Here at IGOO, we know that Instagram is an essential marketing tool for any ecommerce business.

With more than one billion active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social apps around, connecting consumers, influencers and brands across the world.

It’s engaged user base and emphasis on high-quality visuals have made it the perfect platform for Shopify merchants to sell their products online. And what’s more, Instagram makes the shopping experience simple by allowing customers to learn more about a specific product with a single tap – taking users directly to a Shopify store to make that all-important purchase. 

What does this all mean for your business? 

As a business owner, it means that it’s now vital to start considering Instagram as a viable shopping channel. This is because it makes ecommerce easy and gives you access to millions of mobile shoppers on a platform that loves products.

Since the launch of Instagram Shopping in 2018, brands are able to tag products directly in their posts and stories, taking the customer directly from product discovery to checkout – in just the click of a button!

With the option of five product tags per image post and up to 20 product tags on multi-image posts, Instagram allows customers to browse shoppable posts all in one place.

And you can increase the reach of your tagged posts using Instagram’s sponsored post ads. There are five different ad variations available on the Instagram platform including photo, video, carousel, slideshow and story ads.

Each of the above ad formats are discreetly placed into users’ feeds and stories offering a non-disruptive user experience. Many ecommerce businesses choose to use sponsored ads because they help grow brand exposure, website traffic and generate new leads. They also allow businesses to target a specific audience based on location, interests, demographics and behaviours. 

Other types of Instagram advertising include influencer marketing, which is where businesses work closely with Instagram influencers to promote their brand or products – another effective method to drive traffic to your site. It provides social proof, adding a cool factor to your business, and people are more likely to buy something when someone they trust has bought it first!                                                                                                               

It is important to note that Instagram Influencers can be very expensive and this kind of advertising can limit audience targeting and eradicate reporting possibilities. 

How to start selling with Instagram shopping posts? 

To get started shopping on Instagram, there are a few things you need to ensure are set-up:

  • Have an Instagram Business account – which can be set up after connecting to your Facebook page
  • Have a Facebook channel installed on your Shopify store with an approved Facebook Shop
  • Be located in one of the eligible countries
  • Have a fully competent online store channel

Once you’ve ticked all of these boxes, it’s simple to add the Instagram sales channel to your Shopify store. Then you just need to tag your product-focused posts to make them discoverable to users. 

These posts can include high-quality product shots or user-generated photos. Either way, they can turn organic engagement into an opportunity for customers to tap through to your products and checkout directly on your Shopify site, without having to visit the pesky ‘link in your bio’. 

What does the future hold? 

The popularity of Instagram as a shopping channel shows no signs of slowing down. So much so, the platform is continuing to innovate and introduce new features to make the customer shopping journey even simpler.

Last year, Instagram introduced a new ‘checkout’ feature in the US, where customers can purchase a product without ever having to leave the platform.

After a customer has made a purchase, their information is then stored securely on the app for future purchases. Instagram also provides updates and notifications about the status of an order within the app, as well as the option to cancel orders, initiate returns and request additional support.

Many big brands are embracing this new feature including MAC Cosmetics, Kylie Cosmetics, Adidas, Dior, Nike and Zara. However, as mentioned above, this is limited to US customers only and Instagram hasn’t yet confirmed when this will be introduced to the UK.

So if you’re wondering if this checkout feature is the future of ecommerce?

Our team of Digital Marketing experts think it’s difficult to say at this stage. However, there are a couple of reasons for businesses to be sceptical about the new Instagram checkout feature.

Firstly, Instagram has confirmed they will not share user information with the brands that sell on the platform, except that which is required to make the purchase. Consequently for businesses, this will result in a loss of insight into customer behaviour, trends and purchasing habits. 

What’s more, opting to sell your products on Instagram using the new checkout feature will result in decreased web traffic to your ecommerce site. This means less up-selling and reduced quantity in customer’s baskets.

What is clear is that Instagram will continue to expand its ecommerce offering as the demand for new features increases. Watch this space! 

IGOO can help you 

At IGOO, we’re dedicated to growing your ecommerce site and our team of experts will be able to advise of the very best platforms to sell your products. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you!