In November 2016, Instagram announced that it will integrate the ability to make purchases on its platform.
Together with Shopify, Instagram has given access to the new features Instagram Shoppable Post for thousands of sellers. The bottom line is that Instagram users who are interested in buying goods can use the link to view and purchase in the online store without leaving the application. Shopify has been testing the feature throughout 2017 and was in that time only available to users in the United States. Currently, the update is available for every Instagram user.
Instagram shopping is one of the best Instagram tools for stores, which allows you to add links and product information directly to your photos. You can use Instagram marketing services to improve your engagement.
Buyers can purchase products by clicking on the links. This shortens the path from viewing photos to buying.
Under each publication, the “Click to View” icon appears, when you click on the photo, product tags are displayed. By clicking on the tag, you can view the selected product with more details. Under the product photo, there will be a link “To the store” to go to the product page and checkout.
New York-based companies Warby Parker, J.Crew and Kate Spade have already tested Instagram Shopping and found that this tool makes the shopping process very convenient for customers.
During testing, a retailer found that almost 33% of users who used the “Click to View” function eventually clicked on the “Go to Store” link.
How do customers buy through Instagram Shoppable posts?
Instagram Shoppable posts are indicated by a special basket icon. When users view a photo, they see a “Click to view” pop-up window in the lower-left corner or a small white circle with a picture of a shopping basket.
When you click on the image, product tags and price information appear. There may be several products in one image.
By clicking on the product details, users open a new page in the application, where they see more information and an enlarged image of the product. If they click the Store button, they directly go to the company’s website, where they can add the product to the shopping cart. Thanks to this approach, the customer’s path to purchase is greatly simplified.
How to use Instagram Shoppable Posts in practice?
Several major brands gained direct access to Shoppable posts on Instagram during the beta phase.
Right now, the only way to use this feature is to create a Shopify account and have a product catalog on your Facebook page. Whether the program will require a Shopify account in the future or be managed directly inside Instagram is still unknown.
How to prepare an Instagram account?
If you want to work with Shoppable Posts, get ready.
- Set up your Instagram account as a business account.
- To use the shopping messaging feature, set up your Instagram account as a business account and link it to the corresponding Facebook page. Make sure your Instagram account is updated and running in the latest version.
- Set up a Shopify account.
- Connect your Shopify account to Facebook.
- To integrate the shopping function with Instagram, a product catalog must be added to the page on Facebook. You can integrate it by connecting your Facebook page to your Shopify account. If you already have a directory, make sure everything is connected correctly.
- Add products to your Facebook directory. You need to have added products in the Facebook catalog, they cannot be services or digital products. It is necessary to configure each product individually, adding a name, price, and link. You need to choose from the categories: clothing/accessories, health and beauty products, packaged products/drinks, electronics, toys, art, books, flowers and much more. For more information on customization requirements, see the Shopify support page.
Other ways to increase sales
Enhance the effect of advertising with Stories.
Your followers may already be shopping at your store, but what if you expanded your audience to include those who had never heard of you? With targeted advertising on Instagram, you can reach consumers who are likely to like your content. By creating engaging ads, you can highlight the best of your products.
Show your ads to users who share your interests – they will become your most loyal customers. Include the “Shop” feature in your ad to navigate your site and place your order. This simplifies the buying process and helps increase sales.
To let users who are right for you to find out about you, you can also use the Story feature. This is a great way to reach your target audience in real-time.
Airbnb, as a result of a test campaign, managed to increase the number of responses to ads by two orders of magnitude.
Advertising “Stories” can be supplemented with a “Details” link below – this will help your audience get to know the advertised product.
Share custom content.
If you share custom content on Instagram, it has a positive effect. The face of your brand is becoming more “human.” When you share the content of your customers, they feel special. Most likely, after that, they will be even better related to your brand.
Custom content also serves as a “social check” and helps you gain the trust of potential buyers.
Encourage users to use a unique hashtag when posting on Instagram. Share photos of your products and get more views from your customers’ followers.
You can also collect user publications and share them on Instagram on your behalf. Such publications convince potential buyers that existing customers were satisfied with the purchase. It also demonstrates how your products are used in real life and can inspire potential customers to buy.
These three ways to increase sales using Instagram are the most effective. But there are other tactics – for example, publish spectacular photos and use popular thematic tags. Try using the three listed methods to boost your online sales.