In today’s world, more people are turning to their computer to shop for holiday gifts. Reaching out to online customers is harder than reaching out to the ones who go to the brick-and-mortar building to shop. To draw customers into stores, you can have sales, door buster, vouchers for discounts or other options that convince people they need to shop today. However, with online shoppers, they don’t have that urgency. While you can offer one-day only deals if they purchase online today, you can’t expect that to work as well as it does to bring people to the store. That is why Instagram is good tool to use.
- Pictures say a 1,000 words. Instagram is powerful because customers and retail stores can share photos. If you had an item that you want to sell, such as a fancy dress for New Year’s Eve parties, you could take a picture and upload it to your Instagram site. You can entice customers by saying the dress is available only online. You can use this strategy for a number of products you want to sell. At the same time, you are giving your online customers a sense of urgency to buy now.
- Allow comments. You can learn about your customer likes and dislikes by allowing comments on your posts. You can ask for feedback on your pictures and products. This feedback will help you target your campaign and determine what online shoppers are interested in buying. According to Curalate, which measures activity on social media, more shoppers interact with brands on Instagram than Facebook (58 times more) or Twitter (120 times more). The problem is Instagram doesn’t allow retailers to put links to those products on the site.
- Use Like2Buy. Nordstrom has initiated a new service that allows Instagram customers to buy the product immediately. The technology allows customers to click the one link Instagram permits. It shows a grid of all the items up for sale from the retailer’s feed. Another click takes a user to the store’s secure mobile site. Like2Buy also functions as a curation tool for shoppers because they can create their own wishlist of things they want to buy.
- Shoppers use Instagram to influence purchases. Charlotte Russe, whose customers are young females and women, are tech-savvy. They are turning to Instagram to influence what they should purchase and what they should influence their friends in purchasing. If they have to spend a lot of time finding what they want, the more likely retailers will lose the customers.
- Showcase new items. If you have an online store, you can capture a ready-to-buy audience if you showcase your items on Instagram. A woman with an online store has sold out of items after she put them on Instagram. You can convince people they should buy if you emphasize they are for a limited time only or you have a limited number up for sale.
- Inspire your customers. You can use Instagram to show off what you have been doing for the community. For example, if you have sponsored a 5K run for a charity, you can show pictures of the winners on Instagram or of the people being helped by the charity. This makes you look like you care. People will shop at places where they think retailers are giving back to the community. You can inspire your customers to do their own charity work, either for your special charity or their own. They will be dedicated to you and your causes and will shop at your store.
- Instagram users like to shop. Research has proven that those who are on Instagram regularly like to spend money. Instagram users like their favorite brands and will shop more. Retailers should look into marketing opportunities on this fast-growing platform. They also are more likely to engage with retailers. A post sent to 10,000 people will get more than 300 to respond with a like.
It’s clear that Instagram is a powerful tool for retailers to use. The pictures and storytelling capabilities will ensure more people want to buy from you. If you use the site to your advantage, you will get the most online customers to search your site.
John Matthew working as digital marketing expert since 2008, he started his career as social media professional with Digital Berg. He loves exercise, yoga, cooking and travelling to new places. Connect with him Google +.