Instagram shop for businesses: How retailers can generate more revenue

See > find interesting > buy. The Instagram shop combines three decisive steps in online shopping more seamlessly than most other social platforms. The paper, stationery and office supplies industry can also benefit from it. 

In 2014, “Glossier” was a new cosmetics project of beauty blogger Emily Weiss. Just five years later, the US brand recorded a billion-dollar turnover. How did Glossier achieve this? With social shopping on Instagram. Glossier recognised the potential of Instagram early on, and not only to reach its own target group. It also saw the potential to sell its products. 

This demonstrates the possibilities that Instagram Shopping holds for businesses, which are not just limited to the beauty market. Classic sectors like the paper, stationery and office supplies industry can also profit from social commerce on Instagram. 

From seeing to buying, in just a few steps

One of the most important shopping features on Instagram is the Instagram shop. With an Instagram shop, retailers can integrate their product catalogue into their Instagram profile and showcase individual products in posts on their feed, in stories and via the Explore and Shop tabs – and offer them for sale directly. 

Users can therefore see and buy products directly without having to leave the platform whereas retailers can get into the Instagram e-commerce programme in just a few clicks without having to invest a lot of resources. This means that social commerce is also a viable option for businesses that have so far relied primarily on brick-and-mortar retail. With 500 million daily users, of which 50 percent follow at least one business, it also represents a sales potential that retailers should not ignore. 

Instagram shop: The digital shop window

In May 2020, the Instagram shop received an update that makes it even more attractive for businesses: personalisation. Now, retailers have the option to set up categories, create individual texts, include pictures and adjust the colours. It is even possible to adapt the shop to the target group and, for example, show men different products from women. This turns the Instagram shop into the perfect digital shop window. But how can retailers make the best use of the shop functions on Instagram? 

Getting more revenue out of Instagram Shopping

The Instagram shop serves as the basis for businesses to be able to sell products on Instagram. Retailers can, in turn, do this on different channels. 

  • Shopping in the feed
    One example is for retailers to dedicate their feed posts on a certain day to the relevant product and link it to their Instagram shop.
  • Shopping in Stories 
    Since Instagram Stories target today's latest content, it is worth using them to promote special offers in particular. This could be a promotional deal or a product that goes with a specific occasion, such as Valentine’s Day. 

  • Shopping in the Explore tab
    Retailers can also make their Instagram shop discoverable through the Explore tab. This is where Instagram shows keen shoppers brands and products that could be of interest to them. 

  • “Shoppable” videos 
    Videos create more interaction than any other medium on Instagram. Viewers also feel more like they are being spoken to directly and more easily incited to make a purchase. It is therefore worth combining the Instagram shop functions with video posts. These could either be a video direct in the feed or in the Stories, a “shoppable” video on the Instagram video platform IGTV or Instagram Live, or a Reel – an entertaining 15-second video with effects. 

Tips for retailers: Successful selling in the Instagram shop

With 25 million brands currently represented on Instagram, retailers are not short of competitors. That’s why it is even more important to set yourself apart from the competition with your shop. 

  • Products should be staged in such a way that their presentation invites a purchase.  
  • Shopping content sells best when it is interesting. Varied posts that provide added value are therefore a must. An example: tips for DIY birthday presents with a matching range of products. 
  • Content doesn’t always need to be hi-fi and expensive! Businesses can be very successful with lo-fi videos that convey an approachable and personal character.

Summary: Instagram shop is profitable for businesses 

Instagram Shopping is very easy and convenient. It is therefore an ideal channel for getting into online shopping or broadening your customer base. Retailers in the paper, stationery and office supplies industry in particular, with their visually appealing products, can benefit from the platform and use an Instagram shop to win new customers and increase revenues. 

About the author:

BASIC thinking is an online magazine and is one of the widest reaching tech platforms in German-speaking countries. The magazine reports about social media, marketing, and business topics daily. This article was written by Christina Widner from BASIC thinking GmbH.

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