Within five seconds of starting my own Instagram profile, I noticed that you cannot place a clickable link in individual posts. The first thing I thought was "Well, this will be a terrible platform to market on."
As you know, it turns out that I was dead wrong. Even without the ability to place links to our products or site in posts, it hasn't shut down Instagram's incredible marketing potential. You can build customer relationships, spark brand awareness, and nurture brand loyalty. What surprised me most is that it's also a fantastic platform for selling.
The key to Instagram marketing, however, is to create a shoppable Instagram, adding social commerce to our selling tools.
What is social commerce?
The definition of social commerce is to sell a product or service to a third party using social media's native user experience.
Just as the internet has revolutionized selling with e-commerce, social media has revolutionized selling with social commerce. Facebook and Pinterest have proven how powerful social commerce can be, and the strong results from Instagram Ads have shown how powerful Instagram can be as a selling tool.
That's why more and more brands are creating shoppable Instagram storefronts for their businesses with tools like Pixlee's. These storefronts exist through the main link in your profile's bio and will take users to a landing page that showcases all your "shoppable" Instagram posts.
When users click on an image, they can see the individual product names. When they click on those products, they'll be able to purchase them right away.
Why you need to sell on Instagram
Instagram has so much selling power that you can't afford to not be selling on it; it is an ideal social commerce platform you can't afford to neglect.
There are so many reasons why all B2C businesses should be selling on Instagram. The first is that it has astoundingly high user engagement; users are happily following and engaging with brands of all types. And since Instagram's algorithm doesn't slam business pages the same way that other platforms do in their feed (I'm looking at you, Facebook), you have a much better chance of showing up organically—and easily.
Instagram is also a highly visual platform that isn't really like any other platform out there. The purely visual focus is great for selling, especially when it comes to physical products or services with strong visual appeal.
Having a shoppable Instagram is a necessity if you want to actually capitalize on those results and turn social engagement into social commerce. It makes it easier for users to bridge the gap between your Instagram and purchasing, especially if your products look just slightly different on your Instagram and your site. If they do, that's normal; something looks different on a mannequin and a hanger, after all.
Instagram storefront best practices
Want to get the most out of your Shoppable Instagram? There are a few best practices to keep in mind, including:
Mention your storefront in every purchasable post. Every time you have a post that will be displayed in your Instagram storefront and users can purchase from it, mention the storefront in the image's description. Tell users they can purchase through your bio link; otherwise, they likely won't know that they can.
Use Pixlee's scheduler to maximize sales. Pixlee's shoppable Instagram tool lets you schedule your posts to go live at the exact right moment, increasing engagement, clicks, and sales.
Choose an easy-to-update storefront tool. A lot of the storefront tools out there require coding or design work; Pixlee's doesn't. You want your storefront to not only be easy to set up, but simple to use moving forward. Trust us on this one—we'll save you a huge headache.
Integrate the tool with your e-commerce platform. Want to make selling easier than ever? Pixlee's Shoppable Instagram integrates completely with the e-commerce platform of your choice. Always make sure you choose a tool with this ability.
If you want to maximize the selling power of your Instagram, you need to monetize it and make it capable of delving into the world of social commerce. It's such a highly engaging platform already, but making it as easy as possible for users to purchase is essential. If you don't, after all, they'll likely purchase from your competitor who has.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.