How Instagram is reshaping buyer behaviour
6 January 2020
With more than a billion worldwide active users, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. Despite the fact that Instagram was created predominantly as a photo capturing and sharing application, shoppers are increasingly turning to Instagram for online purchases. In fact, 83 percent of Instagram users indicate that they discover new products and services on Instagram and 80 percent admit that they have purchased a product they saw on the app.
Consequently, Instagram is continuously developing new features and tools that provide brands with endless opportunities to influence and reach consumers before, during, and after purchase.
Advertising tool to online shopping hub
Over the years, Instagram has become a mecca for exploring new trends and discovering new products as the algorithm works tirelessly to deliver users content they want to see, based on what they have chosen to already see. The only issue? Trying to buy the new product you just fell in love with.
The answer to this issue came in March 2019 when Instagram released a feature that allowed users to go directly from an Instagram post to the corresponding product page on the retailers website. Users were able to go from product inspiration to product information within just a few taps.
Now, this was great until users realised that after they had purchased their product, they had to navigate their way back to the Instagram platform to continue their browsing. Frustrating, right?
The Ariana Grande effect
Ethical concerns with Instagram Checkout
Surveys have shown that increased Instagram use is associated with feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, and it is not surprising that impulse buying is connected to these same emotions. Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, explains it like this:
If you're on a diet, you don't go into a bakery. If you're trying to save money, you don't go shopping. But now that shopping comes to us, it's like having a plate of donuts sitting in front of you at every moment.
When it is put this way, it is hard to tell whether Instagram's latest feature is the answer to the modern consumers needs, or is preying on the impulses of vulnerable users. Either way, it is safe the assume that s-commerce is an emerging phenomenon that is both responding to and shaping changes in buyer behavior.Return to Blog
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