It’s now been a few months since the popular social media service Instagram unveiled its shopping service, in a move that enabled retailers to tag products in their posts and sell to consumers directly through the platform.
Instagram certainly is on the rise across the social media scene and is becoming more important for retailers, with 42 per cent of small businesses stating that they would be more in favour of pointing a customer to their Instagram profile than to their website.
What does Instagram’s growth in popularity and its shopping option mean for those working in the jewellery industry though? Join diamond rings retailer Angelic Diamonds as they try and find out…
Understanding what is meant by shoppable Instagram
Shoppable Instagram is a concept that you may also know by the term Shopify. It allows businesses to add a link to an item into their posts. These “shoppable posts” allow users to click-through these links straight to the website.
There are so many people who can take advantage of shoppable Instagram, seeing as though the platform has over 800 million users — with this figure including two million advertisers and 25 million business accounts. It’s an ideal platform for brands to connect with their consumers in a way that they once couldn’t. Amy Cole, Instagram’s head of business development, tells Marketing Week: “Brands tell their story in the same way an individual person does, so it creates a direct relationship and levels the playing field for small and big businesses.”
Shopify was reported to have been used by 600,000 businesses at the time that research for this article was carried out. More than $63 billion (£48 billion) worth of products has been sold through the platform too. But, how can jewellers in particular make the most of the feature?
The effects that social media have on the jewellery industry
Consumers see jewellery as being an emotive purchase. Whether it’s an engagement ring, a wedding ring or a gift for someone close, it’s usually not a quick purchase decision. The interaction that customers can get with their brand through social media therefore plays on this, as it allows them to build a relationship and connect with a brand by following what they do online. In fact, 80% of people follow a business or brand through Instagram and more than 150 million people have a conversation with a business through the platform’s direct messaging feature (Instagram Direct) each month.
If someone likes a piece of jewellery, they can leave comments on a post about the item on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They can also tag someone who they think it would make a nice gift for. Perhaps the purchase won’t happen straight away but situations like this, which wouldn’t occur without social media, start to increase brand awareness.
Instagram was attributed by one jewellery brand for recording 59% of their sales. They say this is because it’s an option for people to discover the brand over the platform — they may not have been exposed to it otherwise.
Instagram is also a popular platform for influencer marketing. This is where individuals on Instagram with a high number of followers talk about or feature a product in their post — influencing followers to purchase it too. Jewellers can use this strategy and encourage people to feature their products in posts, often leading to an increase in following and interest in the product.
Factoring in shoppable Instagram
By introducing Shopify on Instagram, businesses are now able to advertise their products in a way that feels more natural. This is due to the fact that companies can introduce items on their followers’ feeds without it being too advertorial. This is unlike the other options of Instagram advertising where you choose from photo ads, carousel ads (with multiple pictures), video ads and Stories ads.
Aim to keep on using Instagram in a manner that allows your business to connect with your audience. But, encourage users to click-through into the image with a call to action in the caption, such as encouraging them to learn more about the item by following the Shopify button or offering them the option to see more detailed images.
Shopping through Instagram Stories has been provided to some of the larger brands recently as well. Is this a tease that this could be rolled out to all Shopify businesses soon? Currently, 30% of the most viewed stories on Instagram are from brands. This suggests that people enjoy seeing what a business is up to and connecting with their favourite brands in this way. Plus, one third of messages sent through Instagram Direct each month begin with an Instagram Story. Keep your Stories updated and maintain a connection with your customers through this feature as preparation for Shopify on Stories. For instance, why not show your consumers what goes into the making of the latest piece?
Social media platforms are certainly effective for connecting jewellery brands with their audience, as this article has detailed. But, with the introduction of shoppable Instagram, keeping in touch with your customers through the platform could mean more sales, as well as increasing brand awareness.