Ever scroll through your Instagram feed and wonder where someone bought a certain product from? Instagram is revolutionizing the way their users shop on social media with their new shop feature. What initially began as a social networking service is now a place for thousands of businesses to showcase their products to their target audience.

Instagram’s shop feature is changing how people shop via social media in these ways: 

    1. People can buy products that are curated to their specific interests
    2. It encourages people to try buying from new brands / small businesses
    3. People are more likely to be influenced to buy what their favorite social media influencers are using

    Understanding the impact of this new shop feature on users will allow you to take advantage of it and propel your business. 

    People Can Buy Products That Are Curated to Their Specific Interests

    With Instagram consistently releasing new features like feed posts and product stickers for stories, shopping on Instagram has emerged into an all-inclusive user experience.

    In the last year, Instagram has taken the social media world by storm and is transcending eCommerce.

    If you stumble across the shop page on Instagram, you’ll notice that the products in your feed are ones that align with your interests. As compared to traditional marketing techniques, with the shop feature, there is less stress in convincing people to buy your products because they already have shown interest in it through liking similar posts.

    Additionally, the shop page will suggest similar shops based on your previous purchases. Through this feature, it is a lot easier to reach your target audience, which is the group of people that a business wants to direct its products to.

    People are able to engage with your product not just through the shop feature but through others such as stories, the explore page, and even reels. If a user is interested in your product, Instagram allows you to tag your product for them to tap and be redirected to an image, description, and price of the product.

    By having the ability to appeal to users’ specific interests, there is also the opportunity to strengthen the consumer to seller relationship. Once a user is familiar with your page, hosting things such as giveaways or Q&As can allow your page to flourish and your consumers to grow closer to your brand.

    Another great aspect is that Instagram is one of the only social platforms that lets you satisfy your retail therapy cravings directly on the app without redirecting you to another site. Compared to other platforms where you are often redirected from link to link, Instagram allows for the payments to be made directly on the app thanks to Instagram Checkout.

    It Encourages People to Try Buying From New Brands / Small Businesses

    With the pandemic, there’s been a new wave of small businesses encouraging people to make money on the side. Furthermore, consumers are more interested in supporting people who could truly need money as opposed to large corporations like Amazon. 96% of business owners have said that they always wanted to start a business. For among 40% of those, the pandemic has been what has propelled the beginning of their small business.

    If you are struggling as a small business or as a new brand, the Instagram shop feature can propel your business. In fact, Instagram has increased people’s chances to buy from new brands or small businesses. The levels of product discovery have seen its highest growth currently on Instagram, with 48% of consumers discovering products on the app.

    People Are More Likely to Be Influenced to Buy What Their Favorite Social Media Influencers Are Using

    Now more than ever, users are buying products that align with their favorite influencer’s current sponsorships. This has been heightened with the Instagram shop feature because it allows influencers to tag the products themselves and redirect users to the businesses shop page on Instagram.

    In turn, this makes people buy on impulse way more often than usual. This means that people are often making purchases based on how the product can make them feel and bring into their life rather than the true functionality of the product. It also allows social media to become the driving force for all their shopping needs.

    When users are following their favorite influencers on Instagram, there is an opportunity to build awareness for a brand while also building their relationship. Influencers will often post a mix of personal posts and sponsored posts.

    This range allows users to feel like they are being recommended a product from a friend, making them more likely to purchase the product that they are endorsing. These influencers often spend years growing their audience, making them more capable of establishing a trust-based relationship that businesses can tap into. To increase your chances at long-term growth, create a long-term campaign with an influencer.

    How Do I Get My Shop Featured on the Instagram Shop Page?

    This process is possible with a few simple steps:

    • Go to your profile and tap Menu
    • Tap Settings
    • Tap Business
    • Tap Shopping. Note: The option to tap Shopping is only available to accounts that have been approved for Instagram Shopping.
    • Tap Continue
    • Select a product catalog to connect to your professional account
    • Tap Done

    Your account should be reviewed within a few days. In the meantime, make sure you are actively building your brand awareness and telling your brand story through your main Instagram page to gain a substantial following. The best formula to achieve this growth is to post three reels a week, three feed posts a week, and ten stories a day.

    Another effective tip is creating story highlights with different products. Encourage interaction as much as possible through Instagram polls, Q&As, etc. Make sure to consistently post about new products and include a call to action in your comments. By doing this, you allow more opportunities for people to leave comments, increasing your engagement and reach.

    Consider including carousel posts on your feed. If you are promoting a clothing brand or makeup brand, this can be a place for you to pair matching looks together so that consumers can see your product in use. Fashion brands such as Revolve have used this to their advantage to show how one piece of clothing can be styled. When releasing stories, make sure to tag your products as well to notify followers when new products are out. 

    How Effective Is Instagram In Promoting New Businesses?

    It turns out that about 50% of consumers said that seeing photos from an Instagram feed on a brand’s website helps them find a new product during their time on Instagram. Additionally, about 52% say that they spend more time on the brand’s website when they find more images of the product on social platforms such as Instagram. A large reason as to why that is because it allows for consumers to become aware of the brand in a way that is familiar to them, social media.

    Sources: Multichannel Merchant, Forbes