Instagram Has Changed the Way We View E-Commerce and Shopping
Thu, October 21, 2021

Instagram Has Changed the Way We View E-Commerce and Shopping

Instagram truly went from only-slightly-awkward selfie dump to possibly the hottest app to use when it comes to e-commerce and advertising / Photo by: Panithan Fakseemuang via 123RF

 

Instagram truly went from only-slightly-awkward selfie dump to possibly the hottest app to use when it comes to e-commerce and advertising. At the start of the decade, Instagram was just that app that was a little like Facebook without the added Pages and Private Groups options. It was concerned mainly with sharing photos. 

Now, Instagram still pretty much does that but on a much larger scale than before. According to a Bloomberg report aggregated by the Los Angeles Times, a daily newspaper in Los Angeles, the influence of Instagram usage itself -- discounting the site-grown influencers for now -- was such a strong force that they made ugly Christmas sweaters, well, not-so-ugly. Every food item that was colorful or had rainbow patterns, every hipster cafe with a specific way of lighting, and every pretty thing was suddenly up for grabs. 

Starting a conversation on the beauty community on Instagram is a whole can of worms, too, but the underlying truth of these new realities is that Instagram is now the best market to both sell and advertise. The last decade has changed the way we viewed shopping for our stuff online. 

E-Commerce and Social Media

If you told anyone at the supermarket who was above the age of 50 that most people now buy directly from that Instagram model they love so much, they probably won’t believe you. If you tell them that a time may come when we can get our produce from social media sites like Instagram, they will probably laugh at your face and walk away. Fair, but with the way Instagram is quickly changing, such a reality could not be far off. 

Already, some groceries are investing in online shopping with actual products on their shelves being sold online. So how will the landscape look in 2020 if the trend continues? 

Say you want to launch a brand on social media and know for a fact that your target demographic spends most of their time there, business blog Business 2 Community compares the conventional website e-commerce experience to the social media one. 

On a conventional website, the average visitors will probably reach 10,000; of that 10,000, 25% will give you their email address, 25% of them will open it, and 5% of them will open it and have the intent to check the link. 

Now, if you’ve got enough money to invest in it, you can start your social e-commerce journey with the help of a chatbot. Through chatbots, you can message 99% of these visitors and maybe even 48% of them click through. Even though such a number is hypothetical, it is still higher than the 5%. 

All this information is based on the cold hard facts of the shopping landscape because facts already point to the fact that people don’t want to leave the platforms they are on while shopping. Thirty percent of online shoppers “say they are likely to buy direct from a social media network like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.” Indeed, that is what these sites have been doing. 

From the Kardashians to the dedicated microinfluencers, the “swipe up” option has become quite synonymous with a “sale” banner plastered on a boutique in a physical store. It has signaled that “if you don’t want to be at the mall right now, then here’s the mall delivered to you.” 

On a conventional website, the average visitors will probably reach 10,000; of that 10,000, 25% will give you their email address, 25% of them will open it, and 5% of them will open it and have the intent to check the link / Photo by: Varin Rattanaburi via 123RF

 

The Social Media Move

Further proof is also seen in just how effective some social media commerce moves have been by brands who had seen that Instagram was becoming quite a big deal in online shopping. One such brand was Bon Appétit, who shared with online trade magazine DigiDay that their first foray into social e-commerce went off to a great start. 

Rachel Karten, associate director of social media for Bon Appétit, said: 

“The most recent [merchandise] drop, in terms of Instagram performance, was even more successful than the initial drop [in August]. It got over 54,000 likes and 1,875 comments -- putting it at one of our most commented posts of all time. We had always seen our followers say on social ‘make BA merch!’ so we knew that these drops would play very well to this audience specifically -- but to see it continue to grow like this is really exciting.” 

Even Highsnobiety got in on the action, putting up their first-ever shoppable Instagram post in which they promoted upcycled pieces by the artist Nicole McLaughlin. They priced these items from $50 to $300 each, and the $50 pieces sold out in the next three minutes while the rest was already sold out by Sunday. 

Truly, social commerce will be carving out its place in the market as Los Angeles Times reports that in its nascent stages, Instagram’s budding market already has a 38% share on the US e-commerce market, and all trends indicate that it will probably continue well into 2020.