Instagram Live Shopping merges the practice of live selling and shopping—as you promote and highlight your products live, viewers can buy them without leaving the app.
The feature allows business accounts to tag products from their Facebook or Instagram Shop and display them during the stream. Users can watch either through the app or website, on their phone or desktop.
It's safe to say that the company was making strides towards Instagram live commerce and social shopping as early as 2016 when Live was launched. In 2017, brands could already tag items on their posts, though Instagram Shops and Live Shopping were formally released only in 2020 when. A year prior, in 2019, Checkout became available.
For now, both Checkout and Live Shopping are available to eligible businesses in the U.S.
Banner Image from Facebook.
83% of users discover new products and services on Instagram
There are good reasons why there is a demand for social e-commerce. Facebook reported that 83% of users discover new products and services on Instagram, while Hootsuite found that 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily. But, what can brands expect from Instagram's Shops and Checkout features?
Live Shopping is part of Instagram Shops for businesses. It isn't surprising for a social media brand to get into the live selling game, considering how rampant e-commerce has become, even without a global pandemic that forced people to stay at home.
With Instagram live stream shopping, you can make the purchasing process smoother and connect with your prospects and customers. More importantly, it puts the spotlight on your product, so your followers can see how it can benefit them.
Here, we'll delve into how Instagram live commerce can grow your online business.
Learn what Instagram eCommerce through live selling can do for your business.
Promote your products and sell them, all while entertaining your viewers. Live Shopping can improve your selling capabilities because it cuts down the time for product promotion, and you can do it for more than one item in a single stream.
This is important, as at least 80% of users go on Instagram when deciding whether to purchase something or not.
80% of users go on Instagram when deciding whether to purchase something or not
More than 25 million companies use Instagram to connect with consumers, which is highly possible with Live Shopping—and in real-time, to boot. This interaction helps you get insights and feedback directly from them to address pain points, making it a great tool for building strong relationships and nurturing loyalty.
The live setting also leaves an impression of your brand's more human side. This transparency and authenticity can encourage viewers to stay engaged with you after the Live Shopping and trust you enough to convert.
Instagram Live Shopping is your chance to highlight a product's features and interact with it so that the audience can learn about its benefits. You can also share a review or recommendation to further build the customers' confidence and see that the product is right for them.
In line with keeping people's attention, a shorter path to purchase, in which the steps to checkout are minimized, is achievable through live selling. Make sure to move them down the sales funnel during the stream; ideally, they should have bought a product from you before your live sales on Instagram end.
Ultimately, this is what you want to happen during and after your Instagram live selling. Even if they can't see and test the product in person, what they are learning live is enough to convince them that your product can improve their lives.
In fact, research has shown that returns are 50% lower when a product is bought off a livestream than from a traditional e-commerce channel.
Live sales on Instagram puts your products in front of as many eyes as possible—that can be 500 million daily. Couple that with the right kind of engagement, and you can expect better results.
Here, you'll learn how to do social commerce on Instagram through Live Shopping. But before you begin, you must prepare and keep a few things in mind.
Once you've done the preparation, simply follow this step-by-step to begin Live Shopping on Instagram.
Step 1: Open the Instagram app and tap Your Story in the upper-left corner.
Step 2: Swipe left at the bottom of the screen to toggle Live.
Step 3: Tap the Shopping bag icon on the left side of the screen and add the products you want to promote and sell.
Step 4: When you're good to go, tap the Live button.
Step 5: During the live, you can Pin products on the screen so that viewers can learn more about or buy them. You can only pin one item at a time.
After your Live Shopping Instagram stream, you have the option to share it:
The following are other Instagram Live Shopping features to make your streams more enticing for viewers, helping your conversions.
Use filters, stickers, or custom content directly while you are live. There are available presets for this, but you can also create your own and upload them to your live settings.
Share images and videos of your products on screen. This can serve as supplementary content to show viewers your products in action. You can even add multiple videos and make a slideshow.
This Instagram Shops feature allows brands to tag products and build awareness around new releases that will soon be available. For Live Shopping, users can set reminders for the products to be launched. An hour before, a countdown will be displayed, which will change to an Add to Cart button once the countdown expires.
One of the newer features of the platform is Live Rooms, which allows the main host to bring in three more people or partner brands to their stream. With the feature, you can get more viewers and better engagement, as these influencers bring in their followers to your Instagram live selling.
To do this, start Live and select Rooms. From there, you can choose your guests, then tap Invite. You can either let them in simultaneously or one-by-one as the program moves along.
When you get a question or topic suggestion from your followers, you can add them during the broadcast and pin them. That way, viewers know what the current discussion is about. Live also allows brands to react to messages, helping create buzz around your stream and improve interactions between your followers.
Drive and optimize Instagram Live sales with a few helpful suggestions.
Preparing the products and writing down the information to share is essential: which ones to highlight, what their benefits are, how to use them, what the prices are, etc. But spontaneity is also a key element in livestreams. It adds a human touch that helps you connect with the audience in a more natural way.
Mistakes or hiccups may be unavoidable, but viewers will appreciate your brand's authentic side. If you do encounter technical issues, apologize.
Instagram gives off a more casual vibe among social media platforms, but it's important to look and sound professional when it comes to Live Shopping. You're speaking on behalf of your brand, and whatever you say will affect your business.
Being presentable—both in how you and your surroundings look—and using the right tone will determine how professional you appear. Make sure to check and test if all equipment is working well, too.
You can use Instagram Live Shopping to announce new product launches or exclusive offers to generate hype. Aside from exciting your community, it drives sales and rewards your audience, which helps in earning their trust and loyalty.
While product photos and videos are helpful, some consumers are more discerning when buying online. Livestreaming is a good opportunity to show how your products are used so that consumers know how they can benefit from them. A hands-on demo is better for engagement and can foster a spur-of-the-moment purchase.
A key advantage of live selling is it allows you to interact with your customers directly. They join the stream to engage with your brand, so listen, answer questions or comments, or even start a discussion, whether it's between you and the viewers or among themselves.
Make sure that your content fosters engagement, too, through likes, comments, suggestions, or feedback so that it can eventually lead to Instagram Live sales.
Selling may be your main purpose for going live, but know that viewers don't like to be seen as mere numbers. Brands need to balance out product-driven livestream with entertaining content. Here are a few ways to do so.
Despite it being a relatively new feature, the following brands have found success in Live Shopping on Instagram.
The San Francisco-based makeup brand used Live Shopping to launch two new products, the Brow Microfilling Pen and They're Real! Magnet Mascara.
Benefit wanted to build interest and awareness before the launch date and maximize online sales. They promoted the launch on their Instagram feed and Stories, used a dedicated hashtag, and allowed users to set a launch reminder.
To drive demand, Benefit sold both products exclusively on Instagram for 24 hours after the launch and had beauty influencers post about them using the hashtag on their own pages.
The Brow Microfilling Pen sold out most of its shades within 72 hours, while one tube of They're Real! Magnet Mascara was sold per minute on average during the live shopping Instagram launch.
Boutique marketplace Jane was founded in 2011. They sell a curated collection of women's fashion, accessories, home décor, and more, from small names to designer brands.
To increase awareness, conveniently reach consumers, and increase sales, Jane began using Instagram Shops in July 2020, including running a Live Shopping event featuring Valentine's Day items. Viewers were able to checkout the items pinned during the stream without leaving Instagram.
After finding success in livestreaming, Jane continued to host Live Shopping on Instagram monthly. Since the brand started Instagram Shops, it has done over 24,000 sessions (as of February 2021), earned $419,762 in incremental sales, and welcomed 680,618 new visitors (as of April 2021).
Fashion designer Tanya Taylor started sharing the curtains, pillows, carpets, and other home essentials that she repurposed from excess fabric on Instagram Live only in 2021. The success turned into a public plea for an actual home collection that she eventually released a few months later.
Taylor's fun, creative outlet became a new concept. She shared behind-the-scenes of its creation on Instagram Live, answering audience questions about sizes, style, prices, and future collaborations. Eventually, she sold items from her first home collection through livestream, as well.
While Instagram Live seems like a robust tool for live selling, it still has some issues and limitations. Aside from these features being only available for some businesses, the products have to be added to Instagram Shop and the checkout happens on Instagram as well. This limits the data collection you can potentially get if the sessions are happening in a platform that you own which also limits your opportunities to remarket through other channels.
With Flux Panda, you can go live on multiple platforms including Instagram, and drive users to your own website or app. It also allows you to record and save videos that you can either show to people who have missed the live or enrich your product feed.
If you are looking for an omnichannel live commerce platform that can help your brand grow beyond a single channel, try using Flux Panda so you don’t have to completely rely on any of them.