Instagram has become a space where businesses can engage with shoppers and increase sales. We addressed different ways to use Instagram for business in “10 Ways to Use Instagram for Ecommerce Marketing,” an article last month. Instagram’s 300 million user base sets a large stage for companies to showcase their products, and thanks to new social shopping tools, sell them with one click.
Here are some of my favorite tools for selling on Instagram.
Last year, Curalate launched Like2Buy, a service that makes products seen in Instagram images shoppable. Instagram allows one live link per profile; you would put your Like2Buy link in that spot. When followers click on this link, it drives them to your company’s Like2Buy page and a grid of shoppable pictures. These pictures link directly to mobile product pages, where the items can be purchased.
Like2Buy also curates images for followers that sign in via their existing Instagram account. When a follower likes particular images on your Instagram feed, those likes are collected and put on that follower’s “my likes” tab within Like2Buy. Among the first companies to use Like2Buy are Nordstrom and Charlotte Russe, which have seen impressive click through rates to their Like2Buy page.
Like2Buy has been reported to cost $1,000 per month, but you can request a demo and more information on the website.
With Liketoknow.it, you can shop “your favorite Instagrams from your favorite Instagrammers.” Instagram users need to create an account at Liketoknow.it. Then, they can “like” photos that have a Liketoknow.it link in the description to receive an email with all the information for the products seen in the photo. They can click on those products to go to the site, where they can be purchased.
This platform has become extremely popular with the blogger community, particularly fashion bloggers, where their followers like their photos to find out what they’re wearing. This is also useful for businesses that are posting photos of their products, because it will generate likes and a follower base, while driving traffic to the company website.
Liketoknow.it also presents an opportunity for affiliate relationships with other companies, if you choose to feature their products and drive traffic to their website via your Liketoknow.it page. Get set up with Liketoknow.it by registering via Rewardstyle.com, which powers LiketoKnow.it. You have to apply using your basic information along with your company or website.
Soldsie is similar to Like2Buy, but it’s arranged so that followers can purchase an item from your Instagram feed without leaving the app. Just post a product to Instagram, and your customers can comment “sold” on the photo. Once a follower comments sold, she will be sent a mobile-friendly invoice to complete the purchase. Customers can pay via PayPal or credit card.
You can also use Soldsie to collect specific information like size or color of the item in the form of hashtags. It’s important to note that Soldsie also works on Facebook. Online accessory retailer Prep Obsessed, one of Soldsie’s popular users, began using Soldsie on Facebook. Prep Obsessed ran a test sale with Soldsie’s new Instagram app, and issued nearly the same number of invoices despite having 93 percent fewer fans on Instagram than on Facebook.
A benefit of Soldsie is that customers are motivated to buy the products they really want due to the limited quantity and auction-like experience. Pricing and signup information for Soldsie is only available by contacting the company.
Shopseen works on a variety of platforms, not just Instagram. It allows you to manage the products you sell on all platforms in one place. It also integrates with Square and lets you create shipping labels to get orders out quickly. But for the purpose of this article, Shopseen is a strong tool for selling on Instagram.
Shopseen aggregates a user’s or company’s Instagram photos into a feed. Followers can click on the link to this Shopseen feed in the profile of your store to arrive at the list of photos and products. Once there, followers can directly buy the products in the photos from the Shopseen feed. When a follower purchases a product, he will receive an email from Shopseen about the purchase, as will the merchant.
Shopseen is popular with vintage stores and secondhand shops, and plans start at $29 a month.
Candid.io refers to itself as “customer inspired e-commerce.” The tool curates Instagram photos of your products based on hashtags. When you find an image created by an Instagram user that you’d like to use, Candid.io’s media rights management helps you reach out to the user and get permission. Once the user has approved, the rights will appear in your Candid.io dashboard and you can download the photo for use on your website or on social channels.
You can customize the tags on each photo and update calls to action, to optimize conversions. Once you link your photos to your products, you can enable 1-click shopping, so your followers can click on a photo, click on the item, and add it to their cart. Candid.io is available in three plans: standard for $199 per month, premium for $399 per month, or enterprise, which is custom-priced.
To use Instaorders, you have to sign in using your Instagram account. This will import all of your existing Instagram photos. After this initial import, your photos will be synced to your Instaorders account and will update as they appear. Next, you price and edit the descriptions of your products.
Payment doesn’t sync though Instaorders, so customers have to enter their PayPal or credit card to shop. Any time someone purchases one of your products, Instaorders will email you. You just have to ship the item and collect payment. Instaorders is free to use, so all the cash from your sales goes into your pocket.
Inselly aggregates Instagram photos based on hashtags and makes them searchable by Instagram users. To use Inselly, connect your Inselly account to your Instagram account. Fill in your contact and pricing information, and you’re ready to go. Once your Inselly link is set as the link in your profile, followers can click on it to shop your items.
You’ll be paid directly from PayPal, and Inselly doesn’t take any commissions from sales. Once you’re up and running, just take or upload a photo to your Instagram account, tag it with #inselly and other relevant tags. You can always click on your profile and the “your items for sale” tab to see all the items you have posted.