With Instagram having acquired more than a billion monthly active followers, it is quite natural that they would now try to monetize the platform. According to marketingland.com, 80% of their followers follow at least one brand. Not unexpectedly, Instagram unleashed a slew of features that are designed to transform it into an e-commerce powerhouse.
With the busy summer shopping season around the corner, this might just be the perfect time to get familiar with the platform enhancements so that you can increase the number of your customers, build engagement and drive your e-commerce.
Earlier, when you saw a product that you really like on an Instagram post, the only way that you could shop for it was to click on the website link of the seller in the bio section, visit the website, locate the product, and then buy it on the e-commerce platform of the seller. Not surprisingly, the rather long process meant that many potential customers never really got around to buying the stuff they wanted to.
With the launch of the shoppable post feature, now Instagram users can buy the product directly from the brand’s post. To make your post shoppable, your Instagram business profile needs to be linked to your Facebook business page, where you can create your product catalog. You can thereafter create a shoppable post on Instagram by adding product stickers to the products you want to sell.
Buyers can tap on the shopping bag icon to jump straight to the brand website and purchase the product. Make sure you tag all the products that you want to sell with accurate descriptions and prices to maximize your sales.
Instagram Stories was a very successful response to Snapchat’s story feature that was attracting a lot of eyeballs. The main attraction of Instagram Stories is that they are visible only for 24 hours to followers for Instagram after which, they vanish forever. Brands can use Stories for adding a fun element to their brand personality and to make Instagram posts more interactive and engaging. Since new Stories are always placed at the top of the feed of users, they are able to attract more attention and generate sales.
You can add the link to your website to posts on Stories, which means that you have the power to drive traffic to your e-commerce platform. The only limitation as of now for businesses is that the feature is only available with accounts having more than 10,000 followers or if they are verified accounts.
Followers find Stories even more interesting because brands can take advantage of a number of fonts that allow better brand reinforcement and also use GIFs that add greatly to the fun element. Because you can tag locations to Stories, brands can get better exposure to users searching in that particular location.
The e-commerce potential of Instagram has received a major boost due to the shoppable and Stories features. The platform has also now permitted business accounts to schedule their posts using third-party apps.
This enables brands to engage followers at the times that they are most active in and cater to the global marketing requirement where different audiences are active at different times of the day.
Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain followers for Instagram with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.