Instagram: 4 tips for a successful e-commerce strategy

Written by Pascale VIGENER

July 26, 2021

In our last blogpost about e-commerce behaviour referring to our own research with 28.000 respondents across Europe, we have shown that 66% of the consumers shop more online since the pandemic has started more than a year ago. Doing so, 86% prefer to shop on e-commerce platforms which offer more categories, 62% on specialized e-shops (e.g. fashion sites) and 43% on dedicated brand websites.

However, today we want to focus on social media, playing a crucial role in the online shopping journey. Social media platforms like Instagram are very popular when it comes to the discovery of brands and products, but also for the final purchase as it allows consumers to shop in an environment where they feel comfortable.

On Instagram, people seek for inspiration and use brand profiles to get updated on latest launches and challenges. On top, the average Instagram usage time has increased to nearly 30 minutes in the recent year. Finally yet importantly, due to a general social shopping trend the social network reveals new shopping features on a regular basis. This makes it a must-have in every modern e-commerce strategy.

Here are 4 tips how to use Instagram as brand for an optimal social e-commerce strategy:

1. Make it shoppable: Tag Posts, Stories and Reels

To make the purchase experience as seamless as possible, brands should integrate “product”-tags on their posts, stories and reels. With the connection of the Facebook page users can then directly see the product name and price on the respective content piece. Hence, they neither need to switch platforms nor devices. On top, by clicking the tag on posts or stories, it leads to a dedicated product pages for more detailed information. On these landing pages brands can also show similar/more products, which could be of high interest for the shoppers. Even here, the user stays in the Instagram environment.

Using the tags is great chance for brands to boost sales and to increase conversions thanks to the frictionless shopping experience and the time saving click-and-buy advantage.

2. Engagement for more Brand Lovers

Quality beats quantity – also when it comes to followers. As a brand, you benefit from followers who are real and authentic brand lovers. Such users like to engage, share their feedback and of course, like to buy your products. However, it is in your responsibility to involve them to increase Instagram sales at the end of the day. Make them part of your e-community! Thereby, you turn your fans into authentic brand ambassadors and attract new followers at the same time.

There are many creative ways to do so such as:

  • Share UGC and let your consumers speak for your brands to boost authentic & credible communications
  • Ask your followers for feedback with e.g. stories Q&As, polls etc. and leverage the best insights
  • Set up challenges and competitions for stronger brand loyalty, as well as engagement
  • Use referral codes and activations for peer-to-peer recommendations 
  • Work with nano influencers to increase your number of followers

3. Collaborate with the right Influencers

Instagram and influencers are a very promising match! It is a great way to increase brand awareness, reach new and targeted audiences and boost the number of sales. Depending on your product or service, your target group or your marketing goal, you have the choice between four different types: Nano, Micro, Macro or Star Influencer.

As an Instagram e-commerce newbie, Micro Influencers could be a great choice due to their (often) niche expertise, cheaper pricing and highly involved communities. Their followers are very engaged, very interested in the influencers’ product recommendations and love to be involved for feedback.

Also, successful collaborations should be turned into long term partnerships to prove credibility and provide a regular traffic to your brand shops.

4. Influencer Generated Content for better ads!

People perceive UGC as two times more authentic as the advertisement created by brands. This speaks for itself. It offers brands to deliver its messages in an authentic way and thereby, attracting a high number of consumers. So, why not using this consumer created content for your paid ads? That’ll work! And even one step further: Use UGC created by influencers, because…

…first, influencers are consumers who produce credible, relatable and authentic content. Second, brands can choose influencer content, which has already performed very well organically, and leverage on the success for the paid version. This makes the ad relevant, target specific, likely to engage with and cheap – and the CPM decreased due to optimized targeting!

Our agency calls this product Social Boost. Some of our brands gained more than 2 million impressions thanks to the optimized paid influencer content. Here you can find an example from last summer with Lavazza.

Ready to sell?

People want to get inspired, to be entertained and to shop on Instagram. For a successful e-commerce business, let them become a part of your strategy and their own costumer journeys.

At the same time, make use of all upcoming shoppable options on Instagram.

Little heads up before we finish: Instagram’s CEO just accounted a big investment in new shopping products for its platform. Stay tuned and don’t miss out on the next big thing in social commerce. Check out our blogpost about these new features.