We know that ecommerce is changing how we do business, and it has brought tremendous improvements and enhanced business success. Almost every business is now embracing ecommerce to promote new products or ventures. But is it true that Instagram has control over how ecommerce businesses operate?
Instagram, the simple image sharing app, became part of Facebook in 2012. It is now close to eight years, and the app that was once scared of Google and Twitter has become the most influential app for online businesses. Currently, Instagram has over 1 billion active users each month. Their revenue is expected to hit USD 14 billion by the 2020 financial year.
The tremendous growth tells us something - people love the network, and not only for communication but also for business. That is the only way businesses would advertise more for the ad network to make more income each year. We want to know how Instagram would control how ecommerce operates in the future. It can boost your sales by 500% while cutting down the conversion cost by 80%.
Here are some of the things to remember when thinking about ecommerce with Instagram.
1. Instagram as a Sales Channel for ecommerce
For almost a decade, since the acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has grown from a photo app to a full-featured online ecommerce solution. Apart from using Instagram to market your products via paid ads and post sharing, you can now sell directly from your business account.
Setting up an ecommerce store and an ecommerce mobile app can build your business. With Instagram, you combine the power of the shopping app and social media to make a complete user experience. Your customers can buy while sharing the products they feel are relevant to their friends. There is no need for switching apps.
For an ecommerce business that utilizes Instagram ecommerce, it is easier to close sales than those who have to direct their customers to a landing page before they can see the products and add them to the shopping cart. Instagram shopping simplifies the process. Customers see products on their feed, the price, and by tapping they can securely check out without leaving the platform.
2. Shoppable Media
You are aware of those adverts on Instagram where you would see a short description and a "link in bio" directive that informs you that you should follow the link on the business information to see the products. This method was inconvenient in many ways.
Firstly, a prospect had to go to the business profile, then click the link in the business description (bio), and start searching for the products they saw on the advertisement on Instagram. By the time the customer finds what they wanted, they would have given up already.
The method also inconvenienced the business owners because they could not link to various products and categories in their catalog. One link per account means you can only link your business and let your customers do the guessing where to find your products. But things have changed so far, thanks to the shoppable feature.
The "shoppable" is a feature that allows you to tag products from your ecommerce so that people can tap on your post image to reveal the products and their prices. You do not need the "link in bio" mantra to promote your business. When the customer taps and reveals the price of each product, they can shop directly from Instagram, on the post - making business faster and convenient for both the buyer and the seller.
3. Hashtags Are Still Relevant on Instagram
In case you thought that hashtags are there for fun or making a pun on social media, then you could not be more wrong. Hashtags have changed how marketing works, and Instagram hashtags are still engaging relevant audiences and promoting businesses.
With hashtags, you make your content easier to categorize with relevant topics people are discussing. That makes it better for people to find your business, even outside your follower network. You, however, need to follow the correct tag usage policies to drive the highest traffic to your brand and remain relevant in business.
Creating unique hashtags is also beneficial. You can use your brand name in your hashtag to make it unique and relevant. People who know your business name can find you easily by typing it on Instagram and seeing the posts you shared with your hashtag. No harm in being creative.
4. Remain Social to Build Customer Trust
Instagram makes it easy for shopping, but it is not turning to be a checkout app. As the network grows, it remains relevant to be a social network, and users should be social. Even businesses have to remain social to engage their audience and promote business growth.
Instead of promoting your new product launch in every post, you can share content from third-party sources or from other Instagram users. You should, however, verify the authenticity of the news, and it should be relevant to your niche.
Conversational posts are also ideal in engaging your Instagram audience. Asking your customers questions on how to improve your services, what they like about your brand - or any related question that improves the relationship between your brand and the customers - will help you to gain more engagement and boost your visibility on Instagram (a higher visibility = brand growth).
5. Instagram Generates Results Faster than SEO
We could say that Instagram is better than Google, but then everyone uses Google, and the search index improves more to the point where you start receiving traffic with little to no marketing efforts. But Instagram is almost instant with results - that "insta" part, however, must have been a coincidence.
With Instagram, your audience receives your updates as soon as you post them or whenever they log in to their accounts. With Instagram ads, you can get your content in front of millions of engaging users. With a 68% engagement rate (more than twice the engagement on Facebook - 32%), you would not be mistaken for choosing Instagram as your marketing channel for ecommerce above other social networks.
6. The Power of Contests and User-generated Content
Social media is about being social, and it is no different for Instagram. When you share content from users and customers, you improve your user engagement. And you would want to geotag the posts to improve visibility and engagement in various places. But why are we talking about engagement for ecommerce businesses? Because, for Instagram, more engagement means better business.
Contests help your followers to engage and participate in promoting your brand. They feel honored when you feature them in your brand posts, and they would endeavor to do their best to promote your brand according to the standards you set in your contest. And when you offer them prizes, who would not work for it? The secret answer to this is "free" brand ambassadors and influencers.
Summing it Up
Although Instagram started as a simple app, it is now the must-have social network for ecommerce businesses. Using the platform adequately can see you grow your brand and business performance beyond your expectations.
The information in this article, and the tips and stats in the linked pages, can help you to reach greater heights with your Instagram marketing strategies for your ecommerce. You only need to practice patience while testing and implementing.
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