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Instagram Shopping? These Pros Share Why Or Why Not To Use This Social Tool

From knowing if Instagram will even keep shopping to planning for a shorter customer journey, here are 20 answers to the question, “Why should somebody use (or not use) Instagram shopping as a social tool for their business?”

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Instagram Shopping? These Pros Share Why Or Why Not To Use This Social Tool

Tip 1

Instagram Is Rolling IG Shopping Back

Brittany Dolin - Terkel

Instagram shopping hasn’t worked. The platform itself announced last fall that it was rolling back its shopping features and focusing more on advertising.

Ads drive revenue for Instagram, not the online shopping experience. It feels like the rollback is a precursor to an entire elimination of the shopping feature. At the very least, it will be so diminished that it won’t be worth relying on if you’re a fledgling business.

Focus your attention on other means to sell your business. Instagram shopping isn’t the way to go.

Tip 2

Instagram Wasn't Created For That Purpose

Sean Doherty - Terkel

Instagram has transitioned from a photo-content platform to a multifaceted platform that includes shopping. It handled that transition fairly well, but if you’re a business that relies on product sales, then Instagram should not be the bedrock platform for you.

Most of the content on it is ornamental; people scroll through quickly for that reason. It doesn’t have the user volume that Facebook has, and it doesn’t have the user-friendly tools YouTube has. There are also countless online retailers that would give you better access to a targeted customer base.

Instagram has been a decent platform for those selling clothing lines and cosmetics, so for those types of businesses, Instagram would be a good option to use as a social tool. But even in those cases, we should use Instagram shopping besides other platforms; it shouldn’t be a go-to option for a fledgling business.

Tip 3

Leverages The Most Engaging Audience

Maria Harutyunyan - Terkel

You should use Instagram (IG) shopping as a social tool for your business. It may seem like a simple platform, but IG is incredibly powerful in helping you reach new customers and drive sales. This is because of Instagram’s full potential—the audience there is always eager to find and buy something useful and new! I mean, if you leverage the power of IG shopping correctly, there’s a significant chance that the right people will see your post.

For example, I recently started using IG shopping for one of my clients who sells eco products. By creating eye-catching product posts and tagging them with the right keywords, we could reach many potential customers who were interested in the type of products they sell. This led to an increase in website traffic, as well as sales from customers who found the brand through Instagram.

It won’t be quick work, but with the right strategy, it will pay off—allowing companies of any size to reap serious rewards!

Tip 4

Limits Data Collection

Scott Lieberman - Terkel

I’m not a big fan of Instagram shopping because it restricts the amount of data you can collect.

For example, if someone visits my website, I can use cookies and analytics tools to access a customer’s buying history and preferences. From here, I can personalize my marketing around their needs.

With Instagram, you only receive order and shipping information. Instagram does everything from data collection to returns and refunds. This severely limits your ability to personalize marketing. But Instagram is still a valuable tool. That’s why I prefer running Instagram ads and linking to my website. When users land on my website, I can collect first-party data to tailor the customer experience.

Tip 5

Use It For Your Business Type

Hardy Selo - Terkel

Hardy Selo, Property and Digital Marketing Expert, Property Guru

Deciding whether to use the Instagram shopping tool for your business comes down to one question: what is your business?

First, smaller, delivery-based items that are less valuable are far more likely to sell well. It is a digital form of visual merchandising where people are far more likely to make a quick purchase for $10 than for $1000. You will not sell a house on the Instagram shop, but you could very well sell hundreds of smaller household items.

Second, your business may not even have the right audience for Instagram shopping. Many generations, and even individuals, prefer shopping in different ways, so don’t just assume that because there is now a shopping option available on Instagram that it is right for your customers.

Tip 6

Negative Effect On Customer Loyalty

Kate Wojewoda-Celinska - Terkel

Kate Wojewoda-Celinska, Marketing Manager, Spacelift

One of the major drawbacks is its negative effect on customer loyalty. Unlike other marketing platforms, where customers are often encouraged to return for discounts or reward programs, Instagram doesn’t offer any such incentives; its focus is solely on directly promoting items at full price through images or links in posts and stories.

While this might be an efficient way of making sales in the short term, it could mean that customers might take their business elsewhere when looking for deals or rewards after their first purchase—ultimately detracting from your company’s loyalty program.

Tip 7

Advertises With Story Highlights

Kate Duske - Terkel

Kate Duske, Editor-in-Chief, Escape Room Data

Instagram shopping provides businesses with a unique opportunity to boost their reach and sales by leveraging the massive user base of the platform. An uncommon example would use the “Story Highlights” feature—this allows businesses to post product images and links that are saved in individual categories, so when customers click on them, they can easily browse through products without navigating away from their story.

Businesses should take advantage of Instagram Shopping if they’re looking for an innovative way to advertise their product, attract more customers, and boost their brand recognition on social media.

Tip 8

Increases Sales With Contests

Michael Alexis - Terkel

Instagram shopping is becoming increasingly popular as a social tool for businesses, as it allows them to increase their brand awareness and reach new potential customers.

One uncommon use of Instagram shopping that can drive sales for businesses is to advertise products as prizes that customers can win in contests. By advertising specific items from the business on Instagram, customers enter to win the item and are more likely to make a purchase if they don’t win.

This method produces significant results by driving visibility and creating an incentive for customers to browse through the brand’s catalog. All in all, Instagram shopping is highly effective when used correctly, providing businesses with an opportunity to boost sales while growing their customer base.

Tip 9

Works Well With Visual Products

Søren Jensen - Terkel

Søren Jensen, Junior Digital Marketer, CyberPilot

Instagram shopping can be a powerful social tool for businesses, allowing them to reach potential customers through the visual platform. Instagram also provides access to analytics and targeting capabilities to help businesses understand their audience and tailor their content to meet customer needs.

Additionally, it gives businesses the opportunity to make direct sales without having to invest in building their own e-commerce platform. However, Instagram shopping may not be suitable for all businesses. Businesses without visually engaging product offerings may not benefit from the platform, as pictures are key in attracting users and gaining followers.

It also requires an ongoing investment of time and resources in order to create attractive visuals and keep content fresh. Depending on the business’s goals and resources available, Instagram Shopping may or may not be an appropriate choice for a business’s social strategy.

Tip 10

Don't Use If You're A One-Person Business

Peter Hoopis - Terkel

Peter Hoopis, Owner and CEO, Peter Hoopis

If you have a one-person e-commerce business, it’s better not to use Instagram shopping as a social tool because you don’t have the staffing yet to manage and monitor your Instagram shopping account, such as responding to customer inquiries, tracking sales and inventory, and updating your product catalog.

Use your IG account primarily to create brand awareness and direct your audience to your e-commerce site, which you can do with a link-sharing tool like Linktree.

I don’t recommend using Instagram shopping either if your website is not set up for e-commerce or if you cannot link your products posted on Instagram to your website. In such cases, you cannot provide a seamless shopping experience. You’ll end up with opportunity losses as customers find shopping on your Instagram account inconvenient.

Tip 11

Provides Limited Analytics, Targeting Options

Jeremy Clifford - Terkel

Instagram shopping is a great tool for certain businesses, but in my experience, its limited analytics and targeting options make it not a very viable tool for most businesses, especially those that are not suited for Instagram audiences.

For example, most e-commerce platforms offer far more advanced analytics tools that businesses heavily rely on for profits, and targeting is also heavily limited, making it difficult for most businesses to reach their specific audiences.

Tip 12

Strengthens Customer Relationships

Andrew Chen - Terkel

Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer, Videeo

Instagram Shopping provides ample opportunities for your customers to provide direct feedback to you through your posts. The more they like and comment on your posts, the better opportunity you have to interact with them.

Instagram Shopping also enhances the customer experience, offering your business a versatile platform to provide transparency and timely responses to customers’ inquiries or feedback, helping you establish trust with your customers.

Tip 13

Influencer Partnerships Boost Brand Awareness

Andrew Dale - Terkel

Andrew Dale, Technical Director, CloudTech24

Think about utilizing influencers to develop your brand. Influencers are prominent, powerful social media users who have large fan bases. They could be famous people or well-liked users in a certain niche who advertise goods and services, frequently presenting novel products to the public.

A trustworthy influencer can boost your company’s sales by giving you access to populations you wouldn’t normally reach and increasing the return on investment of your digital marketing efforts. Influencers may promote your company to thousands, or even millions, of followers with just a few posts when you hire them to promote your product.

Tip 14

Increases Your Credibility

Zephyr Chan - Terkel

Zephyr Chan, Founder and Growth Marketer, Living The Good Life

It’s highly recommended that business owners take advantage of Instagram Shopping as a social tool for their business, as it provides a secure venue for the promotion and sale of goods and services. By facilitating authentication and verification, the platform provides businesses with the trustworthiness they need to attract and keep customers.

Tip 15

Maximizes Customer Engagement

Burak Ă–zdemir - Terkel

Instagram shopping is a powerful tool for businesses looking to boost customer engagement. Businesses can provide better customer service and build stronger relationships by allowing customers to view products, ask questions, and get answers through comments.

Quick response times enhance the shopping experience, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Overall, businesses can use Instagram shopping to boost customer engagement, resulting in increased sales and brand satisfaction.

Tip 16

Offers A More Personalized Experience

Preston Powell - Terkel

Instagram Shopping offers a unique way to engage potential customers and build a connection with them. Businesses can directly message customers who have shown interest in specific products and provide more information to them.

It also helps increase conversion rates since it allows customers to shop directly from Instagram instead of going to their website to complete a transaction. Overall, businesses should use Instagram Shopping as a social tool for their business because it offers customers a more targeted and personalized experience.

Tip 17

Creates A Revenue Channel

Nick Allen - Terkel

Nick Allen, Founder and CEO, SportsLingo

You can’t include links in the captions of posts on Instagram, but you can integrate Instagram Shopping using the online shopping option. This feature allows users to buy your products with a click-through option.

This also makes it possible to direct your audience to any page you want with just a click of a button, making it quick and easy for businesses to sell or promote their products and services.

Tip 18

Not If You Have B2B Customers

Jose Gomez - Terkel

Jose Gomez, CTO and Founder, Evinex

Instagram shopping is a relatively new feature for businesses on the popular social media platform. It allows businesses to tag products in their posts, creating a direct link between potential customers and the product page. It can be an effective tool for driving traffic and sales to a business’s website or store. However, it is important to consider whether Instagram Shopping would be beneficial to your business.

For example, if you have primarily B2B customers, then this may not be the ideal platform to promote your products, as it focuses mainly on consumer-facing products and services. Also, consider your existing customer base—if they are mostly using other channels such as email, it may be better to focus on those channels first.

Ultimately, while Instagram Shopping can be an effective tool for businesses who want to drive more traffic and sales, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s right for your business.

Tip 19

Gives Better Customer Insights

Haya Subhan - Terkel

After leveraging Instagram Shopping for our business, I’ve seen firsthand just how powerful it can be for reaching and engaging with customers. Not only can you easily showcase the products that your business offers, but you also get access to valuable customer insights.

With this data, you can have a better understanding of who your customers are, what they like and don’t like, their buying behavior, etc.—all of which can help inform how you plan your future campaigns on the platform. I believe any business should use Instagram Shopping to reach potential customers and get a better understanding of their target audience.

Tip 20

Shortens The Customer Journey

Mark McShane - Terkel

As a business owner myself, I understand the amount of work it takes to move prospective customers along in their buying journey. Instagram Shopping is an amazing social tool for businesses because it simplifies the conversion process and encourages customers to make impulse purchases—all with just a few clicks.

For example, when a customer sees an item they like on my profile, all they have to do is click the shopping bag icon and head straight to the checkout page, skipping all the posts with more information about my product and brand.

Instagram Shopping shortens the buyer’s journey substantially. Not only does this save me time as a business owner, but its convenience can help increase sales significantly.

Considerations for Incorporating Instagram Shopping into Your Business Strategy

Instagram Shopping can be a powerful social tool that offers businesses a new way to connect with their target audience and drive sales. With features like product tags and shoppable posts, brands can create an immersive shopping experience for users, making it easier for them to make a purchase.

However, it’s important to note that Instagram Shopping is not the only solution for businesses, and it may not be suitable for every industry or business size.

It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of this social tool and evaluate how it fits into your overall marketing strategy. By doing so, you can make an informed decision on whether to use Instagram Shopping and leverage its full potential to grow your business.

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