How Shopping on Instagram Will Dominate This Holiday Season

Growth Hacking


November 9th, 2017

The holiday season is officially here. Let the e-commerce games begin!

As we have seen over the past few years, e-commerce sales are on the rise. This 2017 holiday season, online sales are projected, yet again, to increase as much as 18 percent from last year. What’s more, up to 25 percent of those sales will come from mobile.

Remember when I said Instagram was the new catalog? Let the following stand as proof.

This year, Instagram (partnering with Shopify) delivered that KO punch to social platform competitors by opening up their Shopping on Instagram feature to thousands of retailers. Given that 80 percent of Instagram’s 600 million users follow at least one business account, retailers are hard-pressed to find a reason to bypass Shopping on Instagram.

This feature allows retailers to tag up to five products in Instagram posts. These tags link directly to product pages on retailers’ websites. In marketer lingo, Shopping on Instagram decreases the clicks to conversion by about a million clicks, roughly speaking.

If you are currently on mobile, play with the embedded post below for a live, interactive example.

If not on mobile, email this link to a friend, open this post on your phone, play, and possibly purchase—for educational purposes, of course.

Predictably, Amazon will dominate the e-commerce world this holiday season, accounting for over 30 percent of all digital sales. That said, the brand doesn’t have Shopping on Instagram enabled for their @Amazon Instagram account. Even worse, Amazon is still placing product links in post captions.

Amazon, buddy, what’s happening? Do you need a consult? Call me up, brother. I am here for you.

Many other e-commerce brands are taking advantage of Instagram in the way that Amazon clearly isn’t (tsk, tsk). Pier 1, holiday decor darling, is an example of exemplary Instagram utilization through:

  • Crystal clear conversions
  • Excellent content supporting excellent strategy
  • Innate remarketing efforts

Crystal Clear Conversions

You know that pesky question all social media managers groan over? That “why” question? Well, Shopping on Instagram answers that question in five words: “So people buy our stuff.”

With Instagram’s shopping feature, users are four (very intuitive) clicks away from placing Pier 1 products in a shopping cart from their Instagram feed.

Pier 1 Shopping on Instagram

Let’s count together.

  1. Tap image to reveal product tags.
  2. Tap product tag.
  3. Tap “Shop now.”
  4. Tap “Add to basket.”

Thanks to Instagram’s relationship with Shopify, clicks are intuitive for customers and neatly tracked with Google Analytics for marketers, making for a beautiful user experience for everyone.

Excellent Content Supports Excellent Strategy

Lucky for Pier 1 (or, necessary for Pier 1), their products are extremely photogenic. For their Instagram catalog, a team of designers and photographers capture decorative scenes which inspire. Better yet, photo captions include helpful tips and tricks.

Shopping tags aside, Pier 1 makes for an engaging experience. It is no wonder they have earned and engaged over half a million followers.

Pier 1 on Instagram

See all those shopping bag icons at the top right of the photos? In each of these posts, Pier 1 deployed Shopping on InstagramIn this case, especially, too much of a good thing is a myth. By tagging product pages, Pier 1 is guaranteeing that nearly every post is not only engaging but profitable as well.

Innate Remarketing Efforts

And you thought they’d let you abandon that cart, didn’t you? Silly you. As mentioned, clicking on a product page triggers Google Analytics. In this way, Pier 1 captures and tracks all who engage through Instagram, in a variety of ways. For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on one: remarketing through Instagram.

By placing a Facebook pixel on their website, Pier 1 can set up remarketing audiences through Facebook Business Manager. Then they can run ads through Instagram, targeting those users who have already landed on specific pages. Such an execution takes time—therefore, I’d save this execution for large ticket items, such as bedroom sets.

Pier 1 tracking through Facebook Pixel

Pier 1 can also find interested users as West Elm has (above), through interest-based targeting. Apparently, searching and engaging with multiple home goods retailers set me up to be a prime target for West Elm’s shop now ads. Well played.

In conclusion, with brands such as Pier 1 leading the way, I am bursting with joy just imaging the moment Instagram opens up Shopping on Instagram to all users. Etsy businesspeople everywhere will throw all efforts toward Instagram.

See ya, Pinterest. May you rest in peace.

Thanks to Shopping on Instagram, Etsy sellers will soon be throwing their efforts toward Insta. Click To Tweet

P.S. Pier 1, I commend your social media managers. Add me on LinkedIn, you geniuses. I want to be your friend in a real way. Virtual Happy Hour? 🍾





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