August 20th, 2018

How To Use Instagram for Your E-Commerce Store

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networking sites on the planet. It’s a favorite of many people under 40. With over a half billion users it’s easy to see why marketers are jumping on the Instatrain. If you’re an e-commerce store, Instagram is kind of a no-brainer. The platform is devoted to pictures and aspirational products. So how do you use Instagram to help your e-commerce growth? Let’s find out.

Product Tagging

No one wants to be sold to. We want to feel like we’re making decisions based on what we want, not what companies want us to buy. Product tagging gives us as marketers the ability to create high quality photographic content that’s not focused around selling a product, but instead around the content. We can then add tags to the products used in this content creation.

Now when a viewer looks at a picture, if it’s a look or a product that they want they can click on the product tag. It’s a win-win for everyone. Marketers can get the products in front of their potential customers, and Instagram users can feel like they’re consuming content and not getting sold to.

Tagging For Search

Hashtags aren’t just for letting people know your #feelings on a subject. Their original purpose was for searchability, and they can be used as such in e-commerce purposes. If people are looking for a specific thing, such as home decor, they’ll often search sites like Instagram for inspiration.

Another way to use them is to tag all your items related with the same tag. So if you’re running a 20% off sale on all pink shirts, you could hashtag all the images that have pink shirts on them with the #pink20. This would create a collection of all your related items that would be eligible for the discount. Now don’t forget to use product tagging so you can get site visits to exactly the right product.

Upcoming: Shoppable Videos

As Instagram becomes more and more a video content site, shopping videos will begin to be more prevalent among influencer marketers. Imagine having the ability as a marketer to be using your influencer’s makeup tutorial as a direct sales platform. This is the future of Instagram video. Just like product tagging in images, content creators can use tagging in videos to highlight the products they’re using.


So is Instagram worth the investment? Well according to Smart Insights, Instagram users interact at a higher level than most other social media platforms. 75% of them click on links to products or websites. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

So if you’re running an e-commerce store, perhaps it’s time to think about Instagram as another tool in your sales toolbag. It will mean that you need to create picture or video content, which can be time consuming. But if it’s the difference between getting customer engagement or just buying more ads, the time / cost benefit may certainly be there.

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