In 2018 Instagram passed a major milestone of one billion monthly users, of which around half of these are estimated to log in every day.
That’s an absolutely mind-boggling number, and accounts to roughly an eighth of the world’s total population logging in to share and like images every month.
Yet only a relatively small number of businesses see Instagram as a viable platform to sell their products, leaving plenty of opportunity for businesses to make a splash, without fighting to make themselves seen on other more crowded marketplaces.
Why should your business be selling on Instagram?With over a billion monthly users, the huge audience is reason enough for businesses to be embracing Instagram to engage with consumers.
And with a reported 80% of these users already following a business account on the platform, the buying journey to conversion is relatively straightforward.
In fact, follower engagement on Instagram is worth more than most other social media platforms, with an average spend of $65 on Instagram versus $55 on Facebook and $46.29 on Twitter.
What is Instagram’s shoppable posts feature?Previously, any online sellers seeking to promote their products on Instagram would need to include links to their store in their bio or each post.
However, in 2018 Instagram launched a new service which allows businesses to sell items straight through the app.
The introduction of shoppable posts has helped make the customer journey seamless and converts followers into paying customers.
To Instagram’s credit, they have made this process as straightforward as possible. In their own words, ‘once a business has a product catalogue connected to their account, tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post’.
On top of this, a ‘Shop’ feed will be added to your profile which groups all your shoppable posts into a virtual storefront.
Start selling on InstagramThe first step to start selling on Instagram, and one small business owners often miss, is to switch your Instagram profile into a business profile.
This is done by going into the account section in the settings of the app and simply choosing the option to switch to a professional account, and then following the instructions.
A business profile grants you access to a number of indispensable features for curating your store on Instagram.
Instagram Insights is one of the key features, providing you with vital data breaking down the metrics of your followers, from basics such as post impressions and reach to more in depth information like the age and gender of your audience as well as how often they click through to your website.
A business profile also allows you to add a call to action to the top of your Instagram profile, encouraging your customers to call, email or check out your website.
Finally, and potentially one of the biggest advantages of a business account is the ability to include links in your Instagram stories. Instagram stories are a great way to engage with your audience so the ability to insert shop links directly into them is invaluable.
Tips for improving your store’s visibility on InstagramWhile Instagram isn’t as saturated with sellers as some other platforms, it’s of course still important to make sure your page finds its way in front of potential customers.
When first starting out it’s worth paying to promote some of your posts on Instagram to help get your page noticed.
Like Facebook and Twitter, you can target specific audiences with your boosted posts to help maximise impressions. It can take a bit of experimentation to find what works best for your business so tweak your target audience and budget until you find something which works for you.
Liberal use of hashtags is also an essential part of any organic Instagram campaign, and you will want to do some research into hashtags related to your products to discover what is working for your competitors.
Of course, getting people to visit your profile is only half the battle. You will need to ensure you have a well-curated page with eye-catching pictures of your products to encourage people to follow you and purchase your products.
Maximising revenue from international salesThrough selling on Instagram, you will also be able to open your online store to a host of potential new customers around the world.
But with this new opportunity also comes the question of how to move funds from international sales into your account.
While this can be done through your high-street bank, you may find that it is more cost effective to use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct.
Not only do we provide fee-free transfers and competitive exchange rates, but we also offer a range of services which can help to maximise your business’ profits from overseas purchases.
For instance, our currency wallets offer you more flexibility with your transfers, allowing you to store multiple currencies in a digital wallet and repatriate funds from international sales at a time which suits you or for more favourable exchange rates.
If you have FX requirements we can help you maximise your returns and protect your profit. Get in touch with our team on Business@currenciesdirect.com or call +44 (0) 20 7847 9400.
We wish you all well during this difficult period – stay safe, and please contact us if you need us.
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.