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Shop While You Scroll | Instagram Expands the Buyer Market

Shop While You Scroll | Instagram Expands the Buyer Market
May 31, 2017 Keziah

New day, new update!

The innovation of Instagram continues to set the bar for all other social platforms while simultaneously expanding the opportunity of B2C growth. Most recently, Instagram is working to solidify a user-friendly shopping experience directly within the app.

Starting off with a soft launch in November of 2016 inclusive to about 20 brands, Instagram is working to fully integrate with BigCommerce and intends to offer eligibility to all approved businesses by the end of Q2 this year.

I’m Intrigued. But How Will it Look?

One of these first 20 brands, Kate Spade, noted the following on their experience:

“Our partnership with Instagram has been very successful. Traditionally, our customer had turned to Instagram for inspiration, and we’re seeing that she’s reacting positively to the new shopping experience, which allows her to seamlessly tap and shop the product – going from inspiration to information to purchase in just a few steps – we’re excited to see where the feature continues to take us.” – Mary Beech, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Kate Spade New York

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 3.47.39 PM

Okay, Looks Good. Now What’s the Operational Breakdown?

The steps are simple. Once approved by Instagram, the business profile will work through the following:

  1. Convert Instagram account to business profile
  2. Connect Instagram to Facebook business page
  3. Enable integration through BigCommerce Channel Manager to sync Product Catalog
  4. Tag products from product catalog in Instagram app

“Once a business has a product catalog connected to their account, tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post.” – Instagram

The feature will allow you to tag up to 5 products, along with price points, featured in any photo uploaded to your profile’s feed.

Similar to clicking on the photo to see a Tag, you click product detail views and select Shop Now on the product – leading you directly to the site for purchase.

Interested in trying out the Shopping feature for your business? You can sign up for the waitlist for Instagram approval here:

Seems Manageable. But What’s the Benefit?

According to Instagram there are approximately 5 million active business profiles currently on the app while 80% of all users follow one business account.

Let that sink in. 3,200,000 daily Instagram users follow at least one business account.

“According to analytics and marketing platform Curalate, social media users interact with brands on Instagram 58 times more than they do on Facebook, and a whopping 120 times more than on Twitter.” – Clare O’Conner, Forbes

Currently there are several steps in a product purchasing process through Instagram; informing followers to see the Link in Bio or providing a (nonclickable) link within the caption is still valuable, however, it may cause the impulsive shopper to lose interest much quicker.

While Third Party extensions such as FourSixty, StoryBox, and Like2Buy – just to name a few – are also tremendously helpful with shopping, Instagram offering a direct action presents a much more seamless take on the process.

The more work you make your audience do, the more barriers to buy you’re unintentionally creating.” -Jessica Thiele, Marketing Manager, Virtual Logistics

In addition to enacting the Shopable feature, Instagram will also expand on Analytic features:

Businesses will also soon be able to get insights around the metrics that matter to them, like how many people tapped to see more product details or clicked on “shop now.” – Instagram

Well I Can’t Enable This Feature Yet. So What Can I Do in the Meantime?

Business accounts within the industries of Fashion, Apparel, Jewelry, Beauty/Skincare should continue to increase their audience base through purposeful posts, entertaining engagement, and admirable advertisements.

Read through these tips from Spearmint LOVE (@spearmintbaby) and Pink Lily (@thepinklilyboutique) on how to gradually, but effectively, step up your Instagame:

  • Post pictures that feel genuine
  • Post often (3-5 times daily)
  • Post with visual profile cohesion in mind
  • Friendly follows (following other like-minded accounts for inspiration)
  • Run Instagram advertising
  • Create contests and giveaways

Ads are especially effective to garner attention. Ads can be straight forward and allow great opportunity to increase conversion.

“Using images of real people along with your product establishes a more personal relationship between brand and consumer which makes people more inclined to click the ad.” – Emil Kristensen, CMO & Founder, Sleek Note

In this case, change is good. Embracing an advancement such as this are beneficial to businesses on all points of the spectrum – and we can’t wait to see what Instagram will introduce next.


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