How to use Instagram as a digital shop

In times like these, it is more important than ever to stay connected with your customers in a digital way. One channel where it’s especially easy to show your products online and sell articles is Instagram. Use Instagram to promote your existing webshop or – if you don’t have a webshop yet – directly sell articles there. We want to present you our tips and a few ideas that we’ve collected from the community:
(Disclaimer: In the following we will refer to German retailers as best practices, but we are sure that there are creative instagram profiles from retailers all over the world.)

1. Spot on products

Instagram postings are perfect to put an individual product in the spotlight. The caption provides room for additional information about the product and its price. If available, you can also refer to your online shop. We’ve found a nice example from Engelhorn (@engelhornmode):

2. Spot on product categories

Another possibility is to focus on specific product categories. In case you don’t have a webshop, your customers can simply contact you by phone, direct message or e-mail to order products. Lettenbauer Fashion (@lettenbauer_mode) has set a great example for that:

3. Selling on Instagram without a webshop

If you don’t have your own online store yet, Instagram offers a great alternative called “Instagram Shopping”. You present an entire outfit in a post and with one click your customers get a list of all products that are shown in the posting including prices. They can then directly buy the articles on that list. One tip for Instagram Shopping: Advertise your shopping posts in your Instagram story as well to draw extra attention to them. In order to activate the shopping button on your account, you need to have about 10 shopping posts published. Thanks to this button, your profile visitors know with one look at your account that they can shop there. We found this great example from Engelhorn (@engelhornmode):

4. Spot on current trends and outfits

Instagram is the perfect medium to present an entire outfit. It gives you the opportunity to respond to current trends, integrate new must-haves and cleverly stage several products in combination. An outfit post can (1) be used with the shopping function, (2) have a note about sales options in the caption (3) be promoted in a story and directly linked to the online shop using the “swipe-up” function. Engelhorn (@engelhornmode) already does this in his stories:

5. Curated shopping

Of course you can also offer your customers a curated shopping service and create outfit boxes for them, as online providers like Zalon or Outfittery have been doing for a long time. This can also be easily implemented via Instagram. Here we have another great example from Lettenbauer Mode (@lettenbauer_mode):

In order for you to get the most out of these ideas, Instagram offers a number of exciting features. We think the following are especially helpful:

A posting on Instagram can not only be a single picture but also a series of pictures, a collage or a video (max. 60 seconds) can be shared. Use the caption for information, prices or messages to your customers.
An Instagram Story is a temporarily posted content that remains visible on your channel for 24 hours and then disappears again. Stories are especially useful to communicate the latest news or to get in touch with your followers. Various functions allow you to interact with your followers via polls, questions and more. The “swipe-up” function is great if you want to guide your audience to a website.

Instagram Shopping is a feature that can be used by any company with an Instagram Business Account. Your business account has to be connected to a Facebook page with a product catalogue. For a more detailed introduction on how to set up Instagram Shopping, look here.

Thanks to Hashtags, which are tagged keywords, your posts on Instagram achieve a greater reach. Users search for certain hashtags depending on topics and find all posts that are tagged with these hashtags. Among others, hashtags like #ootd (Outfit of the Day) #instashopping or #buythelook are widely used and help you gain visibility.
Instagram Live allows real-time communication with your followers. As soon as you go live, your followers will be notified. Anyone watching a live video can ask questions and leave comments that are visible to all other viewers. A real-time dialogue with your followers.

By now it should be clear that visual content plays a very important role on Instagram. If you don’t have time or equipment to shoot pictures or videos of your products for Instagram, check out the content area on the Fashion Cloud web platform. Here, brands share high quality marketing material and product data with you. All you have to do is download content and integrate it in your communication. Some materials have even been created specifically for social media channels.

If you don’t have an Instagram account yet, here’s a video that explains how to set it up step by step. >>

Now it’s your turn to get creative. Fingers crossed and all the best for your #Instasale and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us via #staystrong and #getsocial