What Is Instagram Shop and Why Should You Be Using It?

Instagram have introduced their new feature, Instagram Shop, in a deliberate push into the ecommerce world. In selected locations, users will be able to browse through a wide range of products directly from the app, from various ecommerce stores. This is great news for both businesses who are trying to reach more customers and users who are looking for more value from social media platforms. 

The social media world can be a volatile one – with platforms introducing new features all the time in an effort to remain relevant and profitable. Instagram introduced shoppable posts in 2018, allowing businesses to tag products in their posts, making it easier for customers to discover and buy. This was a game changer with some businesses reporting over a 1000% increase in profile traffic and some with a 20% increase in revenue.

The latest update from Instagram has taken this idea a step further. An Instagram Shop allows a business to display their products in a more comprehensive way than product tags allowed. It brings each product into one location on the business profile, making it easier for customers to browse and purchase. 

According to a recent press release from Facebook, the shift to focus more on ecommerce is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles it caused for many businesses:

“Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. That’s why we’re launching Facebook Shops and investing in features across our apps that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.”

Instagram Shop - the new feature from Instagram
Instagram’s new Shop feature

Why should you set up an Instagram Shop?

1. You’ll reduce barriers and make shopping easier for customers

It can be an uphill battle getting customers to your store, so take your store to them! It’s simpler for customers to browse your products in-ap. If they like something, they’ll be more inclined to visit your website to purchase.

Shoppers can choose sizes, colours and designs directly from Instagram. They can then click the button linking them to your website and their preferences will be carried across. While this means less time on the website, conversions and sales will increase. 

2. The dreaded single bio link is solved! (Sort of) 

One issue many businesses come across is the limited single bio link. Any post mentioning a specific product needs to direct the user to the profile, to click on the link and then navigate further beyond that. This is a lot to ask of someone you’re also trying to sell to! The Instagram Shop has targeted links on each product, making CTAs more relevant and conversions a bit easier. 

3. Peer pressure and social proof

This introduction adds a new dimension for social media marketers and businesses who use strategies like social proof, trends and influence from peers to make sales. The Instagram Shop creates a more direct connection between a product and its popularity, based on the account, its number of followers and their level of engagement. Don’t take that to mean it will be harmful for smaller accounts though. This is an opportunity to lean on being ‘local’, ‘Australian’ or ‘exclusive’ if you have a smaller following. Focus your efforts more on connecting with individual customers looking for a more personalised experience.

4. Engaged and more targeted users

Instagram has a sophisticated (and constantly changing) algorithm. Fortunately, this algorithm makes it easier for you to find your best audience. A strong hashtag strategy and appropriate usage will make it easier for your target market to find your products. Instagram has great insight into what interests and preferences its users have. Thanks to the algorithm, your products will be shown to audiences who have shown interest in similar products to yours. 

Not only will you be finding more targeted audiences, you’ll be finding audience who are more likely to buy. If they’re browsing the Shop tab, they’re already intending to find something to purchase.

The Instagram Shop is going to be a great tool for small (and large) businesses. With reduced barriers, ease of browsing and more targeted customers, Instagram and it’s Shop feature should become a staple part of your social media strategy. Check it out and let us know what you think below. 

  • Germaine Muller
  • Founder and Managing Director at Futuretheory
  • When he’s not working on a project, you’ll see him writing across a range of different topics including marketing, development and design.
    View all posts by Germaine