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Social Media and UGC

Instagram's Shoppable Feature: What it Means for Brands

Monetizing content can be a challenge for social media marketers. While engagement on social media is important for brand affinity, it’s even better when social media marketing can be directly tied to sales. Luckily, Instagram rolled out an exciting feature that will help to solve this problem. The feature aims at making it easier for brands to sell their products directly from the social media platform.

With Instagram now shoppable, the app is moving from a common social media outlet to an indispensable marketing tool. Though the feature makes it more likely to convert engagement so sales, marketers must still prioritize the entirety of ecommerce including an organic approach to social media that targets the overall customer experience. If brands combine both of these elements, then brand-customer relations will benefit.

Here is what Instagram’s shoppable feature means for ecommerce, and how brands can go beyond this feature to make their social content convert.

The Shoppable Feature

Shoppable posts have changed the shopping experience for Instagram users favorable for brands as now content is convenient and actionable. The feature was introduced as a way for brands to promote products through Instagram feeds in the ‘shop’ section of the app. Now businesses can tag their products on their Instagram posts just as you would when tagging people. Different than friend tags, product tags are enabled once a brands business profile connects its product catalog. When a product is tagged, a shopping bag icon will appear indicating that there are shoppable items. A user can then click on these products and purchase them in Instagram Checkout without leaving the platform. Not only can product tags be used in Instagram wall posts, but story posts and the explore section are shoppable as well. Enabling product tags on the explore page allows businesses to reach new leads and heighten conversions.

source: business of fashion

What this means for brands

Brands who use this feature are trading convenience for their own branded experience. Allowing clients to checkout directly from Instagram eliminates a barrier, however, remarketing is difficult for brands since the checkout is owned by Instagram. Given that customer-lifetime value and repeat purchases are often KPI’s for ecommerce brands, this feature may further isolate social ROI from other marketing channels. Shoppable Instagram may benefit brands looking for one-time conversions and for gaining new leads, but strengthening customer-brand relationships can be challenging. This is why UGC collected from social channels can be an asset to help maintain these relationships and engagement with customers across all other channels.

Ultimately, the easier it is for consumers to purchase products, the more sales brands realize, in the short term. But true community-driven marketing efforts transcend channels and work to provide a cohesive experience across the entire customer journey. When brands are looking to drive product adoption and launch a new product, Instagrams shoppable feature may be the ideal catalyst. Brands that see success with this new feature should consider this the first win for community-driven marketing, and further adapt to drive increased ROI from their community.

Catherine Park is a connector with Caffeinated Projects who help businesses find their audience online. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.

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