How to Use Instagram for eCommerce: Sharing 10 Ideas

Instagram Marketing Review by Socialbakers reports that top 5 industries on Instagram include media, fashion, beauty, auto, and sporting goods.

How to Use Instagram for eCommerce

A blog post by Sellfy claims that Instagram is profitable for even more niches, including travel, health, and fitness, food, etc. So if you are selling products that fall under any of these categories, you will definitely benefit from our today’s guide.

We are not going to tell that you can post stories on Instagram that disappear after 24 hours. Nor are we going to announce that Instagram is a visual platform and creates huge opportunities for online stores. You are well aware of all that, right?

Together we will discuss 10 steps that will help you

  1. Reach Instagram users organically without spending a dollar on ads,
  2. Bring engagement to your posts and spread the word about your brand,
  3. Promote your products and drive free traffic to your online store.

How to use Instagram for Ecommerce: 10 easy steps you can start taking today

  1. Start with a detective’s job – Are you familiar with the term “social listening”? It’s when you research and analyze what others are talking about your brand and industry. Before working on your Instagram eCommerce strategy, simply look at what similar brands are posting and how users are interacting with their posts. You will get better ideas than if you rely on your gut feeling.
  2. Make a good impression with a great bio – You have only 150 characters available for your bio text. For example, LC Waikiki decided not to add anything to their bio except for the link to their website.
    waikiki instagram
    But most brands use even that small space to promote their offers or simply talk about what’s their mission. Urban Decay Cosmetics encourages people to enter a giveaway contest. While Toms simply writes “We’re in business to improve lives.”urbaydecay instagram
    Write your value proposition or announce some perks, e.g. Get 10% discount or free shipping on your first order. That will work better than if you add a link and not utilize the free space fully.
  3. Get free traffic with – You have always read that links on Instagram posts aren’t clickable and you can have a link only in your bio.Things have changed a bit since then. Now you can replace your website link with a and enjoy free traffic from Instagram. Here’s an example from Toms:toms instagram
    When you click on, you will be redirected to this page:toms link in bio
    All Toms Instagram posts are stored here. When you click any of the images, you will be redirected to the URL Toms has attached to that particular post. That’s how your posts can generate free traffic as part of your Instagram marketing for eCommerce. Lnk.Bio is a quick and free way to add that opportunity to your Instagram business profile.
  4. Set your brand style guidelines and don’t get distracted – Getting creative is what helps you post unique photos and stand out. But defining style guidelines will bring consistency and reliability to your profile. Look at the example from Klomp Ceramics below. Do you feel the brand’s spirit in all the images? Of course, you do!klomp ceramics instagram
    Keep in mind that defining style guidelines refers not only to colors but also to text fonts and image filters.
  5. Follow image guidelines – You might think that since Instagram is a mobile app, you should post only vertical images here. But that’s not the case. Square images with a 1:1 aspect ratio are ideal for Instagram feed, yet for stories you can use images of 9:16 aspect ratio. If you don’t follow the guidelines, your scheduling tool won’t allow you to upload the image. Or Instagram will automatically crop it if you try to upload through the app itself.
  6. Turn products into lifestyle elements – Users see so many product advertisements every day! To impress viewers and stay in their memory, don’t just offer physical products, offer lifestyle and feelings. Show you or models wearing/using your product and if you have time and team, create professional videos featuring your instagram
  7. User-generated content – Every brand wants to be seen and reach new audiences. And it’s always easier to get high exposure when customers are talking about your brand and sharing your posts. There are at least 3 ways to appear in front of a thousand Instagram users:
    1) Run a contest, requiring a user to like, comment on, and share your post,
    2) Launch your campaign with a new hashtag (for example, charity campaign),
    3) Once customers make a purchase from you, ask them to post photos wearing/using your product. Here’s an example from Boohoo. They not only promise a reward to the contest winner but also promise to donate £1 for every comment users make. Strong motivation for users to comment and engage.boohoo instagram contest
  8. Post every day – Instagram posts have a short lifespan compared to Pinterest pins or Youtube videos. But they last longer in the feed than Facebook or Twitter posts. Knowing this, try to share at least 1 post daily. Anything from inspirational quotes to customer reviews are counted. There are plenty of resources that give you ideas on what to post. And you can use a scheduling tool (HopperHQ, ScheduGram, etc) to schedule your weekly posts in advance – only in a few minutes.
  9. Put hashtags both in captions and comments – Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. But does it really mean you should use that opportunity every time? There’s no magic hashtag limit anyone can recommend. It depends on how popular your niche is on Instagram and which hashtags are really relevant to your business. It’s safe to say that you can use 10-12 hashtags per post – a few in the captions and the others in the post comment. You will have the chance to use the most popular and relevant ones and ensure decent exposure at the same time.
  10. Add Product Tags and give the green light to salesProduct tagging is one of the most desired Instagram eCommerce features available in around 60 countries. That’s your chance to inform about available products and prices via Instagram, without asking users to visit your online store. To be able to tag products, your profile first needs to be approved for shopping. Then, you should go to Settings->Business->Shopping->Continue->Select a product catalog and tap Done. You can find more info on the technical aspect here. Be aware that you can tag up to 5 products on your single-image posts/videos posts and up to 20 products on your multi-image posts. Great way to promote color combinations and show how well your products go with each other. This is what product tagging looks like on a post from Zappos:instagram product tagging

Are you busy communicating with suppliers and customers and don’t have time to promote your online store on social media? We know how to use Instagram for eCommerce!

Contact Andava’s social media marketing team now and we will introduce your products in the best light.