How Instagram has Changed Social Selling

Over the last decade, we have witnessed Instagram ‘s rapid growth into the world’s largest photo-sharing app. Since its launch in October 2010, it has been at the forefront of new developments that have integrated social networking into our everyday lives. The way we shop has been no exception. 

The platform’s latest updates have been a big win for eCommerce. Their key focus have been making the journey from finding a product on social media to purchasing it as seamless as possible. It’s homescreen redesign in 2020 added a Shop tab and a Reel tab to the main navigation menu – at the bottom of the screen. This made it super easy to explore different brands and products with just a click of a button.  Recent updates include in-built Instagram checkout, shoppable feeds, shoppable posts, product-tagged ads and much more! The platform presents huge opportunities for eCommerce brands. Below are some reasons why and how brands can make the most of them in order to drive sales.

In-app checkout

It’s no secret that multi-step checkout processes have lower conversion rates in comparison to those that have less. Instagram Shopping enables quicker and simpler payments that can be done without leaving the app, through Facebook pay. This will only be welcomed by your customers. So not only will listing your products on Instagram make your brand discoverable to potential customers, but they’re also more likely to purchase on an app they trust. 

Shoppable posts and product-tagged ads 

Product-tagged posts or ads are simply a no-brainer for any eCommerce brand. Giving your (potential) customers the relevant information they need to make a purchase decision at the first point of contact saves their time and lessens the chances of them shifting their attention elsewhere or losing interest. The key here is to make posts and listings enticing, short and sweet. Getting the formula just right boosts chances of being featured in the stoppable feed, maximising your exposure. 

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Live shopping

Live shopping makes it possible for customers to purchase during a live streaming session. Brands can specify products, and provide direct links at the bottom of the screen. So let’s say your Instagram Live references a particular product, instead of your customers having to browse for the product information after the live session, customers are presented with the product information they need in real time. This is huge! And early adopters are wasting no time in leveraging this new feature!

New Instagram innovations to look out for

Instagram is continually innovating and this doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The platform recently announced plans for Instagram Shopping on IGTV , Instagram Reels and an AR-enabled try-on functionality which is currently only available to a selected few big players in the beauty industry, including Mac and Nars . This presents even more opportunities for sales and brand growth, particularly smaller eCommerce brands.


In conclusion, the opportunities Instagram provides for sales and brand growth, particularly for smaller eCommerce brands, is unmatched. Staying up to date and implementing Instagram and all that it has to offer into your strategy is key. 

For more on eCommerce and broader digital strategy you can get a copy of my best-selling book, Digital Marketing Strategy.

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