E-commerce is a flourishing space which is growing at an unprecedented rate every year. At present, the e-commerce industry is dominated by some of the major retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba. Instagram has come a long way in the e-commerce space with its more than one billion users across the world and is now planning to enter the online e-commerce market. Once Instagram steps into the online platform, other e-retailers such as Amazon and Walmart will be threatened. According to reports, CEO Adam Mosseri is planning to launch Instagram as a sales platform. This news comes not long after Google’s announcement of redesigning its shopping portal last year, which allows customers to buy products directly from the site without being redirected to a seller’s website.
At present, one of the best social platforms for influencer marketing is Instagram, which is currently being used in approximately 93 percent of campaigns, as indicated by reports. Additionally, the platform’s top post format is Instagram Stories, which have seen its utilization for influencer campaigns grew by 60 percent in the last quarter. To put this in context, Instagram is at present, being used more than twofold the second-most used social networking platform, Facebook. Influencer marketing campaigns on both Twitter and Facebook decreased by 10 percent and 20 percent in 2019.
Instagram Stories and Instagram Live: Driving Business Growth
2019 was a big year for Instagram, where it has witnessed a bonafide boom. Not only did the platform manage to surpass the 1 billion monthly active users mark, but it introduced a slew of new features such as Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. In spite of the fact that the Stories feature is like Snapchat’s feature that led it to superstardom, Instagram Stories saw more than twice the user base than Snapchat’s service. The most astonishing thing about this service from a brand perspective? The capacity to create shoppable content.
Stories were the top post format on Instagram that allowed links to be embedded directly. They likewise offer brands the chance to sell things directly within the application, which is one of the main reasons that there are more than 2 million monthly active users on Instagram. The photo-sharing platform has become one of the premier portals for brands to showcase their products, bringing about 80 percent of users following at least one brand. In fact, it has been estimated that Instagram will account for at least 70 percent of Facebook’s revenue by the end of this year.
Instagram’s E-commerce Capability
Instagram has more than 500 million daily active users, and around 80 percent of all accounts follow a business profile. The platform has become the ideal place to feature your image and products. Without any doubt, it has become the go-to platform for users to search for products and then make a move like visiting the brand's site or page. Social influencers are taking advantage of this move and increasing their number of followers. Instagram has this feature called shoppable posts that allow the users to buy things directly from a brand’s posts.
Like mentioned before, Instagram stories are another approach to drive traffic to other web platforms. These features allow brands to reach out to the target audience on the portal and take into account the marketing requirement across the globe, where different users follow it at different timeframes. The photo-sharing platform additionally launched a direct sales pilot program in March last year; however, it was limited to just 20 brands such as Nike, Zara, Adidas, and Burberry. The payments through this portal are processed by means of PayPal.
Stories are being leveraged by advertisers so that they can get coveted access to their target audience. While creating content on Stories feature, it's fundamental that advertisers intend it towards their audience pool. Banner blindness is typical among Instagram users, so the only way to connect users through content is authenticity and creativity. In addition, an ideal approach to make quality content for the younger generation is by leveraging the younger generation.
Every day, Americans get exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads, and creators have to be careful that they spark a meaningful connection with customers. Not only are the creators trusted by their user base, but they are also accustomed to the different formats of the platform. Stories disappear after a day, which is a fundamental piece of the appeal from a creator’s viewpoint. In order to establish a strong hold, creators have to maintain a strong semblance of authenticity–and creators can easily lose their authenticity if they turn their feed into a wall of advertisements. For brands, a recent study demonstrated that 33 percent of respondents said their enthusiasm for brands or items developed after seeing them in Stories.
The Bottom Line
Clearly, Instagram is very much well-positioned to proceed with its journey into e-commerce but has to ensure that the platform doesn’t push away users with over-advertising. One way to ensure is by siloing possibly "intrusive" content. The photo-sharing platform is already experimenting with a standalone app for shopping called IG Shopping, which will allow users to go through lists of products from brands they follow and buy them directly from the application.
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