For a good reason, Instagram has become a go-to tool for many businesses. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a giant in the social media sphere that allows businesses to access a vast and engaged audience.
While many businesses use Instagram to raise brand awareness, it can also be a powerful tool for generating sales and revenue, particularly for e-commerce stores.
If you run an eCommerce store, you should surely be using Instagram to reach your target audience.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the primary reasons why Instagram can be so beneficial to eCommerce businesses and how you can utilize it to build your online store.
Why Your eCommerce Store Should Use Instagram
Here are 5 reasons why your e-commerce store should use Instagram to sell products:
Instagram is all about photos and videos
Instagram is a visual medium, and eCommerce businesses may capitalize on this by displaying their products in a visually appealing manner. Instagram allows you to present your products and business in an engaging and visually exciting way, whether it’s product images, lifestyle shots, or behind-the-scenes glances at your brand.
This is especially critical for eCommerce firms because shoppers cannot physically touch or try on things before purchasing. You may help buyers get a better feel of what they’re buying and boost the likelihood of them making a purchase by displaying them on Instagram.
Instagram has a very active user base
Check out this graph below to understand the Instagram’s user worldwide:
One of the major advantages of using Instagram for your eCommerce company is that the platform has a highly engaged audience. Over 200 million Instagram users view at least one company profile per day, according to Instagram. This means that your eCommerce store has a large potential audience on Instagram.
Furthermore, Instagram’s algorithm is set up to favor material that creates engagement. This means that if you develop high-quality, engaging material that resonates with your target audience, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience.
Instagram has a number of advertising alternatives
Instagram’s advertising possibilities can be a great tool for driving sales and increasing revenue. Instagram has a number of ad formats available, including photo advertisements, video ads, carousel ads, and more.
These advertisements can be targeted to specific audiences based on criteria such as location, interests, habits, and demographics, allowing you to reach those who are most likely to be interested in your items.
Aside from typical Instagram ads, the site also includes a number of shopping capabilities, such as shoppable posts and product tags. These features enable you to tag your products in your postings, allowing visitors to click over and buy products directly from your Instagram account.
According to the Smartly report, 90% of online retailers purchased ads on the Instagram social media platform in 2023. What’s more fascinating is that about 42% of marketers believe Instagram advertisements outperform Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in terms of ROI.
In Spring 2020, Hollister, a clothing company, was one of the first to put Instagram advertising to the test with product tags. When compared to standard retargeting strategies, a 7-day promotional campaign had incredible results:
- 13% increase in click-through rate
- The cost per click was 42% lower
- The cost per impression was 34% lower
Instagram advertising tips to try:
Instead of hunches, use data. Facebook Ad Manager includes a plethora of features for audience analysis and targeting. Take advantage of these opportunities. You might be surprised to find out that the Boomers (aged 65-74) are probably the group responding best to Instagram ads!
Experiment with various ad formats. Instagram currently boasts over a dozen ad styles and functionalities, ranging from “traditional” feed advertisements to shoppable ads that can be seen in IGTV streams, the Explore tab, and the Shoppable feed. Set clear goals and KPIs to determine which form of Instagram ads would work best for you.
Instagram allows you to create a community for your brand
One of the primary advantages of using Instagram for your eCommerce store is the ability to create a community around your company. You may attract followers who are interested in your products and company by continuously publishing high-quality, interesting material.
You may interact with your followers, answer comments and direct messages, and establish relationships with your customers as you grow your following.
Creating an Instagram community for your brand can also help you create trust with your customers. Customers are more inclined to make a purchase when they feel they know and trust your brand.
Instagram can be an effective tool for reaching out to new customers who have never heard of your brand before. You can help your content reach a bigger audience on Instagram by using hashtags and other discovery features. Furthermore, when users interact with your material, their followers may see it as well, allowing you to reach a bigger audience.
Instagram can assist you in reaching out to new customers
Instagram also has a number of tools that might assist you in reaching out to new customers, such as Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. By utilizing these capabilities to promote your products and company, you can gain new followers and potential consumers who might not have discovered you otherwise.
The chronological feed was replaced by a content ranking algorithm in 2016. Despite the initial outcry, consumers quickly recognized that they were now seeing more of the posts their friends make (up to 90%), and the relevancy and quality of their Instagram feed had grown overall.
This is due to the fact that Instagram began employing six factors to decide how they rank content:
- Interest: The app recommends comparable material based on past behaviors (such as likes, comments, saves, and swipes).
- Recency: Fresh information and content get more exposure. As a result, you are motivated to make posts more regularly.
- Relationship: If you engage a lot with a particular account (e.g., remark on their posts or reply to Instagram stories), content produced by them will always appear on your feed because they rank higher.
- Instagram will strive to show users the posts they consider best based on their interactions on their last visit every time you launch the app.
- Following: If you follow a lot of individuals, you could see fewer posts from them.
- Usage: The longer you spend in the app, the more posts you’re likely to see.
If, in your Instagram marketing approach, you take these aspects into account, your brand will indeed be able to expand its reach continuously.
Apart from the reasons discussed above, there are other reasons why your eCommerce business should use Instagram.
Here are a few more of those reasons:
- Instagram allows you to harness user-generated content
Any form of content your customers or followers provide is considered user-generated content (UGC). This can include images, reviews, and testimonials. UGC can be a useful tool for eCommerce firms since it may assist in generating trust and social proof around your items.
Instagram is an excellent platform for harnessing UGC since people frequently share photographs and stories about things they enjoy. You may develop social proof for your business and products by monitoring and sharing UGC on your own Instagram account. Furthermore, when customers see that you’re sharing their material, it can assist in fostering a sense of community and commitment to your company.
- Instagram provides extensive metrics and insights
To use Instagram efficiently for your eCommerce company, you must be able to track your results and understand what is and is not working. Thankfully, Instagram offers a range of useful data and insights that may help you track your performance on the platform.
Instagram Insights allows you to track data like engagement, impressions, and reach. You can also monitor the performance of individual posts, follower demographics, and other useful information. Using these insights, you can make data-driven decisions regarding your Instagram strategy and optimize your content for optimal impact.
- Instagram as a Customer Service Platform
Instagram is a source of information about brands for many consumers.
As a result, your prospects and buyers will probe you with different queries. Make an effort to respond to them as soon as possible. A quick answer to a customer support inquiry is a key decision-making factor for 89% of users.
Take a cue from the cosmetics company Bliss. The company responds rapidly to common user questions about the product’s features. Plus, it frequently publishes FAQ-style information for new product launches in order to educate inquiring customers.
Apart from what was just mentioned above, you should also:
- Use Instagram Stories polls to get customer feedback swiftly.
- Monitor and reply to comments using social media listening tools.
- To provide brief how-tos and product manuals, use IGTV and Reels.
- Using Shoppable Posts
The Instagram platform’s algorithms curate and tailor our content feeds effectively. Their reach has recently expanded to include Shoppable posts and also includes Shoppable feeds.
Users can now simply review tagged products they’ve previously discovered from brands with whom they’ve interacted. You’ll receive personalized suggestions for Instagram Shops, Explore Guides, Editorial Picks, and Shop Collections based on your activity.
These provide excellent opportunities for e-commerce firms to interact with new consumers while increasing conversions.
Instagram algorithms have become extremely adept at anticipating consumer preferences and interests based on previous actions such as likes, link swipes, comments saves, and so on.
If you’re able to get your content delivered in front of a relevant demographic, chances are you’ll organically stay in the Shoppable stream for a while. If you can capture their interest in that time period, your content would be suggested to even more lookalike audiences, thus creating a “reach” snowball effect.
LARQ, for example, created an appealing Instagram storefront while also categorizing all of its products into different guides to boost discoverability.
Here’s how you, too, can benefit from shoppable content:
- Play around with shoppable videos. Instagram launched Shop tags for IGTV in 2020, with plans to expand them to Reels soon. Consider inspiring films highlighting your products to engage your Instagram followers.
- Consider live streaming. During the pandemic, shoppable live streaming caught on in China. The local live-stream shopping business was expected to be worth $170 billion in 2020 and is expanding year after year. The trend is already gaining across Europe and the United States since Instagram introduced Instagram Live Shopping capabilities. Brands and artists may now push customers to buy recommended products in real time.
- Working with Influencers to increase conversions
This year, more than 69% of firms expect to spend the majority of their influencer advertising budgets on Instagram. There are almost six times as many views on YouTube, the second-most popular influencer marketing channel.
Why is Instagram such a better option? There are several reasons:
Instagram successfully increases revenue and brand exposure: More than 40% of marketers utilize influencer campaigns to raise awareness, and 36% use them to increase sales.
It’s more specialized and personal. Instagram content creators frequently target their audience based on a certain passion, such as fashion, skincare, travel, or even something more specialized, such as owning a specific breed of dog. Marketers can more effectively create rapport with very niche audience segments. This can be done with fine-tuned targeting by personalizing their brand pitches to them with the help of the creator.
Skullcandy decided to create a distinct online positioning and brand voice in order to stand out in the competitive personal electronics business. For sponsored efforts, the company frequently collaborates with community “heroes” such as artists, surfers, athletes, and others.
Rather than focusing exclusively on the number of followers, Skullcandy selects campaign participants based on their ethos, beliefs, and lifestyle.
The company has over 660K followers and a post-engagement rate of 12.50% (compared to the industry average of 3%). This suggests that their strategy is working.
Here are some pointers to help you succeed with Instagram influencer marketing:
Collaborate with micro-influencers (under 30K followers). These specials usually produce the best price-to-value ratios.
Ambassadors are preferable to irregular commitments. Most clients do not trust sponsored advice immediately, especially if they appear forced. People are more likely to buy from influencers who repeatedly test and advocate the same products.
Make use of the author’s skills. Instead of imposing a hard brief, ask the influencer for advice on how to display the items. They are more acquainted with their target audience and are more likely to recommend a more natural and interesting sponsorship plan.
- Improved eCommerce SEO
Are you aware that some SEO best practices apply to Instagram as well?
Instagram SEO is the art and science of using keywords and hashtags to optimize your profile for increased site visibility. Instagram’s search bar employs a variety of algorithms to recommend related links and information. If you want your profile to appear higher for such searchers, try the following:
Your primary keyword should be included in your profile description. If you sell shoes, for example, using “shoe” in your handle name and profile description will help you rank higher in user searches on the site.
Be creative with your hashtags. Consider Instagram hashtags to be SEO keywords, or words and phrases people use to find specific content. Using hashtags on Instagram can help you reach a larger audience. Examine popular hashtags in your business and experiment with using them in your posts. As a general rule, use a mix of popular and less well-known hashtags, such as #2023bridesmaids ( then examine the results) and #bridesmaiddresses (then examine the results).
- Introducing new products
Teasers, huge reveals, and new product announcements are now regularly used by brands to generate interest in their products.
Kim Kardashian routinely uses Instagram to advertise new product launches and new stock availability for her well-known cosmetics and shapewear firm. Skims was said to have generated over $2 million in sales within the first few minutes of going live after the announcement was made on Instagram.
More crucially, smaller firms can use Instagram to promote new products and improve sales on the day of launch. As an example, a recent video release from Bliss highlighting its cooperation with Boots had over 2,500 natural views in only five days and a plethora of positive comments.
What else should you try:
- Give your audience a hint about the new product without entirely revealing it, and then allow them to guess or vote on it.
- Post information about your items’ manufacturing process. Alternatively, focus on a specific aspect of production, such as packing.
- Try Instagram’s Product Launch features, which allow you to use a unique tag for an upcoming launch.
There are various ways to use Instagram to your advantage with your eCommerce store.
It’s all about experimenting. Experimentation is essential for establishing a successful Instagram retail business. Experiment with various audience-building and engagement tactics. Experiment with different text lengths, photo styles, and hashtag combinations.
Save the methods that produce the best results and reuse them in future campaigns. Keep an eye on your account data to optimize your marketing strategy decisions and extend your audience.