Since its acquisition by Meta for a billion dollars in 2012, Instagram has grown to become a popular social media marketing platform with over 160 million users in the US alone. Since it has so many users and can tap into tons of demographic data for brands to utilize, it provides numerous eCommerce opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Primarily a media-based social platform, eCommerce businesses can leverage the platform for showcasing products, facilitating direct communication with potential buyers, and making sales

There are key features that make it easy for business owners to sell on the giant photo and video sharing platform. We’ll explore these features and how you can use them for your eCommerce business. 

Key Instagram Features that Boost eCommerce Sales

Shop Feature

On the Instagram app, you can have your customizable online storefront. When you turn on Instagram’s shop feature, you make it possible for interested prospects to view available products and buy from your Instagram page without needing to visit your website or other touch points to check out your products. 

This reduces the time it takes for buyers to reach buying decisions and helps cross out buyer objections faster. The absence of numerous touch points helps to avoid the problem of “cart abandonment” so that you can convert prospect interest to sales.

The shop feature is not available in all countries. To check if your country is supported, please click here.

When you enable the shop feature, you can:

  • Turn your page into your brand’s storefront on the social platform customized with your brand name and products.
  • Get discovered on Instagram’s virtual mall, where users can discover products from different shops on Instagram.
  • Tag content on your pages to products in your catalog to facilitate direct selling from page posts.
  • Group complementary products or products in the same category into collections that users on the app can view and shop from.
  • Run ads with your page posts tagged with products.
  • Enable direct checkout in your shop (currently only available for US-based businesses). Non-US businesses can take advantage of Shopify and Wix integrations which take payments out of the Meta platform.

60% of users on the giant photo-sharing platform use it to discover products. If you have access to the shop feature, enable it to take advantage of the large base of potential customers the platform provides.

Meta Pay

Not ready to set up your Shop? You can use Instagram to boost your eCommerce sales using your feed and Instagram’s latest feature – Meta Pay.

With Meta Pay, potential buyers can pay small business owners, eCommerce stores, and entrepreneurs directly via in-app messages without leaving the platform. ECommerce store owners can create direct orders in the in-app chat, and buyers can pay in-app using their credit or debit card.

This feature also increases conversion possibilities for leads. Inquiries made by leads that have already developed interests in your products or services via feed content can be moved directly to a sale.

Conversation can also move to after-sales support, where you can provide buyers with shipping and delivery information and offer direct customer support for a positive customer experience. This not only increases sales but also helps to improve your brand trust and perception. 

How do You Facilitate Sales on Instagram?

Before prospects purchase from your eCommerce company, they must have engaged with your brand and developed trust for your business. So, how do you build engagement and trust to facilitate sales on Instagram?

Follow these tips:

  • Develop a content strategy that combines education and entertainment with product promotion.
  • Make your feed visually appealing.
  • Create unique content to promote enticing offers.
  • Create a mobile-friendly landing page for your eCommerce store and link to it in your bio.
  • Collaborate with industry thought leaders and influencers for product promotion. 
  • Mix your content up with product carousel posts.
  • Use persuasive and engaging storytelling in your product captions, with relevant hashtags.
  • Create and share stories (from scratch, as well as sharing content from your feed to stories).
  • Use Instagram Live to show behind-the-scenes or live product showcases to build brand trust and credibility.

Instagram has evolved from just being a photo-sharing platform into one that eCommerce business owners can leverage for sales. Take advantage of these important Instagram features and facilitate direct selling to your potential buyers and customers in a convenient online social space.