How Your Online Retail Site Could Benefit from using Instagram

2016 has been Instagram’s year. It now has over 500 million monthly users (more than Twitter!) and 60% log in daily, making it the second most engaged network after Facebook.

Instagram is also proving to be a near-ideal platform for brands – particularly ecommerce brands. 70% of Instagram users report already having looked up a brand on the platform and, according to research from member-based intelligence firm L2, Instagram has the highest browser-to-shopper conversion rate of all the social networks.

So it’s really time to take Instagram seriously yet only 9% of US small businesses are posting regularly on the network.  Read on to discover why Instagram should be part of the marketing strategy for your online retail site.

1.  Showcase your product catalogue

The creative spirit of Instagram gives you real scope to showcase your products in unique and inspirational ways. Avoid being overly commercial; users respond well to beautiful, professional-looking images that communicate your brand’s value without needing a sales pitch.

Although this may seem easier for fashion and beauty brands which focus on an attractive product catalogue, less visually appealing brands such as Staples and home improvement chain Lowes have created inventive strategies to communicate their brand offerings in way that engages users:



2.  Build a brand personality and engage followers

User engagement with brands is 10 times higher on Instagram than Facebook. As well as product images, you can test posting videos, quotes, statistics and run contests and see which your followers responds to best.

A great way to develop your brand’s personality on Instagram is also to post fun behind-the-scenes images or video clips of your products being made or what day-to-day life is like at your company. This can also help for recruiting new staff as they get a great idea of what it will be like to work for your brand.

Another option, particularly for small businesses, is to post images of your local area to help build your brand personality. Adding geotags showing where the photo was taken can also help attract new followers.


3.  Drive online sales

Ok so now you’ve built up an online community with your beautiful product photos and behind the scenes lifestyle shots – how does that translate into revenue? Well if you’re doing things right, you may already be seeing results as 78% of consumers make buying decisions influenced by a brand’s social media. Another extremely effective option is to post exclusive limited-time offers for your followers to motivate them to buy.

However if you want a more concrete (and measurable) way to drive sales from within the platform then you should considering investing in Instagram ads. The average order value of Instagram-referred orders is $65 compared to $55 for Facebook and $46.29 for Twitter.

Ads can take the form of a photo or video with a call to action such as Shop Now, Install Now or Sign Up. Currently ads drive shoppers to your site to make the purchase but Instagram are already testing enabling purchases from within the app itself which will probably lead to even higher conversion rates.

Instagram ads

So there you have it, three great reasons why you should consider testing out Instagram for your online retail site!

SteerFox is an intelligent advertising automation tool which helps online retailers get results from their ad campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, Google Adwords and Google Shopping. Find out more at

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