The rise of online shopping has been nothing short of meteoric. In 2021, 68% of shoppers in the US purchased directly from social media channels. That percentage jumped to 98% in 2022. Instagram plays a significant role in this movement, with 41 million buyers on the platform in 2022. Of all the popular social networks, Instagram is the second most popular choice for online shopping, with only Facebook rivaling it. What's more, those in the 25-29 age group are particularly influenced by Instagram when making their buying decisions.

But you might be feeling lost and unsure where to start your Instagram marketing efforts. In this article, we'll explore Instagram ecommerce and how you can make the most of it for your business. We'll look at setting up a shop on Instagram, using shopping tags to drive sales, running targeted advertising campaigns, and utilizing stories to promote products. And finally, we'll go over some best practices for Instagram ecommerce success.

An Overview of Instagram Ecommerce

Instagram is an excellent platform to use for ecommerce, as it has a wide range of features that make it suitable for selling products and services. Users can set up their own Instagram shop on the platform, utilizing product tags to link items with their respective pages. Instagram also allows businesses to run targeted advertising campaigns, using pictures, videos, stories, and carousels to promote their products.

Setting Up a Shop on your Instagram account 

The first step in setting up an Instagram ecommerce store is creating an Instagram account in the Instagram app. Then, you need to convert that into an Instagram business account. Once that's done, you can use the Shopping tab in your business account to add products to your Instagram shop. The Shopping tab also allows you to organize products into collections and gives users the ability to search for items based on categories.

Shopping Tags

Shopping tags in Instagram content are an effective way to draw users' attention to your products and services. What's more, 32% of all sales on Instagram and Facebook come from tagged content.

Instagram shopping tags work just like tagging a person in a post - users can click on the image, and it shows what the product is. When tagging products, you can link them directly to their product pages in your online store. This makes it easy for customers to find what they need quickly and purchase goods.

Instagram Shopping Ads

Advertising campaigns play a major role in any ecommerce business, and Instagram has several features specifically designed for this purpose. Once you've set up your Instagram business profile, use different types of Instagram ads -- carousel ads, stories, videos, and images -- to promote your offerings in a visually appealing way. With targeted ads, you can be sure that your message is reaching the right demographic groups for your brand.

Meta means that Instagram and Facebook advertising are linked. Brands can set up the same ads, and the Meta algorithm decides whether to promote them on Instagram or from your Facebook page.

Instagram Stories

Stories are a great way to keep followers engaged and get them excited about new products. Unlike regular posts, stories disappear after 24 hours, making them an excellent way to create a sense of urgency. You can use stories to highlight special offers or events, showcase customer testimonials or introduce new products.

Best Practices

Instagram ecommerce brings plenty of benefits to businesses, including improved visibility and better customer engagement. With Instagram's reach of over one billion active users monthly worldwide, you'll never have trouble finding potential customers. What's more, by leveraging features such as shopping tags and targeted ads, you'll be able to reach the right people with ease.

Here are our tips for getting the most out of your ecommerce Instagram strategy.

Encourage user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is a low-cost way to engage customers and build trust in your brand. However, it can be difficult to get people to create UGC for you. To encourage people to create UGC for your business, you can try the following:

  • offering rewards such as discounts or free products for those who post about their experiences with your business

  • creating contests in which participants must submit photos or videos related to the theme of the contest

  • publicizing UGC on your website and Instagram profile

Don't forget to use shopping tags

According to Instagram, brands who tag products in their Instagram posts achieve 37% more sales than those who don't. Instagram recommends tagging in different formats - for instance, in reels, regular posts in your Instagram feed, and in stories as stickers. Brands can tag a collection (a set of products), several different products, or a single product.

Collaborate with influencers

Influencers can play an important role in any social media marketing strategy, and Instagram is no exception. By working with influencers who have a large following on the platform, businesses can get their products and services in front of more potential customers. Remember, influencers have a dedicated following that trusts what they say - a study by IZEA found that most social media users trust influencers over A-list celebrities.

Here are some tips on how to collaborate effectively with influencers on Instagram:

  • Research influencers who have a large following and fit your target audience.

  • Reach out to them directly with an offer or proposal - outline why your brand is a good fit for the values of their audience.

  • Negotiate the terms of the collaboration, such as payment and promotion schedule. Agree on the details in advance and create a contract for the influencer to sign.

  • Make sure that all posts adhere to Instagram's guidelines for sponsored content, such as correctly tagging and labeling sponsored posts.

Use a chatbot to respond to Instagram users 24/7

Finding and using a chatbot for an Instagram store can be a great way to provide customer service while minimizing the amount of manual work that goes into it. Chatbots are automated programs that respond quickly and accurately to inquiries from customers, which can save time and resources that you would otherwise need to put into providing customer service. Instagram chatbots help you deal with DMs and comments automatically.

Measure and optimize your Instagram efforts

Instagram is a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their reach and drive more sales. By leveraging the platform’s features, you can create an effective marketing strategy that will get your products in front of potential customers. If you want to take full advantage of these tools and maximize your success on Instagram - check out the Emotive guide to Instagram metrics.