It used to be taboo to advertise on Instagram. People wanted to have fun, not be sold to, so brands have traditionally focused on content marketing. As a highly visual platform, Instagram was a great choice for that.

However, the tide is changing. More consumers actively look for products on Instagram. While there’s still an emphasis on organic content, e-commerce brands can now more easily connect with their ideal customers.

If you run an e-commerce business, you should definitely have an Instagram presence. Here’s why.

Instagram’s User Base Is Large and Diverse

With more than 1 billion active users (and 500 million daily users), Instagram offers a lot of potential to grow your audience. Those users are idly scrolling, often seeking entertainment or information. That means they’re primed to see amazing content — and potentially a bit more receptive to your offer.

The platform is great for discovery because it recommends posts based on their hashtags, not necessarily who’s following your page. Unlike Facebook, you can easily reach people who have never heard of you. The key is to make your content so enticing that they can’t help but stop and take note!

Instagram’s Feed Puts Your Visuals First

People prefer visual content, which is why it can be hard to attract traffic on text-driven channels such as web and email. Facebook and Twitter tend to be text-heavy as well.

But Instagram is all about photos and videos. This gives you a chance to place your products front and center! E-commerce success depends on making potential customers feel excited to buy your product. What’s more exciting than a beautiful Instagram post that pops up on their feed?

Just be sure to make your photos and videos “thumbstoppers.” Your goal is to stop the idle scrolling and compel users to engage with your post.

Instagram is Now Shoppable

It’s always been a challenge to get users to click away from social media and go to your site. On Instagram, you no longer have to do that. The platform now offers a “Shop” tab that lets users purchase directly from you.

Plus, you can make any post “shoppable” by adding a product link to it. After potential customers see your amazing photo, they can instantly tap and buy the product pictured in it. This reduces friction in the customer journey and encourages users to impulse-buy.

If you still doubt that customers browse Instagram to shop, consider that 60% of the platform’s users actively search for products on it and 72% report making at least one purchase!

Instagram Helps You Build A Brand Community

Any social network is, well, social. People log on to meet people, discuss shared interests, and entertain each other. Just because you’re a business doesn’t mean you can’t join the community. In fact, you absolutely should!

Posting on social media shows the humanity behind your business. It helps customers to know, like, and trust you, all of which are vital to your brand reputation. Organic, personable content proves that you’re not some Internet scammer. With so many unscrupulous players in the e-commerce world, it is crucial to demonstrate your credibility.

Instagram makes it easy to share relatable, human-centered content:

  • Stories are perfect for casual updates, behind-the-scenes moments, or witty humor.
  • Feed posts let you publish valuable content or even re-post your customers’ enjoyment of your products. (With permission, of course!)
  • Instagram Live gets your audience engaged with Q&As, demos, and other real-time events.
  • Reels allow you to mix video with captions, music, and special effects for a more immersive experience.

Plus, you can establish a brand hashtag, invite customers to tag you, add their testimonials to your stories… the list goes on. Other platforms really can’t compare to Instagram’s brand-building potential.

Instagram Lets You Partner With Influencers

Where standard organic content or promoted posts fail, word-of-mouth will prevail! Instagram is well known for its diversity of influencers. These users hold significant influence over their followers. When they use a product, their fans notice.

E-commerce brands can collaborate with influencers to promote their products. This strategy can be more effective than a traditional spokesperson because the influencers naturally incorporate the products into their content.

Partnering with an influencer can be expensive, but the return on investment is often excellent. Look for influencers whose niche complements your industry (e.g. if you sell activewear, look for Pilates influencers). If they agree to partner with you, they will usually create a pre-determined number of posts in exchange for promotion on your channel.

Wrapping Up

No matter what you sell online, Instagram can help you grow your e-commerce brand. Its visual emphasis, active community, and versatile publishing tools make it simple to adapt to your unique goals. Just be sure to post regularly and stay engaged with your ideal customers!