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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 25, 2018

How merchants can use Instagram's new shopping features

In 2016 Instagram began testing their first shopping feature, and released a broader version in March, shoppable posts, that allowed brands and marketers to tag individual products within posts and consumers to shop from those posts. Since, they've released more direct-shopping options including shoppable Instagram Story posts and IGTV. These roll-outs and the announcement of a dedicated shopping app for Insta users is why one expert believes now is the time for brands to invest in Instagram strategy.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Instagram has announced they're working on a dedicated shopping app - what are your expectations for this product?

Oz Etzioni, CEO, Clinch: In our experience we've seen Instagram become a great direct response tool for our clients. Therefore we expect their new shopping app to leverage personalized dynamic ads that will help to drive high conversion rates for brands and marketers.

Kristina: What impact do you think merchants and brands will see from the Instagram shopping app?

Oz: With Instagram's shopping app, merchants and brands could see higher engagement. The ability to buy directly from the app removes all barriers as consumers won't even have to leave the platform. Most importantly, marketers will be able to better understand which ads are influencing their target audience as they will be able to track consumers throughout the entire path-to-purchase journey.

Kristina: How can an app like this improve merchants reach and engagement?

Oz: Since Instagram is a social platform, especially one that consumers want to engage with, the experience will be the same, if not greater. Instagram's shopping will feel more like native content vs. an ad. 

Kristina: What do merchants need to understand about an app like this prior to developing content?

Oz: Brands need to remember that online experience influences 79% of all transactions. So it is extremely important that user experience and brand standards to do not take a backseat. It's critical that first party data is leveraged in the right way so that brands are able to take advantage of everything all platforms have to offer. Consumers are more willing to spend more money when brands deliver messages that are relevant to their needs. You don't want to target someone who has already bought the exact same product being advertised!

Kristina: What makes Instagram such an important piece to brands' strategies?

Oz: A dedicated shopping app will take a straight brand awareness strategy to a direct response one. Also, since buy links are free for companies to use, this click-to-shop feature will encourage marketers to reevaluate their budgets and adjust their ad spend.

Tags: Clinch, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, instagram marketing, instagram selling, social commerce, social marketing

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