketing. Working with an influencer generates $6.50 for every $1 spent, where as ads only generate $2.65 for every $1.
The best part is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or work with the biggest influencers to see results. Micro influencers, or influencers with 2,000 to 50,000 followers, can generate 30% better ROI than macro influencers (social media personalities with 50,000 to 300,000 followers.
Youfoodz has built a ton of success using micro-influencer marketing. They teamed with several Instagram micro influencers to publish 167 pieces of content on Instagram. Here’s one from thedailymark!
This resulted in 69,938 direct engagements, 507,909 impressions and a social reach of 1,457,142.
To find affordable Instagram influencers to work with, you can use Shoutcart. You simply sign up for an account and select options like category, post type, and demographics and it will display thousands of relevant influencers.
Metrics such as the success rate and engagement score of the influencer are displayed right on their profiles to make it easy for you to find legit influencers.
Now Use These Strategies to Get More Ecommerce Sales on Instagram
That’s it! If you’re feeling a little unsure as to where to begin, here’s a roadmap for implementing these four strategies in your own ecommerce strategy on Instagram:
- Set up your Shoppable posts
- Set up your Shoppable Stories
- Optimize your blog and email content to build customer relationships,
- And begin connecting with influencers for a solid marketing strategy!
Presto! By implementing these tricks, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your ecommerce sales on Instagram.
Do you use Instagram to promote your ecommerce store? Which strategies have worked best for you? Please leave your comments below.
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- Schedule photos and videos directly to your Instagram feed with Auto Post.
- Optimize every post for more engagement with SmartSchedule and Hashtag Finder.
- Automatically hide your post’s hashtags in the first comment to keep your caption clean & clutter-free.
- Make your posts more discoverable with user tagging & location tagging.
- Analyze what's working across every post and profile with smart analytics.