Almost overnight, Instagram made a shift into e-commerce – but how is the way we shop changing?
From fully shoppable feeds to a multitude of tools to help small business owners, there’s no denying that Instagram’s job is to turn the app into a streamlined shopping experience.
We’re sharing all the details of the latest Instagram shopping updates What to Expect from Instagram’s Shift from Social to E-Commerce?
How Instagram will change the shopping experience in 2020
Every month, 130 million People tap an Instagram shopping post and Instagram checkout is now available for all eligible companies and creators in the United States.
For businesses, Instagram shoppable posts are a great way to visually showcase products and generate more sales.
And thanks to Instagram Checkout, users can go from inspiration to purchase without ever leaving the Instagram app.
It’s the perfect link for small businesses looking to boost their online revenue streams.
And it doesn’t stop there. Instagram is constantly introducing new features that users can use to shop on the app.
Most recently, Instagram announced the global launch of Instagram Shopping on IGTV and announced that this year they will begin testing shopping on Instagram Reels – Instagram’s answer to the viral video app TikTok.
With that in mind, users will soon be able to view and purchase products right from almost any part of the app: Instagram from Feed Posts, Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, IGTV, and Reels.
Instagram has also released various tools and features aimed at this Small business help while COVID-19 stay afloat. While the IRL shopping experiences were put on hold due to lockdown and social distancing, social media quickly became a valuable source of income for retailers, brands, and small businesses worldwide.
Here are just a few of the ecommerce features Instagram released this year:
Given this important focus for e-commerce, it is not surprising that online shopping behavior is also changing.
As we approach the busiest shopping season of the year, let’s take a look at how Instagram is transforming the way we shop, and how brands are twisting their sales strategy in response:
How Instagram is Changing Shopping # 1: Discovery Feeds are fully shippable and curated
Imagine walking into a store where everything on the shelves matches your personal style, wish list, and price – that could lead to some serious expense!
And that’s what Instagram is working towards.
Thanks to the already established and super savvy Instagram algorithm, Our home feeds are tailored to our likes and dislikes. Content that the algorithm thinks we like the most will appear at the top of our home feed.
When we add this concept to the new Instagram shop feed, we are entering a curated, personalized, and shippable destination.
The new shopping destination allows users to “browse a selection of your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and buy the looks you all love in one place” to find inspiration and shop right from the Instagram app .
The new Instagram shop feed can currently be found on the Explore page. A brand new navigation shortcut is being introduced worldwide.
As you scroll through the Instagram store, you might be surprised at how much you want to add to the cart. And that’s not a coincidence.
With this new feed, Instagram found a way Show off more of what you are most likely to buy – all based on previous engagement, the posts and brands you follow, and engagement from users who are similar to you.
As a brand, you can assume that the purchase intent of a user who comes across your shoppable post in the new Instagram shop feed is very high. So there is a real way of converting your followers (old and new!) Into customers by simply adding shoppable posts to your feed.
Instagram is slowly releasing shop for different markets. So don’t worry if you don’t already have access. Learn more about Instagram Shop here blog entry.
Not sure where to start Instagram shopping and create shippable posts? Check out our Ultimate guide Here we go into all the details about the setup.
How Instagram Is Changing Shopping # 2: The Ecommerce Journey Is Designed For Impulse Spend
When the world settled down in early 2020, it was no surprise that online shopping spiked.
Indeed a poll of engine found that people were spending an average of 10 to 30% more online when social distancing began in early March.
And the scroll-to-shop nature didn’t stop when the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, especially on Instagram, where the path from browsing to buying is easier than ever.
In early summer, Facebook took its biggest step into e-commerce to date: Facebook Shops!
Don’t let the name put you off (or let the Instagram store above confuse you) – this new feature lets small businesses create online stores on Facebook and Instagram, and you can even tag products on live broadcasts!
in the Zuckerberg’s own words: “This is the biggest step we have taken so far to enable trading in our family of apps.”
On Facebook Business Pages or Instagram profiles, brands can create a catalog of products and services that visitors can browse, save, share and even buy.
Instagram is arguably unrivaled when it comes to delivering shop-ready inspirational content – it essentially is We offer a tailor-made experience to buy what you want, when you want it.
By helping companies promote their product to the right audience, Instagram has also reduced the time and effort spent on spending money – a match made in ecommerce heaven.
Plus, this goes beyond mega brands. Instagram also announced that it will bring shopping and e-commerce capabilities to smaller businesses and a whole new category of users: developers.
According to the announcement“Whether you’re a candle company taking a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding your own line of cookware,” you can use Instagram Shopping to make sales on Instagram.
How Instagram is Changing Shopping # 3: Influencers are an important part of the sales funnel
When we consider that Instagram is a world where influence is paramount, it is easy to understand how impulse buying is made.
In the real world, we can tell our best friends, family members or co-workers about a product we bought and liked.
This word-of-mouth marketing is already established and has proven successful. One report even states that 92% of the people Trust recommendations from friends and family about any other type of advertising.
However, when we bring word of mouth recommendations into the influencer marketing world of Instagram, we have a much more powerful tool for generating an impulse decision.
Combined with the introduction of Instagram shopping tools by Instagram for developers and Shopping from creators (where influencers can add a brand’s shopable tags to their posts as part of a paid partnership), there are very few barriers for consumers to see before they add to cart.
So, if you are a brand or company looking to grow sales online, Instagram should be your first port of call.
And if there is scope to incorporate influencer marketing into your strategy, there is a high chance you can tap into new audiences with strong purchasing power!
Learn more about influencer marketing and how COVID-19 has impacted the industry this blog post.
How Instagram Is Changing Shopping # 4: Could Tele-Shopping Make A Comeback?
That cannot be denied Instagram Live has seen a minor rebirth in the past few months.
In fact, Facebook reported one 70% more live views From February to March, creators and brands found new ways to use the platform during social distancing.
It seemed like a natural evolution for Instagram to release Instagram Live features that support small businesses and communities during this time.
Enter: Live shopping!
Brands and developers who have access to Instagram Checkout can now flag products from their Facebook store or catalog before going live. The featured products are shown at the end of the video so users can easily tap on them to learn more and buy.
That one small change results in a serious switch to a QVC-like live shopping channel! Now viewers can receive live purchase recommendations from the host. This means you can have live Q&A with your audience, share product details, or give product demos, all with a live purchase link at the bottom of the screen.
Not to mention, Instagram Live vapors can now be viewed on the desktop, which takes the TV experience one step closer.
Tina Craig (@bagsnob) was one of the first to use the new live feature to promote their brand’s latest product launches @ubeauty.
And since the marketing opportunities for influencers are only growing on Instagram, it may soon be the norm to shop live on an influencer’s Instagram.
It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
For brands, they can rely on influencers to promote their products and recommend them to new and engaged audiences.
And for consumers, it gives us the ability to communicate with both brands and influencers who are endorsing products to make a far more informed purchase decision.
Don’t forget the added benefit of the simple customer journey to purchase. This shopping channel-style experience could be the next big thing for brands.
With Instagram preparing for an ecommerce friendly future, now is the time to test out some of the new tools and features available.
If you are a brand or a creator, there are a whole new range of ways to increase sales and reach new audiences. So it pays to stay one step ahead of the curve as social shopping shows no signs of slowing down.
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Nikki is Later’s editor-in-chief. She has worked in digital media in Dublin, London and Sydney and loves nothing more than posting a new post. If she’s not planning and writing juicy content with the Later team, find her outdoors with her dog Arlie or planning her next adventure – follow @nikkitravelled.