Instagram E-commerce Strategies

Instagram has made a long way from just a social platform where you can share photos of your breakfast. It is gradually transforming into an effective sales channel, and many businesses are already using it to their benefit. In this post, we’ll share tips on Instagram e-commerce strategies that work and can aid you in revenue growth.

1. Add Shoppable Tags

The first point on the list is enhancing your Instagram Business Account with shoppable items. To make that happen, you need to first connect the product catalog on your e-commerce website with your Facebook Business account. Then, once you have a Facebook Shop, you can merge it with Instagram.

When that point is behind you, you’ll get the chance to tag products on your posts. The posts will then display a tine shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner. When your followers tap on the “View Products” tag, they’ll get a chance to see the product details, including the price, and see a convenient link to the store where they can order the product.

On a side note, it is vital to make sure that your e-commerce website offers a decent user experience, especially for mobile users. If your shoppers come across a site with slowly loading pages and an inconvenient checkout, they may flee your store. That’s why many merchants invest in site optimization and build PWAs (you can browse some impressive progressive web apps examples to get a better understanding of what these are). Take a look at the screenshots below that were taken on the Benefit Cosmetics Instagram account. The account’s header area has a large “View Shop” button. Plus, many of the posts have shoppable tags.

Official Benefit Cosmetics Instagram account Strategies
Screenshots were taken on the official Benefit Cosmetics Instagram account

Today, only several countries apart from the USA have access to the “Checkout on Instagram”. This feature allows users to purchase items without leaving the social media app. I.e., they can buy things via Instagram, not directly on your store’s site. Many famous brands are already reaping the benefits of this excellent feature, while the rest of the world is waiting for it to be available globally.

2. Repost the Content of Your Followers

User-generated content is an underestimated yet potent marketing tool. People can get tempted to buy something if they see it on a model or a celebrity. Yet not-so-polished content that shoppers just like them make raises credibility.

These can be photos, short videos, stories, reels, reviews, feedback, testimonials. Well, pretty much anything featuring your brand in a good way!

Reposting high-quality content that your users make should be your social media content strategy “must-do”. This allows you to broaden your reach as well as increase your brand awareness. Not to mention that you “connect” with your buyers, building tighter, more long-lasting relationships. Have a look at how Vans approaches the matter. Their Instagram account features numerous reposted pictures made by clients. Did you notice how many likes it has?

Official Vans & Josie Francis Instagram accounts Strategies
Screenshots were taken on the official Vans & Josie Francis Instagram accounts

3. Add Social Media Widgets to Your Store

It works the other way around with user-generated content too. Having obtained enough feats from your audience, you can complement your online store with widgets that would display posts from Instagram.

Some brands take a step up with this tactic and show product-related user Instagram content on their product pages. This way, prospects can see the item “in action” and may get inspired to make an order.

As such, Maybelline New York uses this strategy across their whole online retail site. As you can see, they invite their shoppers to share makeup looks, add a specific hashtag, and mention their official accounts to get featured. This “move” can get your social media accounts more followers and bring you more orders.

Screenshot of the official Maybelline New York website
The screenshot was taken on the official Maybelline New York website

4. Partner up with Influencers

Influencers are the opinion leaders that can bring your brand a load of attention and sales—provided that you choose a proper representative, of course. These “famous figures” aren’t celebrities but are known to be those who are experts in this or that niche and communicate with a specific target audience. People listen to them and trust their opinions.

Browse for bloggers and experts in your field and do your best to offer them a mutually beneficial collaboration. Yes, it most likely won’t come on a free basis, but this investment may result in an additional boost in revenue.

Check out how OFRA Cosmetics works with influencers. Below is a post created in collaboration with Daryna Barykina, a public figure who makes content for brands and has over 77k followers. On the screenshot on the right, you can see that the post is marked as “Paid partnership” on her account.

Screenshots of the official OFRA Cosmetics & Daryna Barykina Instagram
Screenshots were taken on the official OFRA Cosmetics & Daryna Barykina Instagram accounts

5. Mind Your Hashtags

No matter what they say, hashtags do affect your online retail strategy. If applied properly, they can enhance visibility and make it easier to find your content.

Nonetheless, it’s important not to overdo it with hashtag use. For starters, too many hashtags can annoy the human eye. Secondly, you can get in trouble with the algorithms. Case in point: Guess pursues the “less is more” approach. We don’t see posts stuffed with endless scrolls of hashtags. Instead, there’s only one or two per post. It looks neat and at the same time narrows down the search.

Screenshots were taken on the official Guess Instagram account
Screenshots were taken on the official Guess Instagram account

6. Use IGTV, Reels & Other Cool Stuff

Finally, consider investing some time in creating other content that can make your Instagram account stand out. As such, you can:

  • organize your account’s header area and check that all the vital business information is there (website, location, contact details, etc.);
  • share Stories regularly apart from putting up posts (think your strategy through and freshen up your Stories feed with testimonials, behind the scenes, special offers, new arrivals, etc.);
  • fill out “Highlights” circles with appropriate content from Instagram Stories;
  • if you plan to have broadcasts and “go live”, think about what content will be useful to your audience, then share them in your IGTV and Reels.

Let’s take Furla’s Instagram account as an example. The page has all the contact details presented and neat Highlights sections. Furthermore, we can see many awesome videos on IGTV. And my personal favorite part, Furla has several of their own masks that users can apply. How cool is that?

Screenshots was taken on the official Furla Instagram account
Screenshots were taken on the official Furla Instagram account

To Conclude

Without a doubt, there’s so much more that you can do to boost sales using Instagram. This social media platform is a powerful way to connect with your buyers and strengthen your brand’s online presence. You can (and maybe should) try to tun paid ad campaigns so that your account gets more traffic and a larger audience can see your offers. But the bottom line is that you shouldn’t overlook this channel. Your audience loves it (especially the younger generation), and the platform itself regularly surprises with its improved features for shopping.


About the Author

Kate Parish CMO Onilab

Kate Parish, CMO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the ever-advancing online world, and the sphere of e-commerce PWA development and site optimization. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and the field of online sales in general. LinkedIn

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