In our recent blog, The Changing Omnichannel Shopper, we elaborated on bridging the online and offline experiences for changing consumer habits. It’s become increasingly clear that webrooming is just as important as showrooming, if not more so.
60-88% of customers browsed online before making an in-store purchase.
A related article titled, “Webrooming? Showrooming? Shoppers Just Want a Seamless Retail Experience” points to various studies showing 60-88% of customers browsed online before making an in-store purchase, while 51-73% looked over items in-store before buying online. When we speak about “online” experience we often jump to the idea of website and website only. But how do you increase your online presence attracting those consumers to your “webroom”? As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my favorite ways to attract webroomers is via Instagram.
Instagram is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your brand! By putting your lifestyle images out into the wild, you can easily attract consumers to your brand – creating the desire for more information. You are opening the doors and windows to your webroom! More people webrooming means more sales – regardless if it’s in-store or online. Below are 6 tips on how you can use Instagram more effectively in retail.
- Don’t Sell, Showcase – If I see an image of nothing but a coffee maker and perhaps even a price, I’m instantly not interested. If I was following your account, you just got a big “Unfollow” from this gal, even if I happen to be in the market for a new coffee marker! However, if I see a gorgeous, lifestyle image of a kitchen with the coffee maker fitting seamlessly into it – I want it (whether I need one or not!) By showcasing your brand into a lifestyle image you have allowed me to understand exactly how the product could fit into my life and improve it.
- More Information – Once I’m interested and “Like” what you have, allow me to find out where to buy it. There are a number of things you can do in this area such as geotag or hashtag locations, creating a hashtag for your brand, and ensuring you state the link to your website is in your bio. Keep your profile bio simple and brand oriented. Sticking to your brand slogan and website are simple, effective options. Some retailers have made it even easier for their followers to purchase by creating sign-up options where customers who like your images automatically receive an email highlighting the products and where to buy.
- Promote Your Insta! – Encourage your customers to join your Instagram community. Place your account user name on receipts, marketing collateral, emails, website, etc. Even have your employees encourage people to join. A lot of companies encourage people to join by offering various promotions and contests Follows and Likes. Caution, don’t make it too spammy and ensure you continue to offer relevant lifestyle content once you have them.
- #BeTrendy – Having the understanding of smart hashtags and ensuring you follow trends is important. Holidays such as #happynewyears can create great opportunities. Also, ensure you know the hashtags that are effective within your community! Create a list of those hashtags that you want to use – your brand hashtag, category hashtags, location hashtags, etc. and ensure you refresh them as trends change. Just remember, don’t be #overhashtagging #every #single #thing.
- Add Authenticity – Followers love when you show them tidbits of real life or go behind the scenes. Make them understand you and identify with the fact you are real! Staff engagement, behind the scenes at events, packing and shipping their products, etc. It’s also really important to engage with your following – especially responding in a very real way to any negativity.
- Instagram Influencers – Identify your brand ambassadors and allow them to promote your brand! If you don’t have these people already you can do a targeted search to find them. Often times they require a fee per sponsored post, but again it will help grow your Insta following and increase your lifestyle presence.
By optimizing this visual storytelling opportunity you have created an extremely powerful way to increase brand awareness, webroom presence, and retail sales.
Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment and share any additional Instagram tips and tricks!