A few months ago, Instagram announced that it had launched a shopping service on its platform, which means that retailers can tag products in posts and sell directly.
Instagram is growing in the social media world and is becoming more of an important asset for retailers. In fact, 42% of small businesses said that they would rather point a customer to their Instagram profile than their website. Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of bespoke engagement rings, we explore what this means for players in the jewellery industry:
The concept of shoppable Instagram, or Shopify, allows businesses to add a link to an item into their posts. These “shoppable posts” allow users to click-through these links straight to the website.
With more than 800 million users, including 25 million business accounts and two million advertisers, Instagram has a strong following that can take advantage of the new concept. It’s an ideal platform for brands to connect with their consumers in a way that they once couldn’t. Amy Cole, Instagram’s head of business development, tells Marketing Week: “Brands tell their story in the same way an individual person does, so it creates a direct relationship and levels the playing field for small and big businesses.”
At the time of research, 600,000 businesses were reported as using Shopify, and more than $63 billion (£48 billion) worth of products has been sold through the platform. But, how can jewellers in particular make the most of the feature?
Jewellery is an emotive purchase for consumers. Whether it’s an engagement ring, a wedding ring or a gift for someone close, it’s usually not a quick purchase decision. The interaction that customers can get with their brand through social media therefore plays on this, as it allows them to build a relationship and connect with a brand by following what they do online. In fact, 80% of people follow a business or brand through Instagram and more than 150 million people have a conversation with a business through the platform’s direct messaging feature (Instagram Direct) each month.
Through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, social media users can leave comments when they like a piece, or tag someone who they think it would make a nice gift for. Perhaps the purchase won’t happen straight away but situations like this, which wouldn’t occur without social media, start to increase brand awareness.
One jewellery brand attributes 59% of their sales to Instagram and they say this is because it’s an option for people to discover the brand over the platform — they may not have been exposed to it otherwise.
Influencer marketing too, is predominantly on Instagram. This is where individuals on Instagram with a high number of followers talk about or feature a product in their post — influencing followers to purchase it too. Jewellers can use this strategy and encourage people to feature their products in posts, often leading to an increase in following and interest in the product.
The introduction of Shopify on Instagram means that you can advertise your products in a more natural way, by introducing your items on your followers’ feeds without it being too advertorial. This is unlike the other options of Instagram advertising where you choose from photo ads, carousel ads (with multiple pictures), video ads and Stories ads.
Use Instagram in the way that you currently do — to connect with your audience. But, encourage users to click-through into the image with a call to action in the caption, such as encouraging them to learn more about the item by following the Shopify button or offering them the option to see more detailed images.
More recently, bigger brands have been provided with a feature to offer shopping through their Stories too — hinting that this could be rolled out to all Shopify businesses soon. Currently, 30% of the most viewed stories on Instagram are from brands. This suggests that people enjoy seeing what a business is up to and connecting with their favourite brands in this way. Plus, one third of messages sent through Instagram Direct each month begin with an Instagram Story. Keep your Stories updated and maintain a connection with your customers through this feature as preparation for Shopify on Stories. For instance, why not show your consumers what goes into the making of the latest piece?
As we can see, social media already plays a great part in connecting jewellery brands with their audience. But, with the introduction of shoppable Instagram, keeping in touch with your customers through the platform could mean more sales as well as increasing brand awareness.