Written by Holly Phillips

June 3, 2022

Ecommerce sales have been steadily increasing since 2014 and are expected to surpass $7 billion by 2025. This is unsurprising, given that online brands are always exploring more ways to reach consumers and technology continues to simplify the checkout process. 

With all signs pointing to greater eCommerce sales, it’s a no-brainer to start selling online. But where should brands put their marketing efforts? We’re looking at you, Instagram.

This article will explore why Instagram is a good platform for eCommerce businesses and share top tips for generating in-app sales. 

Is Instagram good for eCommerce? 

In 2019, Instagram started beta testing its in-app checkout feature. Now that it’s available to all brands, it’s significantly easier for eCommerce brands to sell products on the platform. 

Not only does the in-app checkout offer a frictionless purchase experience, but Instagram’s endless feed means users can scroll through loads of product-related content and ads. Even better, Statista predicts as many as 1.2 billion users will be on Instagram in 2023, a massive pool of potential customers. 

So, how can you win on Instagram as an eCommerce brand? Here are a few things you can do right away to see success on the platform. 

Tips to get started with Instagram eCommerce

Being successful on Instagram requires more effort than simply sharing attractive images. Here are some tactics that will help you thrive on the social media app: 

1. Publish quality content 

How frequently you publish content and at what times differs for every brand (it depends on your audience and your resources). But you should consistently post quality content on Instagram that’s unique and interesting. 

In April 2022, Instagram’s algorithm update revealed that the platform would give ranking priority to original content (not anything reposted from other accounts or platforms). Posting content that stands out will help attract users, but will also be rewarded with more visibility. 

Read more about creating Instagram content that converts. 

2. Mix up your photos 

If the only thing that changes about your photos is the product they feature (for example, if you’re just using the product page photo from your website in every post), your Instagram account will start to look too salesy. 

Get creative with your photos. Consider showing how your customers use the products (more on this later) or zoom in on specific features. Even posting tangentially related images (e.g., showing food shots if you own a restaurant supply store) will help shake things up. 

3. Consider hashtags 

Data shows that Instagram posts with hashtags garner 12.6% more engagement than those without them. If you’re using hashtags in your branded posts, you have the potential to reach thousands — if not millions — of people who follow the hashtag but not your business’s Instagram account. This ia golden opportunity that you should not pass up!

Read more about finding the right hashtags for your brand and creating a strategy.

4. Optimize your account 

Though they are completely different platforms, Instagram and Google share a common goal: to show users quality content that they’ll enjoy. One way Instagram achieves this is by serving up search results from a non-branded search like “photography tips” or “inspirational quotes.”

You can improve your chances of appearing in the search results by optimizing your Instagram bio for those terms. Your account name and bio are what the algorithm pulls when providing users with suggested accounts, so sprinkle in the keywords your target audience is searching for.

Read more about optimizing your Instagram bio. 

5. Share user-generated content 

Individuals who reference your brand or products in their posts are creating user-generated content (UGC), which can be a powerful tool for building your Instagram audience relationships.

Get your audience to post about you by incentivizing them with entries to a giveaway, discounts on future products, or bonus loyalty program points when they publish a photo of their purchased product.

6. Work with Instagram influencers 

Influencers are people who whose opinions hold sway over others. The goal is to work with influencers with an audience that would love to hear about you and what you offer. 

You’re broadening your audience by working with influencers. Since those who already follow that influencer will want to see what they say about your brand, they may end up following your brand as a result.

Read more about influencer marketing.

7. Measure your Instagram marketing efforts 

Even if you’re killing it on Instagram, you’ll never be able to improve if you aren’t measuring your results. You’ll have access to Instagram Analytics with an Instagram business account, which you can use to see how your Instagram posts and Stories are performing. Use the Analytics to learn when your audience is active on the app and which content is generating the best engagement. 

8. Work smarter 

Various tools can help you work efficiently on Instagram. We’re proud to offer Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat, which automates many of your most time-sucking communication activities. 

DM Automation enables automated conversations with users via direct messages. You can even use it to automatically get users into the DMs via post comments, Story mentions, or IG Live. Some of its other features include:

  • Running and managing contests and giveaways 
  • Collecting first-party data to learn more about your customers 
  • Using Keywords as triggers to spark conversations and answer questions 
  • Sending conversations to a live agent when needed 

If your customers already spend time on Instagram, you should have a presence there to make it easy for them to discover and purchase your products. Follow our tips for getting started with Instagram, and consider using Automation for more efficiency and better results. 

Ready to get started with Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat?

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.