Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown to become one of the most popular social networking websites in the world. Every single day, there is an estimated half a billion people logging into their account and posting, whilst 63% of all users will check their newsfeed at least once a day.
With so many people spending time on the platform every day, it is no wonder that it has become a popular ecommerce tool, helping businesses to expand their customer base and sell more products. If you are an established ecommerce business, then utilising your website and existing ecommerce platform to open an Instagram Shopping account can help you to start instantly reaching your followers.
But what if you do not have a website? Is it still possible to sell on Instagram? In this article, we are going to show you how you can still utilise the social media platform to take your business to the next level.
Why should you sell products on Instagram?
Before looking at how you can sell on Instagram without a website, it is important to understand why you should utilise Instagram to increase your sales. Not only does the platform have a vast number of users logging in each day, but unlike other social media networks, it has a high concentration of users who are willing to engage with brands. In fact, estimates suggest that 200 million people will engage with a business profile on Instagram at least once a day.
In addition to that, one-third of the most-watched Instagram Stories are from businesses, ensuring that there is a huge potential audience for your business and products. Whilst you might be mistaken for thinking that these would be global corporations, there are many small businesses that are able to make significant sales via Instagram – without the need of a website!
So how do you do it? Here are some of the most popular methods being used by businesses across the globe.
Via Direct Messages
One of the first methods that businesses which are just starting out utilise, is to contact and engage with potential customers via Direct Message. This is a very useful tool and can let you then provide customers with links to pay you through platforms such as PayPal or, depending on their location, even meet you to pay in cash.
When you retail in this manner, your feed becomes your primary form of advertising and lets you showcase your products to your followers. Effective use of hashtags will also ensure that you can reach new potential customers; however, you should ensure that your pictures or captions direct people to send you a direct message in order to purchase the items.
When someone has made contact, you should focus on providing the very best customer service possible. That means updating them when payment has been received, the status of their order and when the products have been dispatched. If you opt for this method, you should ensure that your profile is set up as a business account, as this gives you more management options to control your inbox.
Although this is a great method for those businesses just starting out, as your orders increase and you enjoy more customers, this is not a feasible solution to maintain. It is an incredibly time-consuming method, and arranging each order manually will eventually stop you from focusing on your business.
Selling through your comments
As your business grows, another popular way to sell your products on Instagram without a website is to sell through your comments. To do this truly effectively, then you should utilise the services of am app such as CommentSold, which helps you to automate the process of selling via Instagram.
These apps are designed to create a swift and speedy process for customers. In order to get started, they will need to register with your chosen provider, and then on any products that they would like to purchase from your page, they just need to comment ‘sold’ or a specific comment of your choosing on the relevant post. Once they have done this, the software will create an order and direct the customer to the checkout on their website, where they can pay via a credit card or PayPal.
This is a useful way of reaching more customers than managing the process manually yourself through your direct messages, however there are also certain limitations of the systems. One of the biggest is the clunky process, which directs customers away from the platform and onto a third-party site, which can put customers off.
Utilising hashtags to sell your products
If selling through your comments does not appeal, then you could use apps such as Inselly, which help you to sell products via hashtags. In order to do this, you need to create an account on the website and upload your inventory and products to the page. You will then need to add a relevant hashtag to your bio and all of your posts, for example, if you use Inselly, you will need to add #inselly to your account.
When that hashtag is used, it indicates to followers that these products are for sale, and they can then click through to the relevant pages and make their purchases. However, just like selling through comments, this creates a clunky and slow process which can put a lot of customers off and see them seek a more seamless shopping experience with a competitor.
Top tips for selling on Instagram
When it comes to actually promoting your business and products on Instagram, there are a number of tips and tricks you can use to maximise your success. There is no minimum amount of followers required, yet the higher the number you do have, the more sales you will be able to enjoy. However, if you want to sell through your stories, then you will need a minimum of 10,000 followers before you are able to add the ‘swipe up’ feature.
When it comes to selling on Instagram without a website, your overall aesthetics is crucial. When someone visits an ecommerce site, they will likely already have a product in mind they are looking to purchase, whereas on Instagram, they will not be there looking to buy something. That is why developing a strong visual appeal with every post is essential, and trying to make your images as natural as possible rather than the traditional advertisement style is very important.
The most successful retailers on Instagram are those that get creative with posts. Mixing up standard images with captivating videos and informative posts give people a reason to follow your brand and ensure your business constantly has eyes on it.
Increasing your brand awareness is essential in helping your business to take a step forward and stand out from the crowd. Utilising influencers is a great way to put your business in front of new customers and showcasing your products in a more natural way. The highest Instagram influencers can be costly, so if you are just starting out, then you should look for new and up-and-coming accounts that you could work with.
How Kuber Digital can help
Whilst it is possible to have a successful business on Instagram without needing a website, it requires a lot of hard work and manual labour in order to do so. It also restricts the number of orders and customers that you will be able to enjoy, reducing the chances of your business expanding and preventing you from enjoying the profits you enjoy.
At Kuber, we have created a powerful ecommerce platform that has been specifically designed to help you to attract, engage and retain customers. Our unique system makes it very simple to build a stunning website, promote yourself on social media and maximise your sales.
We understand that opening an ecommerce platform can be a confusing process, and there are a number of providers out there whose sole focus is to make money. We think differently though, which is why our platform is completely free to download, and there is no long-term binding contract agreement.
Instead, we see ourselves as your strategic business partner. Your success is our success, which is why our dedicated team will work with you to attract and engage new customers through innovative and proven marketing techniques. We do not stop there, though; we will also show you techniques to help you convert more customers and page visitors, alongside providing you with the tools to retain customers and even upsell your products to boost your profits further.
Want to find out how Kuber can help you take your ecommerce business even further? Get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today!