Living in the era of social shopping, ecommerce brands can’t afford to ignore social media channels. In fact, 83% of customers trust recommendations from friends, and online shoppers use social media to discover new products and read customer reviews every day.
Although Instagram isn’t the most obvious social media platform for ecommerce brands, it has great sales potential these days. Instagram has now become a powerful marketing tool. With the right Instagram marketing tips, ecommerce brands can generate more sales and therefore stay ahead of competitors.
In this article, I'm going to explain why brands should use Instagram for ecommerce, as well as share the top 15 Instagram hacks to drive more sales.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Why should you use Instagram for ecommerce?
As one of the fastest-growing networks with the most engaged user base, it’s no wonder that 25 million businesses use Instagram for promotional purposes. Moreover, the popularity of Instagram shopping is on the rise, which means ecommerce brands see great potential in this social media network.
Here are four main reasons why you should use Instagram for ecommerce:
#1. A great number of people are active on Instagram
The more people you can reach, the more potential customers you can acquire. According to one report, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, 500 million people access this platform daily and 64% of these users are under 34 years. This means Instagram is a perfect choice for ecommerce brands that want to reach a wider audience.
#2. Users want to interact with brands
Today, people spend a considerable amount of time on social media. An average Instagrammer spends around 53 minutes per day on the platform.
As a result, it’s no wonder that people choose Instagram as the main communication platform with brands they love and support. Any proof needed? 90% of users follow at least one brand in-app, meaning they are ready to interact with brands, receive product information and complete purchases on Instagram.
#3. People discover new products in-app
Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s perfect for ecommerce brands to be a storefront with a variety of products. Most people are visual learners, so it’s no wonder that 83% of users scroll the feed to discover new products.
Since users find new products in-app, they are more likely to make a purchase if a product suits their needs and wants. For ecommerce brands, this means an opportunity to convert interested followers into paying customers.
#4. Instagram has a variety of ecommerce features
With the introduction of in-app shopping, Instagram has become a great sales engagement platform as it has features that help to drive sales with ease: clickable links, product tags, shoppable stickers and in-app checkout.
These ecommerce features make it easy for brands to showcase their products and provide followers with relevant product information. For Instagrammers, this also means an opportunity to learn more about interesting options without leaving the app. Simply put, Instagram is one of the best ecommerce marketing channels that can help brands get more ecommerce sales.
Now check out the list of Instagram hacks for more ecommerce sales next.
1. Set up Instagram Shopping
Instagrammers discover new products in-app, so they are more likely to complete a purchase if you help them shop online. With the introduction of Instagram shopping, brands can get access to ecommerce features like product tags, shoppable stickers and in-app checkout.
Simply put, ecommerce brands have an opportunity to open a shop on Instagram and therefore allow interested followers to read more about products and buy them in-app.
It's important to set up Instagram shopping and feature your products ASAP. Before adding product tags, upload your product catalog manually. But, if you're already using one of the best ecommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, there's an easy way to connect a product catalog to your business profile.
Once you've connected your catalog to Instagram, you can show off your products, add product information and prices. Here's an example of what it looks like:
2. Optimize your bio for search
An Instagram bio is the first thing users see when they visit your profile. For brands, it serves as a visit card to tell potential customers more about your company, explain the importance of your products and drive organic website traffic (even though you're limited to 150 characters).
Moreover, it can help you attract more customers to your profile. How? Instagram SEO optimization! When you use the right keywords in your bio, chances are your target audience will find your profile when looking for relevant products.
For example, GStar sells denim products, so it's no wonder that the company uses the word 'denim' in its bio and chooses the clothing brand category for its business profile:
Instagram has its built-in search function, so using relevant keywords in the bio section is a proven way to reach a wider audience.
3. Share a discount in the bio section
Who else wants to save money when shopping?
Most online shoppers look for deals and offers, so sharing discounts on social media is one of the best ways to increase customer acquisition and customer retention. In fact, 40% of customers follow brands on social media to learn about discounts.
To help more people see your exclusive discount and give them a solid reason to follow you on Instagram, it's a good idea to write about your discount in the bio. Check out how Aubyn Rose did it:
Customers love discounts, and if you share time-limited offers on your profile you create a sense of urgency that encourages followers to buy from you.
4. Use story highlight albums for product navigation
When scrolling Instagram, users have a great variety of products to choose. Thus, it's no wonder that they buy from brands that invest time and effort into improving their customer shopping experience. In other words, you need to make Instagram shopping easier for your followers to get more sales.
One of the best tricks is to use Story Highlight albums for product navigation. Since these albums appear right below the bio section, it's easier for visitors and followers to find relevant products with ease. Moreover, it gives you an opportunity to showcase a great number of products without clogging the main feed with content.
For example, JCrew has five Story Highlights albums on its main Instagram page:
To improve the customer experience, you can create more albums where your visitors can find information about relevant products. Here are several creative ideas for your Story Highlight albums that generate sales:
- New arrivals
- Items on sale
- Editor's pick
- Seen on you
- Product categories
5. Show your product from different angles in one post
The popularity of online shopping is growing, but many customers are afraid of buying products when they can't test them out. To ease the worried minds of potential buyers, it's important to show your products from different angles.
The solution? Instagram carousel posts!
Research by Hootsuite says carousel posts get 1.4X more reach and 3.1X more engagement than regular posts. Moreover, this post type allows you to upload up to 10 photos or videos as a single post, so it gives an opportunity to show off your product with ease.
Big brands like Adidas Originals uses this strategy to help their customers make the purchase decision when discovering new products on Instagram:
6. Add product information in posts or stories
When shopping online, most customers want to get product information with ease. If you sell products on Instagram, it's important to add product tags or Instagram product stickers that give your audience an opportunity to find out more about featured items without leaving the app.
Scrolling your feed, users can see a small shopping bag icon in your post, which means it contains a product tag. Once followers tap on it, they can see product names and the price or view these items on your website.
To bring your business to the next level, ask your marketing team to create Instagram Stories that showcase your products. Being available for 24 hours, Stories encourage customers to take action fast. Adding product stickers is a perfect way to provide followers with product information about featured items and turn them into customers.
7. Set up a countdown sticker for product launches
Instagram Stories have 500 million daily users. This ephemeral content is popular among Instagrammers. When done right, stories can help you cause a buzz around your product and even generate sales.
Since Stories are available for a short period of time, they encourage people to take action. For example, it's a great idea to announce a new product launch in Stories and add a countdown sticker so that interested followers can subscribe to it and get a reminder when your product is available.
8. Hide hashtags and geotags in Instagram stories
It's no secret that Instagram users discover new products on the platform. But do you know that they are looking for a particular keyword or a location in the explore tab to find relevant information?
To help people find you, hide hashtags and geotags in Stories. By placing your image over hashtags/geotags, not only can you keep your visual beautiful, but you can also appear on the explore page and reach more customers who are interested in a particular keyword or location.
9. Share product recommendations with your followers
For modern customers, it can be daunting to find products that meet their needs and wants. Consumers want to get product recommendations, so the era of ecommerce personalization is here.
When you tell about products that can solve your customers' problems, your followers are more likely to consider your brand as an option when it comes to making a purchase. During the holiday shopping season, most shoppers crave recommendations from brands, so it's just a perfect time to create gift guides and share product recommendations.
In fact, an average American spends around $1,048 on buying products for themselves, their friends and family during holidays. Thus, your customers are ready to spend money on products if you give great recommendations to them.
Check out how Massimo Dutti promotes its variety of products with the gift guide:
Want to stand out from the crowd? Create the shop quiz and promote it on your Instagram to interact with your followers and provide them with highly-personalized solutions.
Also, encourage your customers to spread a word about your brand on social media by creating a referral program that gives satisfied customers a solid reason to recommend your product to their friends and family.
If you want to see the power of personalization through a quiz yourself, check out this case study featuring Doe Lashes and Klaviyo.
10. Give away brand freebies or gift cards
People love free stuff, so social media contests are popular among users.
Running an Instagram giveaway, not only can you please your followers, but you can also invest in Instagram growth as it's one of the best ways to get more followers, increase user engagement and build brand loyalty and trust.
You can choose brand freebies or gift cards as prizes so that winners can test your products and become paying customers in the future.
11. Create quick replies for direct messages
With the variety of options on the market, people want to make sure that your product meets their needs and wants. Believe it or not, but Instagram has become a great customer service tool.
Do your customers send direct messages? Do you want to convert interested users into customers? Set up quick replies.
This feature allows brands to avoid typing responses to the same questions over and over again which means your customers can get a fast response in-app. Knowing your customers well, you can create quick replies to frequently asked questions.
Not all customers slide in direct messages to get customer service. Most customers don't want to interact with customer support representatives, so they seek out self-service.
Thus, having a knowledge base on your website is a great way to keep all relevant information about your brand, product and specific topics in one place. Moreover, you can add a link to this landing page in your bio so that interested customers can tap on it and get replies to their questions with ease.
12. Talk about your products with Reels
To win more customers and generate more sales, it's important to reach more people on Instagram who don't follow your brand. Why? Not all customers who want to buy your products are your Instagram followers, so you need to help these people discover your content. Instagram reels are here to help you: a short-form video content feature that allows people to share 15-second videos on the platform.
Short, yet interactive, content is popular on social media, so it's no wonder that brands make the most out of Instagram reels.
If you have a public profile, your reels can appear on the explore feed which means you can reach a wider audience. Thus, it's a good idea to talk about your product with reels if you want to spark interest. Here's how Jonak did it:
13. Feature your satisfied customers
Your satisfied customers are the lifeblood of your business. Today, 82% of people read customer reviews before choosing a product online, so social proof matters. To provide potential customers with reviews and encourage them to buy from you, it’s important to show your satisfied customers on your profile.
When customers share photos or videos and tag your product, chances are that they are satisfied with the quality of your products. For other customers, this means a sign that your brand is worth a try.
Here’s an example of this strategy in action:
Want to get more photos of satisfied customers? The more Instagram followers you have, the more user-generated content you can generate.
It’s psychologically proven that people tend to imitate actions of other people, so your followers are more likely to take photos of themselves with your product if they see that other satisfied customers do that and your brand values their efforts.
14. Ask influencers to add product tags
Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely important these days when paid ads bombard users from all sides.
Since modern customers trust influencers as much as their friends and family, more and more brands team up with niche influencers to reach their target audience and promote their products.
The good news? Instagram is a perfect channel for influencer marketing and 78% of social media influencers say that it’s the best platform for brand collaborations.
What is more, Instagram has business-specific features that help both brands and influencers make the most of their collaborations. For example, ecommerce brands can team up with influencers who have creator accounts and ask them to add product tags in their posts, just like in the example below:
Users follow influencers and they pay close attention to their recommendations. When influencers add product tags in their posts, not only do they help followers find product information without leaving the app, but they also help brands generate more ecommerce sales.
15. Promote branded content in ads
The days when posting on Instagram was enough to reach your target audience are far behind us. With great sales potential, Instagram has a competitive environment for businesses.
Today, it’s difficult to cut through the noise unless you run paid ad campaigns. Advertising on Instagram has a great variety of functions that help brands achieve their business goals and 2 million advertisers prove the importance of paid ads.
With advanced targeting and features like clickable links, not only can you show off your products to a new audience on Instagram, but you can also make it easy for interested followers to become paying customers with ease.
To get more ecommerce sales, you can create branded content ads in partnership with niche influencers. To spread a word about its winter collection and drive more sales, StyleShare worked with content creators to make a series of Instagram ads:
In just 9 days, the campaign achieved a 31% lower cost per purchase, 27% increase in return on ad spend, 42% increase in the number of people reached and a 17% lower cost per add-to-cart in comparison to a previous ad campaign that didn’t use branded content.
Ready to drive more ecommerce sales with Instagram?
In the last few years, Instagram has become a great marketing tool for brands that want to increase brand awareness, build brand loyalty, and drive more ecommerce sales. Today, Instagram has many ecommerce features like clickable links, product tags and in-app checkout that help customers discover and buy products on the platform.
With the above-mentioned Instagram hacks, you draw attention to your products and turn your Instagram followers into paying customers.