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How Buy on Instagram is taking eCommerce by storm

Instagram is redefining eCommerce, with the Buy on Instagram feature changing how shoppers discover, buy, and review products online.

And, with a wave of new features, Buy on Instagram is changing how businesses sell online too.

Big brands such as Nike are abandoning Amazon in favor of Instagram and Facebook, preferring the control over brand positioning, customer interaction, and storefront creation that the platforms allow and encourage.

Should you follow Nike’s footsteps and sell via Buy on Instagram? This article will help you decide whether it’s a fit for your business.

What is Buy on Instagram?

Buy on Instagram is an immersive full-screen shopfront that integrates your product catalog with your Instagram business profile.

Buy on Instagram has become an online sales channel in its own right, facilitating the entire customer journey by allowing users to discover, save, and purchase products, and more.

Why do shoppers like Buy on Instagram?

Product discovery

View and browse product recommendations via an intuitive product feed customized to each user. Based on who a shopper follows, Instagram sellers also get the advantage of reaching loyal customers and warm leads who are already interested.

Search and browse

Shoppers can search products in the dedicated “Shop” tab and filter results by category, price, stock levels. Then, they can check out directly on the Instagram app!

They can also go onto a seller’s page and explore a brand’s product collections via their Instagram shopfront, Live videos, and other content, including shoppable creator and influencer posts.

Learn more

Consumers can find out more about products on the product detail page (PDP) by clicking shoppable tags on posts, IGTV, Reels, and ads.

Save products and product launches

Instagram shoppers can save products to a personal wishlist and sign up for reminders about product launches and promotions.

Purchase

Finally, and most importantly, shoppers can purchase products directly on Instagram and checkout without ever leaving the platform.

Together, these features make Buy on Instagram “a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying,” and to discover your brand and products via multiple entry points.

Why Buy on Instagram is popular with brands

Buy on Instagram is swarming with big brand names, including Levis, Revolve, Sephora, Dior, H&M, Net-a-Porter, and Burberry. Perhaps the most notable brand is Nike, which publicly denounced its relationship with Amazon last year, removing all wholesale goods from the platform.

Why is Instagram proving a popular alternative and addition to other online marketplaces?

Personal relationships

Buy on Instagram gives brands more power over customer relationships than traditional online marketplaces.

Rather than interacting through an intermediary such as Amazon, Instagram encourages brands to connect directly with their audiences through personal interactions. Whether that’s replying to comments, commenting on posts, re-sharing user-generated content, or speaking through DMs, customers have a direct line to your brand, creating a more personal relationship.

These personal relationships are powerful for driving trust, engagement, and conversions, while also generating user feedback, insights, and social proof that shapes product and brand development.

Branding

Unlike other online marketplaces, Instagram doesn’t have a strict shopping template or listing format your brand and content must squeeze into; Instagram encourages you to stand out.

You have the complete creative freedom to use the tone, voice, style, wording, and designs your customers recognize, resonate with, and respond to. You can use this to create a vibrant online presence that carves a niche into the platform and brings your brand story to life.

Instagram doesn’t undermine your brand positioning either. One reason Nike left Amazon was because of the damage unauthorized sellers and price wars caused to its brand. There isn’t the same fear on Instagram. Its focus is on the joy of shopping and product discovery, rather than low prices and high competition.

Features

Buy on Instagram is packed full of features that enable brands to create a journey of touchpoints leading to conversion.

You can create content to help audiences:

  • Discover your products via Instagram ads, stories, IGTV, posts, and the Shop feed.
  • Learn more by clicking shoppable tabs and journeying to your Instagram profile.
  • Browse your storefront, product collections, and website.
  • Buy products directly through the Instagram checkout.

The seamless Instagram shopping experience has just got a lot smoother, too: A redesigned home screen makes Shops the prime focus on your Instagram profile, and shoppable features coming to Reels soon – meaning you can sell everywhere on the app.

Why you should be selling via Buy on Instagram

Perhaps the biggest reason Buy on Instagram is proving so successful is that it isn’t reserved for big brands or established retailers.

Regardless of your follower numbers or business size, there are many reasons you should sell via Buy on Instagram.

1) Attract consumer attention

As an online seller, you’re battling against an internet full of distractions, including marketplaces, forums, news sites, and video content. If you watched the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, you know Instagram and Facebook plow considerable time, money, and expertise in winning the war for attention.

And it’s working. The average Internet user spends 144 minutes on social media per day.

Rather than fighting against social media for consumer attention, Buy on Instagram allows you to harness the worldwide addiction to social media, placing your products in front of users and providing them with a shortcut to purchase.

2) Engage existing customers

Nine out of ten Instagram accounts follow a business on Instagram, meaning many of your existing customers likely already follow you.

Buy on Instagram allows you to engage with existing customers away from your website and the email inbox. You can use Buy on Instagram features to increase brand familiarity, introduce other products, and generate excitement about new products that encourage repeat business, without overtly selling.

Learn more: How to boost eCommerce sales with Instagram

In the future, Facebook and Instagram are likely to incorporate a native customer loyalty scheme to reward those shopping in the app. This will enhance your ability to generate repeat sales through the platform.

3) Reach new customers

Instagram has more than 1 billion active monthly users. 130 million of those users interact with Instagram shopping posts, giving you access to a wide pool of potential customers.

The Buy on Instagram algorithm feed immerses users in products and collections akin to their interests, hobbies, and likes. This form of automated product discovery increases the likelihood of relevant audiences finding your brand and falling in love with your products.

You can also run Instagram advertisements based on lookalike audiences to showcase relevant products and give users a quick journey to conversion. Fashion retailer Hollister increased traffic by 90% running Buy on Instagram lookalike audience ads.

Tip: Make your Buy on Instagram ads stand out, convert more customers, and reduce your CPA by 50% with 2-day fast shipping tags.

And let’s not forget Instagram’s famous influencers. Content creators can use your shopping tags too, providing new audiences with another avenue to your products and shop.

4) Retarget using cart abandonment

With cart abandonment still lingering at 70%, Buy on Instagram provides you with an effective way to re-target customers in a subtler way than abandoned cart emails.

You can use Instagram ads to reintroduce products to lost website visitors, introduce them to your fast shipping speeds, showcase UGC, and provide them with an easier way to buy products than on your website.

5) Drive consumer action

Turning leads into conversions is hard, especially on social media. Your Instagram account might have many followers and high engagement levels, but these metrics become pure vanity metrics if they don’t translate into sales.

Buy on Instagram turns your social media content into actionable CTAs that drive shopping behaviors such as:

  • Viewing your storefront, product collections, and products.
  • Saving products to a wishlist.
  • Clicking through to your website.
  • Adding products to the Instagram cart.
  • Proceeding to the Instagram checkout.
  • Purchasing products.

6) Integrate easily

Selling via Buy on Instagram can be straightforward, especially if you already sell via an eCommerce platform.

To set up Buy on Instagram, head to Commerce Manager, select a checkout method, choose your sales channel (Facebook, Instagram, or both), and add products by connecting your existing catalog.

Connecting Shopify with Instagram

To sell on Instagram Shops via Shopify, go to Commerce Manager > Get Started > Checkout on Facebook or Instagram > Set up using an eCommerce Platform > Shopify, and follow the on-screen prompts.

Relevant reading: How to master Instagram for Shopify

Selling on Instagram via BigCommerce

To sell on Instagram Shops via BigCommerce, go to Channel Manager > Facebook > Connect, and follow the on-screen prompts.

After connecting your BigCommerce or Shopify account to Facebook, head to Commerce Manager > Facebook > Instagram, and enable checkout on Instagram.

Final thoughts

2020 was a big year for the eCommerce industry, so we are looking forward to the resounding success of Buy on Instagram.

Instagram has redefined what it means to shop online, allowing shoppers to combine their love of social media with product discovery and purchasing in the most seamless way possible.

While online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart lead the way with customer numbers, Instagram is making significant headway. With Instagram’s purchase feature being replicated on the Facebook app and big names such as Nike abandoning Amazon, incorporating Buy on Instagram is a genius move for eCommerce sales strategy in 2021 and beyond.

The Shopify and BigCommerce Instagram integrations make selling via Buy on Instagram fairly straightforward, and Deliverr customers can automatically fulfill Instagram orders so you can access nationwide 2-day delivery (further boosting your conversion rates).

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