With 116 million active monthly users in the U.S. and over 1 billion worldwide, Instagram is one of the most popular apps on the planet. Marketers have jumped on board and have found myriad ways to make the channel work for them.
At the top of the funnel, Instagram is a great way to build awareness—especially for visually-focused brands such as fashion, beauty, travel, food, and more. It’s also a very solid middle funnel tool to educate and build interest in any brand.
But, where has become most valuable for marketers is at the bottom of the funnel to help product companies sell their goods. People have always come to Instagram to shop and discover new products. 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery while 87% of people say influencers have inspired them to make a purchase.
Four Proven Instagram Shopping Tactics to Drive Product Sales
Instagram Shopping is a set of features across Instagram that let people shop your photos and videos no matter where they are in the app. Here are just some of the ways that Instagram can be used to stimulate commerce on your website, to retail partners, and even within Instagram itself.
Instagram shopping tactic #1: Link to your owned properties (website or app)
Whether you link from your Instagram bio & posts or you use paid Instagram ads, you can drive consumers to your website to encourage them to buy your products.
When providing links on your bio, you might want to consider switching out that link periodically to your best promotion or best landing page. Meanwhile, linking to deeper pages in your website from individual posts gives you the advantage to link to the most relevant items. For example, if your post is about the wet weather happening around the country, you can link directly to the rain boots section of your ecommerce website.
And Instagram ads pointed to your website can be highly targeted based on users’ interests to enable you to target people who might not be customers yet in order to grow your reach. You can also use Instagram Ads to drive existing back customers to your owned properties via Custom Audiences.
Instagram shopping tactic #2: Link to a retailer
While it makes sense to link directly to your ecommerce website from Instagram, you might facilitate more sales by sending your followers directly to one of your retail partners. Over the last few years, some product companies have realized they can drive more sales on their products at online retailers like Amazon.com or Walmart.com rather than sending them directly to their own website.
Well-known retailers can help shoppers feel more comfortable ordering online than on a brand website—especially if you are a relatively unknown, new company. Consumers want to be assured that their payment data is secure, they’ll receive purchases in a timely manner, and won’t have to worry about any hassles if they need to return things. That’s what the big retailers bring to the table which can more than justify the margin that product companies must pay those partners to sell for them.
One reason not to send Instagram shoppers to an online store is if you have a very complex offering that requires a bit more education for buyers to buy. For example, if your product is an expensive new consumer technology, you may need to walk them through how and why it works in a series of videos or pages on your owned properties. But, if it’s a highly transactional click and buy kind of product, your Instagram traffic might be best served at one of the big ecommerce sites.
Instagram shopping tactic #3: Use Shopping Tags
A key aspect of Instagram that marketers have zeroed in on is that the channel is an incredibly powerful way to leverage visuals to drive product sales. And while users are viewing your posts, using Shopping Tags to take advantage of impulse buying can be incredibly powerful.
“Shopping Tags allow businesses to highlight products from their catalog in Stories and in-feed, so people can learn more. U.S. businesses using checkout on Instagram can also highlight products in post captions and in their bios with Product Mentions.”
To tag products within an Instagram post, start by uploading a photo as you normally would and follow the below instructions before posting:
- Tap “Add Photo”
- Add a caption
- Tap on “Tag Products”
- Tap on photo
- Search for product
- Select product
- Tap “Done”
- Tap “Share”
You can also create paid ads with Shopping Tags to maximize the reach of your products by boosting shoppable posts or creating the ad from scratch in Ads Manager for more creative flexibility. Ads with product tags are able to drive to an owned website or native checkout on Instagram.
Instagram shopping tactic #4: Instagram Shops
Launched in May 2020, Instagram Shops are an immersive fullscreen storefront that enable businesses to build their brand story and drive product discovery. The real benefit here is that Instagram users don’t have to be jarringly taken away from Instagram in order to go browse or buy somewhere else. Instagram Shops are fully native and offer an in-app experience that is virtually seamless for users.
People can visit a shop from a business’ Instagram profile or through Feed and Stories. Once they’re at the shop, people can browse products, explore collections, and purchase products — seamlessly through our in-app browser or without leaving the app from shops with Instagram Checkout.
Are you maximizing your Instagram opportunity?
With Skai Social, marketers can connect external signals to their campaign schedule and allow AI-surfaced alerts to flag opportunities and threats alongside always-on proactive budget management. Leverage a simple, user-friendly UI to test and learn between and across channels and always know what’s working in your creative, audiences, and media allocation.
Bring optimization and targeting strategies to life with total control. Marketers can monitor ads across campaigns and optimize performance while leveraging their audiences in concert using:
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For more information or to schedule a quick demo to see Skai Social in action, please contact us today.