Title:How to start your Instagram store? |(Part-1)
Type of article:Insights/Blog

Disclaimer:  This article is not legal advice. Please consult the authorized personnel. We are not liable for any consequence of any action taken by you relying on the material information provided in this article. This piece of content is for educational purpose only.  

Do you have something that you’re passionate to sell? It could be anything ranging from beauty and fashion to electronics. According to PewResearch Center’s 2016 Social Media Update, 32% of Internet users use Instagram. And at least half of all Instagram users open Instagram at least once a day. Instagram has the highest engagement rate by far compared to any other channel, with users staying an average of 192 seconds per visit. That means the engagement of your product with the targeted group is ensured. Also, why beauty and fashion stores are doing so well on Instagram is that women use Instagram more than men and are aged around 18 to 29 years old. If you have any interest in the fashion or beauty industry, Instagram could be the way to go.

Online-only businesses, brick and mortar companies, and established companies have all found success with Instagram sales and you can too. While on Instagram itself you can’t convert your account to a storefront, there are simple ways below to make your feed shopper-friendly and direct your followers to purchase. Now, we are going into depth on how to set up a well-functioning Instagram store that really sells.

1.Set up your business account:

Instagram has great options to determine what kind of account you want to set up. Decide on your username, something which is unique and memorable but at the same time easy to remember so that people who aren’t your followers know how to find you. Have your logo as your profile picture, again for the convenience to remember for your followers. Edit your profile and add a polished and brief description of your business and yourself. Your contact information must be present in the description.

2.Acquire Customers:

Once your account is set up the most important thing is to curate quality, compelling and aesthetically pleasing images to resonate with your followers. Since Instagram is a visual platform, you have to create an enticing story with your pictures that customers can relate to and spark interest for. Let customers dive into the lifestyle your brand has to offer and also behind the product that you’re selling. Successful Instagram photos feature multiple products in use, so share a piece of your brand’s lifestyle and paint a relatable picture of who your customers are. Instagram users want to feel like they are being told a story, not sold a product. Follow this principle and you’ll have a thriving Instagram shop.

3. Call to action:

Food52 does a great job describing the cosy and warm feeling around the product in their pictures, and inspiring viewers to create those moments from Instagram and replicate in their real lives. The very crucial thing here is captioning your pictures right that invokes the customer’s buying impulse and inspires them to click through. There has to be a strong call to action button as well just like Food52 that provides a feature on their feed if they create a picture of their own. According to myriad research: the more hashtags, the merrier, so channel all the hype around your brand by using a consistent hashtag for users to follow and tag. Make sure your followers on Instagram know they can buy everything they see in your photos by clicking that coveted “link in bio”.

4. Payment and Logistics:

For payment options, you have to figure out your demographics and see what regions are generating the most traffic. Speaking of India, a lot of people are comfortable with paying through “Paytm”, “PhonePe”, “BHIM”, “Airtel Wallets” etc. If you are interested in expanding your business overseas, you obviously have “PayPal”, “Google Pay” and also “Amazon wallet”. Another important aspect is how you would want to receive orders. You can have direct links/codes of the product on their image that redirects your customers to that product on your website or if you’re a smaller business you can receive orders on WhatsApp or even SMS along with the product code and buyer’s information. You can also receive orders on Instagram direct message but it is not the most common one. Again, with logistics, you have figure out according to where you’re selling. You may send products through post or you can collaborate with an independent logistics company if you have grown slightly bigger. With international, of course, you can use courier services or even national post services.

5. Promotion:

You should constantly be focusing on increasing your followers. Remember, every new follower could be your potential customer. People are generally attracted to active accounts who post regularly quality content. You can also have some offers going on constantly that attracts a person to make a purchase on your Instagram store. Staying active, taking polls on the Instagram story, starting a challenge with a hashtag has proven to increase engagement by a lot. You can also do a promotional giveaway; these help you gain followers. You can also partner with “Influencers” and have them promote your stuff on their page to direct more followers to you. Connect your Instagram to LinkedIn and Facebook to gather traffic from their as well. Post success stories from happy customers on your feed. Feedback is a must. A buyer must always feel in good hands when their money is on the line.

Tell your story. Facts tell, but stories sell.

Successful brands drive engagement with a story or an experience around their products. Stories enable us to create a connection not only with our fans but with a new audience.

Instagram is a powerhouse for you to visually tell that story and showcase that experience. It’s not about marketing your product; it’s about marketing the experience that comes with owning your product.

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