Instagram attracts more than a billion of users on daily basis. There is something very appealing and interactive about this social media platform. The lesser amount of fake posts, rumors, and unnecessary viral content makes it super niche and engaging for the users. Since the day business owners and new business aspirers discovered the potential of selling and buying on Instagram, they haven’t stopped. Small, medium, and large business owners all have tried to make full use of this site to earn revenue and provide value to their target customers.

Instagram marketplace

In the recent past, Instagram introduced the feature of a marketplace to facilitate business owners and entrepreneurs who use Instagram as a medium of selling their products and services. This new addition has gained massive popularity and praise in the Instagram business community. Instagram has the highest engagement level among all the other social media applications, hence such a large and interactive user community attracts millions of marketers towards this platform.

It’s no secret that Instagram has significantly improvised and advanced from its initial stages. It has an amazing reach and people use it several times a day. Instagram is a highly prioritized channel to grow your brand, small business, or a personal blog because of its skyrocketing engagement levels.

What is Instagram Marketplace?

Instagram has successfully applied the feature of shop like posts in its new marketplace. Shopping and selling on Instagram has become increasingly easier than ever. In the past, the marketers had to connect with customers by messaging or basic posts but now there is this whole new concept of displaying your product posts with prices attached and direct check-out option.

Around 80% of Instagram’s user base follows a business account, most of which are online shops. With the marketplace feature, Instagram has made it easier for the businesses to get noticed and tap into existing and new markets.

How does it work?

To use Instagram marketplace feature, you will have to set up a business account, allowing customers to shop natively. Your business account will have to be connected to the Facebook product catalogue through Business Manager directly on your corresponding Facebook page or to online shopping sites like Ebay or Shopify. The feature allows the shops to not only mention the price, but also different characteristics like available sizes, colors, and designs.

Moreover, the shopping cart icon appears at the top corner once the customer taps on the arrow on the product in the shoppable post. It directly adds the item into the cart within the app without making customers go back and forth between the cart and product post.

Instagram shop posts also feature a ‘tap to view’ option which customers can tap to see prices and further CTR of the product. Users can shop directly from the feed without getting redirected to any other webpages.

Instagram shop posts are currently available in limited countries only, but we are sure that accessibility will be extended very soon.

To proceed, make sure your application is up to date on iOS or Android.

Furthermore, you must have physical products that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.

What is Instagram Checkout?

By clicking on the ‘tap to view’ option on any shoppable post, the customer sees a ‘checkout on Instagram’ button on the product page. By tapping further on the cart icon, it shows various options such as size and colors available for the product. Then the customer can proceed to pay without leaving Instagram. They will only need to enter their name, email address, billing information, and shipping address. All this information has to be entered the first time only and Instagram will save it for the next purchase.

What is Instagram

Once the customer’s first order is completed, the contact information will be secured with privacy lock for the next time. The customer will also receive notifications regarding shipment and delivery within the Instagram app, so that they may track the package conveniently. The checkout feature streamlines the whole shopping process into just 2 steps and makes it so much easier.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Instagram Checkout

Even technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some find it more beneficial while some may see otherwise. Same is the case of Instagram marketplace. Ever since the feature was launched, there was a lot of buzz regarding it. It is obviously so much more advantageous and effective for businesses on the Instagram, but there are some drawbacks as well. Let’s get to know them.

Advantages

Millennials have found the convenience of one tap shopping amazing and have been raving about its timesaving capability and speedy performance.

Easy and Quick

Previously on Instagram, new webpages opened up when you wanted to shop from an online store. But with this marketplace feature, shoppable posts were launched which made the shopping experience easier by reducing the process to two steps only. It not only gives the option of selecting the products within the app, but also offers built-in payment and tracking services. Within the app, the customer is promptly notified about every step of the fulfillment process. Once the package is delivered, Instagram also has the option for collecting review and feedback from the customer.

Instagram Advantages

Enhanced conversion rate

It has been found that customers are more inclined to buy the products from the new shoppable posts, because of its attractive layout and end-to-end shortened buying process. Since people do not have to leave the cart and then fill out long forms every time they purchase, it makes the shopping experience more tempting.

Improved visibility for brands

By the marketplace feature, brands have saved a major chunk of cost and effort required to set up an application for their online store. For many, website is not even necessary now because they can just sell the products directly from their Instagram business account.

Disadvantages

Let’s look at some of the disliked attributes of Instagram marketplace which is making marketers uncomfortable and pressurized.

Products have discoverability issues

Although the marketplace is an amazing option, but Instagram only allows a certain number of products which can go up in the shoppable posts or stories. Hence, it has created  nuisance for  big brands which have a large stock that needs to be displayed at the same time. This is currently not possible because of Instagram’s policy.

Ad Fatigue

People might get overwhelmed by increasing number of Ads being posted by the brands. When more and more businesses start opening their virtual shops on Instagram marketplace’s feature, they will be advertising their products on stories to gain customer’s attention. A constant campaign will cause an overflow of advertisement on Instagram and users will face fatigue and anger. Instagram will have to come up with a damage control policy regarding this potential problem, which will certainly arise when they broaden the geographical scope of Instagram marketplace.

Some tips to make your brand outshine others

In this section, we have decided to enlighten you with some extremely useful tips to optimize the performance of your Instagram shop and increase chances of getting explored and noticed in the wide ocean of businesses.

To sell more on Instagram through the marketplace, end-to-end strategy is required. Follow the simple steps mentioned below to get started:

  1. Make full use of hashtag option. Research and use it well for expanding visibility.
  2. Do not miss out on product information. No one likes to spend time in asking prices and features one by one.
  3. Always link your other channels and website.
  4. Use Shoppable Posts for customer’s convenience
  5. Remain on the top of your marketing game to keep customers engaged and give them a reason to return.

Focus on aesthetics

Instagram is all about aesthetics. You should explore all the possible ways to make your Instagram marketplace account unique and about YOUR brand. Do not forget the importance of having a distinctive look. Play with contrasting themes, but not too much or you will deviate from your actual artistic touch. Explore the chess board style of posting your content. It is very eye-catching and attracts users to go through your feed. If you want to succeed on Instagram, you need to learn more about image and video editing. Use different softwares for this purpose; Adobe Lightroom, VSCO, Snapseed, and A Color Story are some of the widely used softwares to achieve great editing results.

Story Ads

If you want genuine and fast results on marketplace, go for Instagram story ads. Pay-per-click ads can be very rewarding in terms of generating purchases. Since Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, both channels have been integrated together. Create a creative and compelling ad for your Instagram marketplace. A short, 8 second video ad or even a post with multiple photos can be a way to go depending on what kind of content you are promoting. We recommend to advertise what makes you different. It can be your USP (Unique Selling Point), a bundle offer, or a festive campaign.

Influencer marketing

Every time you open up Instagram, you come across a great influencer or a blogger with amazing engagement rates and fan following. Influencer marketing is a technique where you interact and incentivize compatible influencers to promote your brand. If you can pay well, go for the big shots and get them to promote you. If you are a new startup, search for the ones with good engagement and moderate fan following. Send them free samples and request a review of your product or service. We recommend not to go overboard with influencer marketing and promotions, otherwise your customers might start to trust you less because of the increased number of testimonials which look paid and fake. So keep it sleek and well calculated.

Conclusion

With all its glory, Instagram is an amazing  social website to run your online business. Not only does it provides amazing Call to Action and checkout options, but also features new and exciting ways to get highlighted and discovered by potential customers. If you understand the intricacies of this platform and strategize accordingly, there is a big chance for your business to witness growth not on monthly but weekly basis! So what are you waiting for? Let’s get cracking on the all new Instagram marketplace feature and broaden customers, audience, and revenues.

In the foreseeable future, there is a lot of hidden potential on Instagram marketplace. Many attributes can added to increase the efficiency and speed of the marketplace.