E-Commerce in the world of Instagram – Bláthnaid Devilly

An Instagram Account Paints a Thousand Words

How to grow your e-commerce business using Instagram

“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business” – Bill Gates.  

As we know not all social media platforms are the same and each social media platform has its own potential. It is exhausting to contemplate keeping on top of every Social Media platform especially if you’re a sole proprietor.

However, having an Instagram account for a business is essential. Instagram has many pluses such as ads, stories and newsfeed posts to help build natural growth, sustain your reputation, sales and even survival.

Why use Instagram for your e-commerce business? 

Instagram has seen massive growth since they released the app for iPhone and Android devices in April 2012. Today the platform has just under one billion monthly active users.  An attractive fact about Instagram users is that 31% are on over 75k yearly income, 32% of users are on 50k to 74k yearly income. The potential to connect with even 30% of these users with higher disposable incomes is a huge asset. 

At least once a day over 200 million users visit an e-commerce profile. 80% of these users follow over ten brands on the app.  Users of Instagram engage 68 times more regularly with online brands than Facebook. 

The engagement per follower is 58 times better than Facebook and there is only 36% of marketers on Instagram, which can give your business a massive advantage just by using the app.

With statistics like these, there is no denying the immense selling power of Instagram and how vital it is for an online business.
So, to start, we’ll look at the steps we can take to change an Instagram profile to a business profile.

Steps to help grow your e-commerce on Instagram

1st step – Make Instagram a shoppable page

Transforming a social channel to a sales channel is very simple and can be quite rewarding. Firstly, set up an online store on Shopify. You will need to be on a basic plan or higher. Then you need to set up a Facebook business page, make sure it has no age or country restrictions. 

Then attach your Instagram business profile to your Facebook, your business will need to adhere to the commerce Facebook policy and sell physical products.  You will then get a notification from Instagram allowing the tagging of your products. When posting you should see a “tag product” option, this will give you your list of items from your Facebook shop.  

2nd step – Tagging of Products

The allowing of tagged products on Instagram arrived when Instagram and Facebook teamed up with Shopify early in 2017. This collaboration allowed the customer to click on a tagged product in a photograph which in turn simplifies the purchase as it shows the price of the product and creates a straight forward call to action service. 

Leading the customer straight on to the desired webpage and buy button, this reduced search time. When the app was launched the revenue increased by 8% and there was a 25% increase in traffic

3rd Step – Visual Consistency 

Instagram is a visual-based platform and is an effective marketing tool if used sufficiently.  Today a brand image isn’t just a logo or the service a company provides but about the mix of associations that customers receive in daily online interactions from a business.  A business needs depth, a story and a personality which Instagram provides.

Instagram is centered around the aesthetic content which is 650% more engaging then regular test post.  This imagery can convey a story which customers can engage in and relate to. Imagery is key and to create trust with in a business, you need consistency, Visual Consistency.

Visual Consistency can run through a feed in different ways, whether it’s a themed colour scheme or alternating your photos from lifestyle to product, it is important to plan out your posts accordingly and to create a theme that is right for your business and product.  There are many apps that you download to help you find your theme or colour pallet if you don’t already have one.

Here are examples of one of my favorite Instagram stores ‘Dazey_LA” and what a themed business profile looks like. 

← Here is an example using the colour scheme generator ‘Coolor’ with one of ‘Dazey_LA’ photographs. 

As you can see in the screenshots below you can find the exact colour by the hexadecimal number to add to your next post. 

4th Step – Hashtags 

Creating a popular Instagram account can be very time consuming but using additional apps can help manage your time wisely.  I find hash tagging to be the number one freezing point in the whole uploading process. Each picture can show or represent something different so you’re constantly rearranging the hashtags.  

You can create lists of hashtags on your phone under headings such as ‘frequently used hashtags’ or ‘seasonal hashtags’ and save them to notes.  You can also use free apps such as ‘Hashtag Finder’ or ‘Auto Hash’ which does the hash tagging for you, just download the app, upload a photo and the app picks out the relevant hashtags for that individual photograph. 

Hash tagging is the biggest connection in finding the right community, so it’s vital in a business as hashtags allow content to be searched and attract new traffic to a profile.

Conclusion

These steps are quite simple but done in the right way can be extremely effective and can create natural growth for an e-commerce business.  These novelties allow retailers worldwide to offer their sales through Instagram, to retain their customers while gathering feedback from updated analytics and an instant attachment to their website.  The era of visualization is among us, so the use of creativity is indispensable and any free tools or apps available to create a return for a business should be applied.

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