How Instagram Shopping Helps Online Retailers Increase Sales

How Instagram Shopping Helps Online Retailers Increase Sales
Published on: Apr 15, 2019
Updated: Aug 19, 2022

Did you already know: Social shopping is one of the absolute E-commerce trends of the year. Instagram is also now no longer just a platform for generating brand awareness, but is well on its way to becoming a marketplace in its own right. At the end of March 2018, the company released its shopping feature, having already tested it in the US. And it's going really well!

Instagram Shopping - new trend or useless feature?

As customer convenience and speed have become increasingly important, product searches on social media have increased significantly. And that's paying off for Instagram in particular: About 90 million users tap on one of the popular shopping posts each month. So compared to the share of one billion monthly users, that's definitely already very noteworthy, considering that the feature has only been around for about a year.

Facebook commissioned a study on Instagram as part of this. For this purpose, 21,000 users in 13 countries were surveyed. The content of the study represents the use of the platform. The study, which was recently published, found that 54 percent of respondents make a purchase either in the moment or after seeing a product or service on Instagram. This is especially true for fashion brands. 83 percent of respondents also said they like discovering new products on Instagram. The possibility of buying them directly there will therefore become increasingly likely in the future.

Instagram Shopping in the Fashion Sector

Fashion retail is predestined to use Instagram for sales purposes. Why? The reason is that the latest trends or styling tips are predominantly sought on Instagram. Many (especially young) people like to be inspired on Instagram. Fashion bloggers or fashion icons have long since sensed this opportunity and used it to their advantage. Probably the most famous fashion blogger is Chiara Ferragni. The Italian currently has 16.1 million subscribers (yes, really!) on Instagram and is known for presenting her latest outfits and fashion pieces online. And many fashion companies also profit from this, because they are linked directly in the respective posts - mostly paid for by the company, of course.

Instagram Shopping - the future of e-commerce?

For many brands, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from other, already established brands. However, the best possible brand experience is increasingly important for customers these days. The customer's identification with the brand is moving further into focus. That's why companies need to interact with their customers and involve them in their actions. One way: customers should be encouraged to share pictures of themselves on Instagram while wearing or using the product. User-generated content supports the company's authenticity. Influencers have been doing it (more or less) successfully for a long time. Many of them even earn their living this way.

Social Shopping - Instagram vs. Pinterest

Pinterest and Instagram now both offer their own shopping function. However, Pinterest's "Shop the Look" feature is currently still limited to the "Fashion" and "Interior" product categories. Another major disadvantage of Pinterest compared to Instagram is also that companies cannot use the products proactively. The function is aimed more at bloggers and influencers who recommend the products via an affiliate system and can thus monetize themselves. Of course, companies still benefit indirectly from the links to their products. In addition, with Pinterest there are two more clicks before you can finally buy the product. So there is definitely still potential for optimization here. In summary, it can be said that Instagram Shopping is easier and faster to implement than "Shop the Look". On Pinterest, it is therefore important for companies to focus on influencer and blogger relations.

Post-Purchase - Instagram comes into play here, too


Many online retailers don't know that they can generate followers for their social media channels through shipping messages. However, there is a lot of potential here that companies are simply not taking advantage of. Shipping messages, such as a delivery notification or a pickup confirmation, can quite often score with open rates of 70-80 percent. The perfect opportunity to include the latest Instagram post. Unfortunately, online retailers still hand off shipping communication to their logistics provider instead of taking it into their own hands and communicating with the customer.

###See shipping messages in action!


Instagram is no longer just for getting inspiration and discovering the latest trends. Customers can now order products directly through it. For this reason, a well thought-out social media strategy is an absolute must for all companies. Integrating the channels into shipping communication also offers a good opportunity to generate followers. So if you haven't dealt with this topic yet, you should do so as soon as possible.

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Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.

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