How to sell products in Instagram Stories with the shopping function

Instagram continues on its path to undermine all other social networks and conquer the podium of users’ favorite medium also for shopping.

In 2016, the social network began experimenting with the shopping function in Instagram Stories in collaboration with 20 partners. The experimentation has brought such positive results that Instagram has decided to extend it to users in 46 countries. Now, Italians will be able to buy the products of the following brands through the particular shopping function.

And a really large new audience of buyers is opening up for companies. According to the latest estimates, 90 million users click on a post every month to get more information about the products. And if you consider that 400 million people watch the Stories every day, the commercial possibilities become really attractive.

The results of the experimentation were considered very encouraging by the brands themselves. Among the companies involved in the tests there was also Spearmint Love , a brand that produces clothes and accessories for children. The founder and CEO – Shari Lott – spoke enthusiastically and said that traffic to her online shop increased by 25% and revenues grew by 8%.

Italian companies with a business account should seriously think about using the function, given that in our country 11 million users access Instagram every day.

How story shopping works

Companies have the opportunity to showcase a product in History and the user will see the tag of the object for sale. Instagram allows you to put a sticker / product for each single Story. The user who clicks on it will be directed to a specific section for the purchase.
The function is active only for business profiles to which Instagram shopping tags have been enabled and does not present any difficulty in use. These are the steps to activate it:

  • select a photo or video to upload
  • select the product adhesive in the stickers area
  • select the product from the catalog
  • move the product sticker to the point in the Story where the viewing is scheduled to share the Story

And the news doesn’t stop there. A special area called Shopping has been created in the Explore section (not yet active for all profiles). Inside the area there are all the sponsored products that can be purchased through the tags placed by companies and brands. In this way, the user who is in a hurry will not have to look at the stories of the various brands in search of a product to buy. You can take a look at the Shopping section and be inspired in no time.

How to make the most of the shopping function

Before using this function you need to consider the type of Instagram user. In Italy it is mainly young people who explore social media on a daily basis . 71% of the users are, in fact, made up of children between the ages of 18 and 24. Important fact to evaluate carefully before planning the Stories with the shopping function. The construction of the video-commercial message, in fact, cannot ignore this specific target audience.

It is also good not to betray the nature of social media with the sole aim of promoting sales. The Stories were created to engage users and encourage emotional identification with brands. Creating videos that betray this function to highlight only the commercial aspect could be counterproductive. To have the desired results, the Stories should therefore continue to be centered on a story, with the possibility of making a purchase presented only as a useful additional option.

Blatantly promotional formulas are not suitable for Instagram. To exploit the potential of the new function, the story about the product must absolutely be in line with Instagram’s “ inspiring ” philosophy.

Rina Zamarra

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