• When Instagram unveiled their shopping feature a few months ago, it regenerated the way in which users make purchases, by tagging products and directing customers straight to the online checkout.

    In the world of social media, Instagram has had an unprecedented success rate for retailers. In fact, 42% of small businesses said that they would rather point a customer to their Instagram profile than their website. Let’s explore what this means for key players in the jewellery industry, as well as customers:

    Shopping on the ‘gram’

    The new ‘Shopify’ feature means that items can be purchased directly from a post, and businesses can designate their shoppable items by adding a link to any upload. These “shoppable posts” allow users to click-through these links straight to the website.

    Instagram has an astounding 25 million business accounts out of an overall 800 million users, and a further 2 million advertisers, which adds leverage to the value of the new feature. It’s an ideal platform for brands to connect with their consumers in a way that they once couldn’t.  Amy Cole, Instagram’s head of business development, tells Marketing Week: “Brands tell their story in the same way an individual person does, so it creates a direct relationship and levels the playing field for small and big businesses.”

    Recent studies have found that over 600,000 businesses are currently using Shopify, and with a staggering profit from sales of $63 billion (£48 billion) secured on the platform. But, how can jewellers make the most of the feature?

    The jewellery industry versus social media

    An investment into jewellery is a landmark event in many people’s lives, whether it is ahead of an engagement, wedding or anniversary. The interaction that customers can get with their brand through social media therefore plays on this, as it allows them to build a relationship and connect with a brand by following what they do online. In fact, 80% of people follow a business or brand through Instagram and more than 150 million people have a conversation with a business through the platform’s direct messaging feature (Instagram Direct) each month.

    Social media has enabled instantaneous sharing between users, so when a viewer likes a piece or wants to show it to a friend, all it takes is one click. Perhaps the purchase won’t happen straight away but situations like this, which wouldn’t occur without social media, start to increase brand awareness.

    Brand discovery has been made remarkably more possible than before, with companies experiencing a surge of new custom on the platform- one jewellery retailer even stated that 59% of their sales came because of Instagram, showing products to those who may not have been able to see them before.

    Influencer marketing has also been derived from the successes of the platform. This is where individuals on Instagram with a high number of followers talk about or feature a product in their post — influencing followers to purchase it too. Jewellers can use this strategy and encourage people to feature their products in posts, often leading to an increase in following and interest in the product.

    Will you give shoppable Instagram a go?

    Shopify has made selling on Instagram feel more natural, as it creates a presence for retailers which doesn’t feel overly advertorial. This is unlike the other options of Instagram advertising where you choose from photo ads, carousel ads (with multiple pictures), video ads and Stories ads.

    Audience connection remains at the heart of the platform, but new trends are emerging. Try to encourage users to click-through into the image with a call to action in the caption, such as encouraging them to learn more about the item by following the Shopify button or offering them the option to see more detailed images.

    Some of the most well-known retailers have been given the scroll up feature to enable speedy purchases— hinting that this could be rolled out to all Shopify businesses soon. Currently, 30% of the most viewed stories on Instagram are from brands. This suggests that people enjoy seeing what a business is up to and connecting with their favourite brands in this way. Plus, one third of messages sent through Instagram Direct each month begin with an Instagram Story. Keep your Stories updated and maintain a connection with your customers through this feature as preparation for Shopify on Stories. For instance, why not show your consumers what goes into the making of the latest piece?

    For the jewellery industry, social media has both created new audiences and connected existing ones, helping to boost overall revenue. But, with the introduction of shoppable Instagram, keeping in touch with your customers through the platform could mean more sales as well as increasing brand awareness.   

    This article was brought to you by Angelic Diamonds, retailers of lovingly crafted yellow gold engagement rings.

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