How can your brand prepare for Instagram’s Shopping app?
THERE IS a popular meme on Instagram that says: ‘I wish that every time I ‘liked’ an outfit on Instagram it would magically appear in my closet.’
If new reports are anything to go by, the dream is edging ever closer.
According to The Verge, Instagram is working on a new standalone app dedicated to shopping. It will allow users to browse items from brands they follow and purchase them directly within the app.
No link in bio, no redirection. Although Instagram has failed to comment on or name the new app, it suggests the gap between social inspiration and purchase is getting increasingly shorter. With less time and more distractions than ever, this streamlining caters to modern consumer behavior.
The opportunities in Instagram e-commerce are huge, with four in five users now following at least one business. The arrival of Shoppable Tags last year proved it was well in their sights, allowing brands to insert product links into posts. Now a dedicated home for shopping will go one step further.
It’s been a huge year for Instagram. The number of users surpassed the golden one billion mark and the updates have been coming thick and fast. A booking and payment system followed Shoppable Tags, then there was IGTV and the announcement that ‘Discover’ content would be appearing in the feed. And now- IG Shopping.
It has become a one-stop-shop for inspiration, entertainment, discovery and shopping and a place brands can’t afford to miss out on. It’s more important than ever that brands are able to cultivate an engaged following. Another follower equals another customer in your Insta shop.
We don’t yet know when this new app will arrive, but we do know what engages consumers on Instagram.
Brands that focus on their social strategy now will be best placed to become an early adopter and realize the potential of this platform.
1. Up your game with quality assets
The competition is stiff out there. A substandard approach or generic product shots you have on your website just won’t cut it.
People have access to recommendations they can trust at the touch of a button and are much more careful about what they choose to buy. Make your product shots shareable, relatable and diverse to cater for the social commerce shopper.
If it’s a fashion item, they want to see what it looks like on a real person. Customers will often search for the outfit on Instagram to see it worn on people with a variety of body shapes for inspiration on how to style it.
2. Create enough content to be always-on
While it’s never a good idea to spam your followers, consistent posting builds momentum and gives your more chances to interact and build relationships with your customers.
One of the reasons influencer marketing has been so popular is that it provides brands with a wealth of high-quality content that can be shared within owned channels.
While it used to be the case that a brand would create a bank of assets per season and drip feed them over the coming weeks, they can now have hundreds of content creators making assets for them, ensuring their feed always looks fresh.
Up your hashtag game. Don’t just stop at your Instagram post. Make sure all your stories and your bio includes relevant hashtags. Lightning doesn’t strike twice – ensure you vary your hashtags in your brand captions.
Then leverage influencers with already engaged followers to drive traffic back to your platform. For smaller brands, this is a great way for potential shoppers to discover your feed.
We might not know the ins and outs of how IG shopping will work, but by planning ahead and considering your content strategy now, you’ll be best placed to adapt to a shopping feature and make it work for your business.
Contributed by Aaron Brooks, co-founder of influencer and content marketing platform, Vamp.