Australian retailers can now take their Instagram presence beyond vanity metrics such as follower numbers and likes and turn this engagement into a sales opportunity.
Instagram shopping, which allows retailers to sell to shoppers directly through the social platform, has been available in the US since October and has just expanded to eight new markets including Australia.
To use the feature businesses tag products in Instagram posts, making information like pricing and product descriptions accessible with a single tap. When customers are ready to make a purchase, the tags direct them to the associated product page on a retailer’s e-commerce store.
According to BigCommerce, US retailers using Instagram shopping have seen a 50 per cent increase in Instagram referral traffic to their sites in just five months.
BigCommerce group product manager Jordan Sim said brands have traditionally used social media to generate awareness, but the shopping feature develops more meaningful engagement.
BigCommerce group product manager Jordan Sim.
“Though many platforms have tried to deliver additional value by adding shopping features, most social commerce initiatives have been lacking,” he said. “With the arrival of shopping on Instagram, brands now have a powerful feature to bring product discovery and sales conversion even closer together…
“More than 500 million people use Instagram daily, and many are already actively engaging with the brands they love on the platform. Yet, to date, Instagram has lacked the ability to engage shoppers more deeply beyond a ‘like’ or passive interaction.
“Shopping on Instagram helps push consumers beyond the like by offering a seamless way to discover new products within the app experience and buy those products with ease.”
Instagram shopping in Australia
As of August last year Instagram had nine million monthly active users in Australia. Research from PayPal shows there is appetite among these users for social commerce, with 11 per cent of all Australian smartphone users purchasing via a social media platform in 2017.
Tags on Instagram posts provide pricing and product info.
Queensland-based Scooter Hut is among the first Australian retailers to use the new shopping feature and e-commerce manager Trent Disney said it will allow the brand to tap into its existing audience of around 389 thousand Instagram followers.
“Scooter Hut is fortunate enough to have a strong and extremely active global following across our social media channels. By adding shopping on Instagram it allows our customer base to directly connect the social content they are seeing with physical products on our store and further their relationship with our brand.”
Shopping on Instagram is now available to merchants in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
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