Instagram Marketing for Ecommerce: 7 Best Practices to Boost Sales

Instagram Marketing for Ecommerce: 7 Best Practices to Boost Sales

With its fast-growing user base that craves brand communication in-app, Instagram has become a goldmine for ecommerce businesses that want to market products and drive sales. Learn how to use Instagram marketing for ecommerce and bring your business to the next level. Cover photo by Laura Chouette.

As a highly visual platform, Instagram has always been among the most popular social media platforms.

However, Instagram has been constantly evolving since its launch in 2010. The days when it was used for sharing personal photos are long gone. Today, the platform has many fans among users and marketers, so it’s no wonder that practically every business wants to give Instagram marketing a try.

And if you work in the ecommerce niche, Instagram is a perfect place to market your ecommerce goods, spark interest in products, or even drive sales, no matter whether you have a dedicated website or your ecommerce business exists exclusively on Instagram.

The Potential of Instagram Marketing for Ecommerce

In the last few years, Instagram has transformed from a simple photo-sharing app into a powerful ecommerce machine that drives sales. With an Instagram presence, not only can you grow your client base, but you can also affect purchase intention and turn followers into customers. Moreover, Instagrammers love shopping in-app.

To understand the potential of Instagram marketing for ecommerce, let’s take a look at the numbers below.  

First, the Instagram community has reached 2 billion monthly active users and 90% of these people follow at least one business account on the platform. This means the platform can be a perfect place for ecommerce companies to build brand awareness.

Second, Meta’s own data states that 83% of Instagram users love discovering products in-app and once they see something interesting, they are ready to complete a purchase.

instagram purchase data


Lastly, Instagram realizes its role in changing consumer behavior, so the platform rolls out various in-app features that help companies optimize the customer journey and make in-app shopping easier for both parties. Not only can people see products on the platform, but they can also tap on product tags to see descriptions and details as well as complete the purchase without leaving the app.

Now that you realize the potential of Instagram marketing for ecommerce, let’s take a closer look at seven best practices businesses can implement to boost sales.

1. Turn Your Instagram Profile into a Storefront

If you want to attract more online shoppers and boost sales, you should be ready to make it easy for potential customers to discover and research your products.

How? Turn your profile into a storefront. Instagram is all about visuals. And the majority of people are visual learners who consume visual information faster and better than texts. Thus, the first step is to create a great visual image.

For example, if your ecommerce business sells clothes, it can be a good idea to learn more about fashion photography. Not only can it upgrade your Instagram profile with stylish photos, but it can also attract relevant customers, including fashion influencers who keep up with trends.

A well-designed Instagram store has all important information potential customers may need: prices, descriptions, product images, reviews, etc. Check out a good example from Furla. The company tells stories with its product photos and therefore sparks interest in their products.

furla instagram storefront


What is more, Furla knows about the importance of positive customer experience, so the brand writes a strong Instagram CTA and adds product tags so that interested visitors can tap on them and see the details or even complete a purchase without leaving Instagram.

furla instagram shopping posts


Here are the basic steps you need to take to turn your Instagram profile into a storefront and start selling in-app:

  • Set up an Instagram shop
  • Upload product photos and images
  • Add product tags
  • Write descriptive captions
  • Organize Instagram Stories into albums
  • Feature happy customers

2. Show Off Products with Instagram Videos

Video content is gaining in popularity among users, especially if you work in the ecommerce niche and your customers don’t have the ability to physically touch or try on your items before buying them.

When it comes to Instagram, the popularity of video content is on its rise. According to the report, time spent watching videos grows 80% each year and brands create 4x more video content. 

The key to success is that Instagram videos are dynamic and engaging. Plus, they give ecommerce businesses an opportunity to show off products from all sides in an interesting way.

Check out a great example of eye-grabbing Instagram videos from H&M:

h&m video shopping on instagram


If you believe that only big ecommerce brands with a huge in-house team of videographers can make a similar Instagram video, we have good news for you. With a variety of video editing tools on the market, everyone can make a video on his or her smartphone and change video background to turn it into a masterpiece for social media platforms like Instagram.

And if you want to take the next step and drive sales with Instagram videos, think about another simple yet powerful idea and make good use of live shopping–learn about live selling tips, go live to show off your products, and sell them directly from the app

Yes, Instagram videos are extremely popular among users and they help ecommerce businesses drive sales if you’re not afraid of making them.

3. Use Instagram as a Customer Support Channel

Promoting your ecommerce business on Instagram, you can reach a wide audience of potential customers without a doubt. But the more customers you reach, the more customer inquiries you may receive as it’s easier for people to ask their questions on the platform where they learn about your company and products.

Simply put, ecommerce businesses should use Instagram as a customer support channel.

This means you should keep up with brand mentions, monitor customer requests, and reply to direct messages in order to provide clients with prompt responses.

Obviously, it may be daunting for businesses to hire a dedicated customer support team for Instagram, but you can still hire a social media moderator who can monitor customer queries and redirect customers to the right communication channel. For some ecommerce companies, it can be a good choice to make good use of interactive voice recognition (IVR) so that customers can get in touch with the right representative based on their spoken responses.

For instance, if your company provides assurance with the help of a contact center, invite interested followers to call your support, just like in the example below:

replying to comments on instagram marketing strategy


And here’s another valuable lesson from Paula’s Choice on how to provide excellent Instagram customer care if you don’t use Instagram for customer service: gather the frequently-asked questions and organize them into a separate Instagram Story highlight album so that people can find answers at their own pace without contacting your customer service representatives.

paula's choice instagram highlights faq strategy


Having doubts with Instagram customer care, you can always turn to customer support outsourcing companies and ask professionals to take care of customer queries on the platform and therefore keep your followers happy.

4. Promote Time-Limited Sales and Discounts

Once your Instagram profile attracts the right followers who have interest in your business and products, chances are you can turn them into paying customers and start selling in-app. 

And if you sell on Instagram, that’s great. Wouldn’t it be great if you could maximize sales?

To boost sales on Instagram, consider using psychological tricks and therefore impact consumer buying decisions. One of the most effective ideas is to leverage the power of urgency and promote time-limited sales or discounts.

Other ways that you can do this is through an Instagram live or a free event with viewers-only discounts for extra exclusivity. 

When people are limited in time and they have a chance to save money, they are more likely to complete a purchase. What is more, it encourages impulsive buying that results in more sales.

Here’s how it can look like in action: 

instagram cyber monday sale example


To bring this game to the next level, make the most out of Instagram features as the platform has the right tools that can drive sales with the power of FOMO (fear of missing out)–lay a bet on ephemeral content like Instagram Stories that disappear within 24 hours. Plus, Stories has its features like the countdown sticker that informs last-minute shoppers about the sale.

5. Make Good Use of Instagram Stories

Back in 2016, when Instagram copied Snapchat’s version of vertical content with a limited lifespan, no one could have predicted the tremendous growth of Instagram Stories. Today, Stories have over 500 million viewers each day and the platform offers features to interact with engaged followers on the next level. With the growing importance of maintaining a consistent online presence, knowing how to schedule Instagram stories can streamline your content strategy and maximize audience engagement.

Talking about Instagram marketing for ecommerce, Stories have a variety of options to spark interest in products and turn followers into customers. From shoppable stickers to clickable links, there are different ways to provide users with detailed information about your ecommerce products.

And if you want to organize your profile for Instagram shopping, you can also make your best-performing Stories permanent–simply use Instagram Story Highlights. Here’s how BaliBody does it:

instagram stories bali body


And here’s another idea of using IG story Highlights from Lululemon. The company gathers stories into separate albums and adds descriptive names and images to grab the users’ attention. You can create similar eye-catching images in one click using a minimalist logo generator.

lululemon instagram marketing strategy


To stand out from the crowd and create scroll-stopping Stories, you can always rely on professionally-made Instagram Story templates that help to improve the Instagram marketing game. Again, Instagram is a highly visual platform, so having a brand identity with images works pretty well.

6. Provide Followers with Social Proof

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the oldest yet the most powerful marketing tactics. In the era of paid partnerships, customers crave sincere recommendations more than ever. And if your brand has an army of loyal fans who spread the positive word about your company, you can acquire more clients.

The solution? Provide social proof. Check out several ideas to get started:

  • Customer reviews
  • Case studies
  • User-generated content
  • Video testimonials
  • Brand mentions

Don’t know where to start with social proof? Think if you have Google reviews on your website and repurpose old content for Instagram

Here, Clek collects customer reviews and turns them into eye-grabbing Instagram Story visuals to organize them into a dedicated Highlight album so that potential customers can see positive feedback with a few clicks.

story reviews instagram marketing strategy


This brand knows about the power of social proof, so it invests in endorsements and encourages existing customers to share their customer stories on Instagram. Clek always reposts reviews to its profile and customers are ready to go the extra mile and turn their customer experience into engaging video stories for a chance to be featured on the profile. Check out an example below:

product reviews instagram marketing strategy


Not all conversations about your business come from your followers. To get more social proof for your brand, keep track of all brand mentions with social listening as it’s a proven way to gather feedback and handle negative reviews in a timely manner.

7. Give Away Your Ecommerce Products

It’s no secret that the key to more sales is to keep your customers happy. And there’s no better way to increase customer satisfaction with Instagram than organize a giveaway where your followers get a chance to win your product for free.

Instagram giveaways increase user engagement, drive brand loyalty, build brand trust, and boost sales. Why? When you give away your ecommerce products as prizes, you attract the right audience of potential customers and you also spark interest in your products so your participants are more likely to buy from you with time.

Fabletics knows how to use Instagram giveaways to promote its products and build a community of potential customers. Check out one of the latest giveaways they made in honor of its 10-year collection:

fabletics giveaway instagram marketing strategy


What is more, you can take the next step and offer a small discount for all participants to reward their loyalty.

The Bottom Line

Since users discover and buy products in-app, Instagram has great potential for ecommerce companies these days.  More and more brands use Instagram marketing for ecommerce business growth and the payoff is huge if you know how to do it right. With the above-mentioned tips, not only can you leverage the power of Instagram marketing for ecommerce, but you can also find out what works best for your brand and boost sales.

Read next: How to Create Social Media Content People Will Love

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