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Why Instagram should be your favourite ecommerce platform

online-sellerWhy Instagram should be your favourite ecommerce platform
When Instagram launched ten years ago as the photo-sharing app that allowed you to document every part of your life with oversaturated filters and hashtags to rival Twitter; it’s hard to believe the app now rivals online shops like ASOS and John Lewis. Instagram should no longer be seen as just a photo-sharing app, but one that can elevate your business to the next level.
 
Mid-November 2020 saw the app update in a large way, with Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri writing in a blog post, ‘We don’t take these changes lightly – we haven’t updated Instagram’s home screen in a big way for quite a while, but how people create and enjoy culture has changed’
 
Mosseri was likely referencing the added ‘Reels’ tab, but the statement stands true to shopping on social media platforms. Whilst shopping on Instagram was first introduced in 2016, the recently added ‘Shop’ tab provides users with a personalised shopping experience based upon accounts followed and interacted with.
 
With Instagram now flooded with new businesses trying to make their mark, here at Currencies Direct we’re here to help you find your niche, and gain the inside power to social shopping.
 

Customers are your best marketers

User-generated content (USG) is a sure way to not only get higher engagement, more sales and the recognition that your brand cares about its customers, but also a form of free marketing. Much like top brands use influencers to promote their products and increase sales, you can too – without spending anything.
 
Customers will always trust other customers more than on a brand’s marketing alone, so capitalise on that and interact with your followers. Whether it’s reposting their Instagram story of your product for others to see, or commenting on their photos if your business has been tagged. Customers like to feel appreciated, and by showing that you can see their presence online, in turn it will help improve your presence.
 

Improve the shopping experience

Since the Instagram community has reached one billion users, the sales potential and notion of finding new customers is bigger than ever. Instagram has a variety of different features to actively help you turn your business page into an ecommerce platform, some of these optimising features include and are not limited to:
 
Bio: Your bio on Instagram is limited to just 150 characters, a short sharp caption about what your business is and adding a link to your website can drive more visitors to your shop.
 
Instagram Stories: When Instagram stories were first introduced the majority of Instagram users hated them, likening the feature to Snapchat. Now stories have evolved to the point they can be used like a catalogue before customers have even reached your website. Stories Highlights sit right below your bio, so even before viewing your posts potential customers can flick through to see if your brand is the one for them!
 
Tag, tag, tag: Tagging products in your posts on Instagram includes prices and descriptions. This sure way of quickly showing your price range before having to look it up on your website further improves the customer experience whilst also informing your customers.
 

Teleshopping but make it 2021

Whilst Instagram has released numerous ecommerce features this year (Gift card stickers, Facebook Pay and expansion of Instagram Shopping for more small businesses and influencers) a big part of driving sales on Instagram now comes from IGTV and the use of Live.
 
IGTV video is an app that can be used alone or in tandem with Instagram. It's essentially Instagram's answer to YouTube in that it's designed for the mobile-optimized viewing of long-form videos.
 
IGTV and Live can be used in the same way, the difference is one of them is live content the other is curated content.
 
For instance, with Live it’s easier to show your followers exactly what you do. You could be a candle making business and giving your audience a behind the scenes viewing of how your product is made and allowing potential customers to ask you questions whilst you work.
 
Or use IGTV for your skincare range to give off the same vibe as a TV advertisement and lay out all of your products and exactly what they do. Both Live and IGTV are guaranteed to drive interest in your brand.
 
 
The main thing to remember with using Instagram as a shopping platform is that everything has to look good. The aesthetically pleasing feeds are the ones that gain more of a following, so make sure you have natural lighting, put all you have into creating content, and then apply what you have learnt above into pushing your business further than before.
 
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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