Ecommerce has been on the rise, and we can blame Covid-19 for that, but this trend has been around since even before the pandemic. Brands and businesses have all turned to list their products online to reach a wider group of consumers that traditional sales would not be able to.
With the advent of social media, these platforms have found a way to capitalise on their influence. Having a designated area where businesses can directly sell their products benefits the brands themselves and makes it more convenient for consumers to find what they want.
Indeed, eCommerce is taking over everywhere — including social media, and it’s time we took a look at just how vital this wave is.
Speaking of social media, of course, one of the most popular and most used platforms is Instagram itself. In fact, they are amongst the top 5 most used social media apps in January 2020, based on the number of active users. There is no doubt that Instagram has, in recent years, devised ways to help brands boost their visibility on their platform. This includes the addition of eCommerce functions, which we will be explaining in detail below.
One of Instagram’s special functions is its shoppable posts or purchasable messages, where you could put a link to a product on a platform outside of Instagram. Users will then be directed to an eCommerce site where they can place their orders.
Instagram Checkout, on the other hand, takes that experience to another level. Instead of redirecting visitors to an external platform, Instagram now has a new function where users can make payment directly from the social media app itself. This may very well appeal to users who want to stay on Instagram and make a hassle-free payment.
Instagram Live Shopping
Like Instagram Checkout, Instagram Live Shopping allows users to purchase products directly from the app itself, but in a live stream situation. At the bottom of a live Instagram feed, owners can add a small CTA to nudge viewers to the products. This is great for when you want to or will advertise a said product in your live stream.
Viewers who click on the CTA can have two options — either to add the product to the cart for later so they can continue watching your stream or head to pay immediately. From there on, viewers can use Instagram Checkout to buy your products directly on Instagram itself. This way, you don’t have to be worried that you’ll be losing viewers unnecessarily.
You might be thinking, what do Facebook stores have to do with Instagram? Well, keep in mind that Facebook owns Instagram, and therefore many of its features are interlinked. Although Facebook launched Facebook Store for Facebook, it can be used for Instagram as well.
Your Instagram followers no need to create a Facebook account to interact with your Facebook store. This means that you can link your Facebook business page to other social media, including Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger — all of Facebook’s owned apps.
Once a store is created on Facebook, business owners can go to their Instagram profile and directly link their Facebook store. Visitors can browse products on Instagram without ever having to leave the app or create a Facebook account!
Facebook Store is an advantageous option for small businesses who can’t build an entire eCommerce website from scratch. This may be due to a lack of workforce, time, finances, or bandwidth. Instead of doing so, these businesses can turn to Facebook Stores to create eCommerce options on various social media platforms. Oberlo has a guide as to how one can set up an Instagram shop. If you do want to start an eCommerce store, Shopify or Magento is an excellent first step.
Shopping is a compelling feature on Instagram for brands, and it is likely to be even more developed in the future. Over 60% of users say they discover new products on Instagram, and more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile on Instagram daily.
Indeed, Instagram Shopping can offer so many benefits for businesses. Not only does it help to promote your products and increase sales rates, but the shopping experience for users is now more personalised as well.
The kind of products that are suggested to users on Instagram is often customised to suit each person based on what they have searched for and their other interactions on the app. This means that these products are most likely what the user would be interested in or care about. Users can even save a product and come back to it later by tapping the Label icon on a product page or a product list.
Overall, as more than 90% of Instagram accounts follow at least one other business account, Instagram is a great place to start marketing your brand. Not to mention that one-third of the most viewed Instagram stories come from businesses themselves! With more than 1 billion active users on the app, these numbers do hold some serious weight. So why not start putting these Instagram shopping tools to fair use?