The future of online shopping is here.
Tips On- site shopping – a phenomenon that is taking the e-commerce world by storm.
For the uninitiated, on-site shopping is best described as a combination of social media and home shopping networks. Apparently, live shopping first appeared in 2016 with popular Chinese influencers using an app called Taobao to showcase and sell their products. Fast forward to today, and it's a $6 billion industry application: , unsurprisingly, retailers in the West are lining up to buy the trend .
To understand the rise of on-site shopping, take Alibaba, for example. Their pre-sale live event last year generated $3 billion in just 7.5 minutes!
That's why, in this article, we're looking at how you can use Instagram Live Shopping to increase conversions, boost brand appeal, and differentiate yourself. Trust us; now is the perfect time to join this exciting trend.
Prepare? Let's dive in!
What is Instagram Live Shopping and why do you need it?
Instagram Live Shopping launched in March 2020, enabling Instagram users with business accounts to sell products during live broadcasts.
To get started with Instagram Live Shopping, you must use Instagram's Shopping feature. These are relatively new features (only coming in early 2020). This enables users to create an online storefront where you can conveniently upload your product catalog from your Instagram profile.
Once your Instagram store is up and running, you can tag your products wish to promote on your livestreams to form favorites. Viewers can then make in-video purchases and enjoy a seamless real-time shopping experience. Of course, you can also tag products from your collection in posts, Instagram stories, mentions, and reels. However, for this article, we only focus on the real-time shopping aspect.
However, at the time of writing, to use Instagram's real-time shopping feature, you must be a US brand with access to "Instagram Checkout." You can check if your Instagram account is "checkout enabled" from your store's commerce settings. Under customer checkout options, customers should have the option to complete their purchase directly on Instagram (rather than leaving the app). If you have access email list to Instagram's checkout feature and have it enabled, you can start using Instagram's Live Shopping feature.
What are the benefits of Instagram Live Shopping?
At this point, you may be wondering what advantages live video shopping has over Instagram's regular shopping features. So, let’s take a look at why on-site shopping is the way forward…
Developed by the community,
One of the great things about live shopping is that it really helps build a sense of community with your audience. You're creating a fun, interactive online shopping experience, not just an opportunity to make a traditional one-time purchase. Needless to say, this adds a lot of value to the user experience, namely because it eliminates some of the typical problems associated with online shopping.
For example, customer questions can be answered right away, which goes a long way in ensuring customers feel valued. Not to mention, they are part of a group experience. A shared interest in your product works wonders in encouraging customers to feel a sense of connection with other buyers. That's why on-site shopping is so effective for strengthening your brand—because you're not only selling a product, but you're also proposing a way of life and an opportunity to be part of an online community.
Most importantly, hosting a livestream gives your business a face people can trust. There are different ways to take advantage of this aspect. For example, this could be you, your team, someone you're paying to host your life, or an influencer you're working with - which nicely brings us to our next topic...
Collaboration and Influencer Marketing
Live streaming is great if you're looking to collaborate with other businesses and Instagram creators. That is, because companies with checkout-enabled Instagram Shops can allow other brands and influencers to tag their products in their Instagram content, and vice versa. So, for example, if an influencer goes live and promotes your product, this enables them to link to your product.
Needless to say, this is very effective for lead generation. However, for best results, be sure to partner with influencers that are relevant to your customer base. Again wise take your time - just make sure the partnership is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
With the Instagram Trends report noting that 44% of Instagram users shop weekly, Instagram Live is great for reaching customers who might be interested in buying your products. Especially when you consider that 70% of shopping ERS turn to Instagram for product discovery, and 87% say an influencer inspired them to make a purchase.
After all, with Instagram Live, you can demonstrate how to use your products, offer reviews or suggestions, and answer questions in real-time - all while interacting with your audience .
It’s also important to note that compared to other live shopping platforms like TikTok, users reportedly prefer shopping on Instagram because of its convenience. In terms of shopping ability, users rated Instagram 5.3 out of 10, while TikTok rated 4.1 out of 10. This may be because Instagram has a separate store feed for curated, personalized, and shoppable content. Unlike TikTok, which only integrates its e-commerce functionality into its regular content.
With everything we just said coming to your mind, you may be wondering who these live shopping fanatics are and why you need to get them involved?
To answer this question, research shows that almost half of Gen Z and Millennials buy something they see on a social media app or livestream. Research also shows that Gen Z, in particular, like to save items first and then research brands and products before buying. Since Gen Z represents 40% of today's global consumer market , this is definitely a crowd to attract.
This is where on-site shopping comes into play.
If your customers are in the “research” stage of the buyer’s journey, Instagram Live is the perfect place to:
Announce new product promotions
Discuss product availability
In-depth talk about the product
…and many more.
By providing all this information on-site, you can eliminate the need for potential consumers to do their own research (or as much research as possible). Instead, customers are the first to know what's going on with your brand, which does wonders for building trust and excitement around your product/service.
How to Set Up Instagram Live Shopping
The first step in setting up an Instagram Live Shopping event is deciding which products to showcase. As mentioned earlier, your product catalog should already be listed on your Instagram store. Once you get it up and running, you can mark your product wish for your life.