InstaP1Feature

The Importance of Using Instagram for eCommerce

by
June 6, 2016

 

First in a series

No matter what you sell, if you’re not using Instagram, you’re likely leaving money on the table. The social media platform is a force to be reckoned with, boasting 400 million monthly active users, 80 million daily posts and 3.5 billion daily likes. For teens, it’s become the single most important social network.

Ninety percent of the top 100 Interbrand companies have Instagram accounts. So do tech startups, such as MailChimp, and non-tech companies such as Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker, which sells prescription eyewear and sunglasses.warby-parker

And the evidence shows that Instagram has some advantages over its parent company Facebook, especially when it comes to engaging users:

  1. Thirty-two percent of Facebook users interact with brands, compared with 68 percent of Instagram users.
  2. Instagram has more engagement per follower than Facebook. In December 2015, an average post engaged 1.08 percent of total followers. Facebook’s total was 0.37 percent.
  3. Ninety-three percent of marketers use Facebook; only 36 percent are using Instagram, which gives you a better opportunity to connect.
  4. Even the average order value is higher on Instagram: $65 vs. $55 for Facebook.

Instagram lets you tell your brand story. Instead of simply showing your products, you can show “behind the scenes” shots of employees at work, or celebrating milestones or birthdays. You can show photos of your holiday decorations, projects you’re working on or cities you visit on business trips. Whatever you do at work, your audience is curious and wants to see.

If you use the right images, you won’t have to “sell” your customers. They’ll absorb your marketing message automatically.

Instagram also offers myriad ways to engage consumers. One way is calling on fans to submit their product photos. Once you’ve done that, you can link the photos submitted by fans to your ecommerce pages, so consumers can go directly to the product to complete their purchase. That way, they won’t spend 20 frustrating minutes on your site trying to find that particular product.

Instagram also offers myriad ways to engage consumers. One way is calling on fans to submit their product photos. Once you’ve done that, you can link the photos submitted by fans to your ecommerce pages, so consumers can go directly to the product to complete their purchase. That way, they won’t spend 20 frustrating minutes on your site trying to find that particular product.

You can also run an Instagram contest. Here’s a fun one from ShipStation customer Paleo Treats:

Paleo Treat's Instagram contest

Paleo Treats “Name Our Next” Instagram Contest

Have you noticed that professionally produced photographs of clothing products typically feature models who don’t look anything like your customers? By showing real customers on product pages, companies have increased conversions by as much as 30 percent. It’s a matter of social proof – the fact that people tend toward conformity. Seeing other people using your products shows consumers that other people desire your products and increases customers’ confidence in making that purchase. One company that is successfully doing this to increase eCommerce sales with Instagram is ShipStation customer Solly Baby, a baby wrap company and Instagram powerhouse:

Solly Baby's Instagram contest

Solly Baby’s Real Customers Using One of Their Baby Wraps

Instagram is also a good source for research and strategy. By searching your business category regularly on Instagram, you’ll become familiar with the hashtags used. Those hashtags offer insights into customer preferences, what your competitors are doing, what works – and what doesn’t.

If you’re looking for a way to make your social media campaigns more effective, consider Instagram. It’s an excellent way to show off your business’s personality, and encourage engagement on an intimate scale.




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