Instagram, changing the Retail Landscape!
With the developing times and new technologies available online; our shopping ventures have incessantly changed from a physical shop to just a click on our phones. On average, 6 out of 10 people would prefer shopping online, rather than having to go and shop personally from the market. To enhance these digital shopping encounters, many social media apps have introduced a shopping feature to their feed consequently changing the way people shop. These apps have turned into a revenue-generating stream for small businesses, brands, and local retailers. Thus it is no surprise that online shopping has changed shopping behaviors.
Why shop online?
Earlier, you had no other option than to shop from the market or the specific store. But now you can hunt for the cheapest deals without having to leave your couch or your comfort zone. Imagine stumbling yourself from one of the streets to the other; or hunting for a particular item in a mall for a long time. It would not only save your time and efforts; but also provide a great deal with a variety of products for comparison. You don’t need to worry about long queues and the crowd. The best part about online shopping is you have the flexibility to shop anytime, at any desired store, worth the price. The digital storefront is at your door across all media platforms and serving your needs.
Amongst all the available online platforms, Instagram has gained popularity. It has proved to be a successful business platform for creators and small businesses. Instagram is constantly adding new features; such as stories, its highlights, and IGTV videos and developing the look and feel of the app. These features have not only changed the way we signify Instagram; but also how we pursue it in our daily lives and businesses.
In this blog, we would discover the shopping features and the recent updates introduced by Instagram; Also, as how Instagram shopping spree can benefit both the buyer and the sellers at the same time.
How Instagram is Changing Shopping Experiences in 2020?
Since the time Instagram introduced the shopping feature, Instagrammers have started to use it for their benefit; by swapping from inspiration to buying without leaving the app, just like Amazon or Myntra. With digital marketing on the verge, Instagram has proved to be a platform that can magnify small businesses in terms of market and capital. Instagram is already taking over the retail world with its immense influence.
As the platform continues to introduce new tools and features for brands, creators, and buyers, the worldwide hold of the platform over shopping and social media will simply continue to grow.
And that’s not it. More than 130 million people review the shopping tab on Instagram every month. Thus, Instagram has released new features in addition to the Instagram Shop that would smooth the shopping experience. This, help you upload new products regularly, and drive more sales. It seems Instagram is on a mission to transform the app; from an absolute social media to an efficient and productive shopping app.
Here are some of the affiliated tools released by Instagram:
Instagram Shop (separate option in the Explore tab)
Gift Card and Food Order Stickers for posts and stories
Certain products bloom shopping on Instagram based on their popularity and availability such as –
- Home decor. …
- Accessories like sunglasses and watches. …
- Health products. …
- Beauty products. …
- Makeup accessories. …
- Fitness products.
These are the products that can be socialized easily through PR marketing strategies, influencers, and honest reviews. They provide you with an easily accessible and immersive digital storefront on social media for users. Moving close to changing the app to a shopping media, here are some of the strategies designed to promote their sale by using the aforementioned features –
1) Discovery Feeds that satiates your likes and dislikes
- Imagine yourself in a store that has all the products as per your wish list, unveiling the suitable price in regards to the worth of the product. You would want to buy all of these products irrespective of the fact that you genuinely need them at that particular point. This is what Instagram is doing with its tech-savvy algorithms.
- Our search feed, as well as our home feeds, would primarily channel those posts that are oriented towards the content that we like or search for. This is because, when you search for some products on Instagram or like content related to shopping sites, Instagram would align your feed accordingly.
- Thus, we step into a Curated and well-personalized shopping feed.
- Also, if you want to specifically shop from given brands or shopping sites available on Instagram, you can tap on the Shop option in the Search and Explore bar. You can also follow certain brands and creators and browse from the products of your choice by tapping on the brand option in the top right corner of the page.
- Just like any other shopping site, Instagram also provides you with a wish list option in the top right corner of the feed where you can save the products that you wish to buy. Even if your wish list is empty, the tailored algorithms would display the products that you have liked earlier or saved on your Instagram.
- In this Instagram shop feed, you would across numerous products with their descriptions, buying options, and majorly its price all in one place. You can get inspired by the influencers in the feed and choose to buy their looks from the given tags.
- You would be surprised by the unending feed and posts similar to your previous engagement and also based on the posts liked by your followers.
- As a brand or seller, you can feature your products in the Shopping feed; where it would be reviewed by the users cum buyers. You can assume when a person stumbles upon your post, the chances that he will buy are higher. He may also recommend the product to his group. Thus this is a real deal, where you can transform your followers into customers. This feeds allows businesses to tag up to 5 products per image or 20 products per carousel.
2) Influencers – Crucial Element in the Sales Funnel and Impulse Spending
- Instagram itself has influenced over 2/3 of the purchasing decisions. 55% of the people state that their purchases are inspired by the influencers and their lifestyles.
- It is a fact that in the real world, word of mouth plays a huge role and has proven successful. Because when we convey our reviews to our friends, family, or colleagues about the product that we bought; they would also be tempted to buy the product. A survey has also suggested that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family; over any other type of media marketing. Earlier, this tool was quite helpful in impulsive buying.
- Now, when we take this word-of-mouth maneuvering into the digital marketing world of Instagram; this tool has turned out to be quite prevailing in inducing impulsive purchases. As Instagram has developed, the reign of influencers has also manifested and has led to impulsive shopping.
- An influencer promoting a product in their content through posts, stories, or videos would not be enough. The only barrier in transforming a viewer into a buyer is the link that would lead to buying the product. This has also been removed from Instagram’s new rollout of shopping tools for creators, where an influencer can use a shoppable tag for the designated product in the form of a paid partnership. The viewers can directly use this tag and proceed with the further process.
- Statistically, stories on Instagram suggest around 400 million daily active users. To make efficient use of these stories in September 2018, Instagram introduced product stickers as tags for stories as well wherein users can easily review and research the product from the stories themselves. This is another robust tool for brands and creators to capitalize on engagement.
- Thus, if you want to drive sales and traffic into your newly found business or an established one; influencer marketing on Instagram should be your first call. This would essentially help you to boost your business and drive attention to purchasing by connecting with new people.
3) Instagram is fueling E-commerce
- It is fact by the Search Engines that the scroll-to-shop nature would proliferate especially on Instagram. Instagram also features to post the same content on FaceBook and other media platforms that are beneficial or have links to your account.
- Zuckerberg has said: “This is the biggest step we’ve taken yet, to enable commerce across our family of apps.”
- Instagram is creating features so that it can reach other smaller businesses and creators in the coming times and yield beyond the major brands.
- Users on Instagram are buying apparel to take pictures and then return them. Retailers have featured a working return policy for such feed-conscious Grammars. It benefits the users who also promote their content on social media. Also helps to deal with the pressure of sporting a new look for their ‘Outfit of the Day content. Such genuine and honest reviews guide other users and lead to more buying options.
4) Could Tele-Shopping be Making a Comeback?
- In recent times, Instagram live has seen a comeback. Its been used by brands and small businesses with the new feature of Live Shopping.
- Some businesses that have the privilege of Instagram Checkout can tag their products before going live. These products are at the bottom of the video for the viewers to tap on them and scroll for their purchase.
- Do you remember a live-shopping channel where they used to promote their product within a given time frame? These Lives are similar to those Tele-Shopping videos. But there is a difference between these two terms. Instagram lives provide you an opportunity to directly communicate with the people who are hosting this video.
- These videos are also now available on the Desktop. Thus making it seem to be one step closer to the TV-style experience.
- Influencers can also carry out these streams giving it a more personal touch. This also enables a more educated buying decision.
- As Instagram gears up for an e-commerce-friendly future; now’s the time to test out some of the new tools and features available.
- For example – Tina Craig (@bagsnob) was one of the first persons to use this Live feature; for her product from her brand @ubeauty.
Thus it is evident that Instagram is an undeniable shopping destination. As the specifications suggest 72% of its users make their buying decisions based on Instagram content. But Instagram goes beyond the research on what to buy. It has surprisingly changed the retail landscape by introducing features beneficial for buyers and retailers. We hope this blog was helpful for you to uncover new features and enhance your shopping experience. Do share with us about your Instagram shopping stories and ventures.