Instagram have added a new live streaming feature to their already impressive platform. This has been designed for businesses to further advertise their products, helping to boost sales. 

Phone IG Shopping

Instagram Live Shopping is a live streaming feature allowing brands to pin items from their Instagram shop in collaboration with brand facilitators, influencers and ambassadors, encouraging  consumer discovery and in-real time conversion

For now, the Live Shopping feature is only available to US businesses and creators.  Businesses need to make sure that they meet the three criteria to use Live Shopping.

  1. Have a shop on Facebook or Instagram
  2. Enable checkout on Instagram
  3. Ensure products are in the catalog 3 days before the live stream

How To Set Up Instagram Livestream Shopping?

Setting up Instagram Livestream Shopping is not difficult. After initial set up, the ‘Your Story’ button will be visible in the top left hand corner of the account profile.  

A shopping bag icon will appear when opening the camera on the live stream setting The user should tap on the shopping bag icon on the left, before tagging the products that are to be featured during the livestream. As soon as all of the items have been added, brands can tap on the LIVE button and the stream will begin.

While the livestream is happening, brands are able to pin certain items across the live experience, featuring special products drops or highlighting an specific item from the brands over all catalogues. It is important to note that if the live stream is saved by the business, once it is over future shoppers and users will be able to purchase the tagged product by using the saved video, extending the opportunity for product discovery and conversion. 

 

Advantages for Businesses.

Using Instagram Live Shopping will aid customer engagement, improve overall satisfaction from consumers and potentially increase customer loyalty. 

The reason behind is that streaming serves as a two way communication feature between the business and the audience, allowing the customer to ask questions and have live responses from a brand representative or ambassador, making the experience interactive and more immersive into the brands DNA and simplifying product discovery.  The brand ambassador will be able to answer any questions, providing  relevant information for the customer in a fast, and effective manner. This enables the agility rate in which consumers receive customer support and guidance on their journey, increasing by 20% the probability of completing purchase.

Furthemore, Instagram Live Shopping tool is allowing brands to open the possibilities to generate value to the consumer in real time. For example, educating consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, and hold the brand as a reliable source of information, giving credibility and  authority to the business. Using brand experts and key influencers, the discovery and purchasing journey can be made significantly simpler with sales touchpoints limited to 1 to 3 interactions.

 

Other features of Instagram live shopping.

One of the features that works well with Live Shopping is the live testing feature. This allows businesses, brands and other creators to let a select few of their followers in before beginning to broadcast. This allows the brand to check their production lighting and sound to ensure that it is optimal for the livestream. Using this can be incredibly important for the image of the brand, as technical issues while the livestream is ongoing will lose engagement.

The collaborative feature is another one to fully utilise. With this feature, a brand can invite other brands and creators to join the in real-time experience. A brand will find this particularly useful if the product they are advertising is a collaboration piece or if the brand wants to target the influencers followers. It is important that both parties are advertising the items and the livestream beforehand to make the most out of this.

It is important that brands advertise when they are going live in advance to ensure that they reach the majority of their audience. Scheduling is an effective way of giving an audience a ‘when’ so that they are aware of the time they should be ready for such an event.

 

Best Practices For Setting Up Instagram Live.

Where possible, brands should think about the set on which they are filming, is it captivating the audience? The aim is to convey as much as they can about their brand from the get go, whether that's getting the lighting in a certain mood to showcase the products or decorating the set with plants and elements that convey the identity and ethos of the business. The aim is to make the video as visually appealing as possible to increase viewer retention and engagement. 

When setting up an Instagram live, strategically thinking about who is hosting the live is an important step. If it is a brand expert or an influencer, in both cases it is important to carefully consider the message that these hosts will be conveying. Brands need to think  about how the influencer aligns with the brand and who their target audience is. Remember that this influencer is representing the voice of the brand for as long as they are hosting the live.

Another idea is to reward the customers for joining. This can be done through many methods such as dropping the price of certain pieces for the duration of the stream or even having a special discount code that is revealed during the stream. This creates an incentive to also watch future streams, boosting customer engagement and loyalty.

 

How are brands using Instagram Livestream shopping?

A number of brands are using Instagram Livestream shopping in order to increase sales. For example, Selena Gomez’s brand Rare beauty used the 10 days live shopping promotional event. During this, Gomez answered questions and provided viewers with a live session of trying out the products that were being advertised. This Live Stream reached a high of 110,000 concurrent live viewers. 

Source: WWD

Virgil Alboh also teamed up with Vogue Instagram live social commerce live stream in September to premiere a new line of Off-White clothing through their virtual store. With the live fashion show allowing products to be just a click away for consumers.

 

Key takeaways and learnings. 

  • The Instagram completing the stream must be a registered business account.
  • Setting up the Live Shopping is extremely simple and can be done within minutes
  • It will improve overall customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Taking the time to market the livestream is an important part of the process as it ensures a bigger buzz is created around the event.
  • Fully utilize all of the Live features for the best results. 
  • Setting the scene for your live stream is important, make sure you are captivating the audience from the get go, using the right lighting and set is key.
  • Before Live Shopping launched, 89% of users had already expressed interest in the option.