As 38.7% of online shoppers aged 16-24 have used Instagram Shopping to purchase an item, retailers targeting this demographic should recognise the potential of social media beyond a marketing tool and as an additional sales platform that is especially effective at driving impulse purchases, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Instagram Shopping is a tool that allows retailers to tag items featured in their Instagram posts, allowing a consumer to click on the link for a product that directs them to the specific page on a retailer’s website.
Emily Salter, Retail Analyst at GlobalData comments, “Retailers targeting young consumers need to seize the opportunity created by the new shopping habits of this demographic as they increasingly use Instagram Shopping as a platform to make purchases. Using the tool, retailers can promote specific products to a huge number of followers – for example, H&M and ASOS have 30.0m and 9.3m respectively – and engaged shoppers, in particular boosting impulse purchases.”
As a shopping platform, Instagram also has the advantage of being personalised, as users can follow retailers and hashtags, and use the Explore function to search content themes, view relevant posts and search for accounts, tags and places. The content seen is therefore refined so consumers are more exposed to relevant products than they may be on a retailer’s website or app, unless personalisation is effectively employed.
For smaller retailers without the resources or ability to use personalisation or develop an effective and attractive app, Instagram Shopping offers a way to boost mobile sales with less investment. Additionally, Instagram presents retailers with a means to react quickly to trends by highlighting popular and talked-about pieces as they emerge, and engage with consumers to build brand loyalty – especially important in the highly competitive young fashion market.
Salter adds: “However, stock availability is vital to ensure the effective use of Instagram Shopping, as the products featured and tagged on Instagram Shopping have heightened visibility compared to the rest of the retailer’s products. Retailers should be prepared for greater popularity of featured items and use forecasts based on previous reactions to avoid stock selling out too quickly. For instance, Marks & Spencer often highlights products on Instagram Shopping that rapidly sell out, leading to numerous comments from frustrated shoppers, creating a more negative perception of the shopping experience.”