Comprehensive User Journey on Instagram: From Follow to Checkout

Marissa Heckman
By Marissa Heckman

News broke this week that Instagram will be rolling out a shopping checkout within the platform. Users will no longer have to click the ‘link in bio’ or ‘swipe up’ to be transferred from Instagram to the brand’s website. It also means that tagging products within your organic social post can now directly cause conversions rather than just product awareness & peaked interest- a win for social media marketers everywhere.

By removing the need for users to click through to a brand’s website to complete a purchase, your social media profile essentially becomes a fully branded landing page. Ensuring that your brand story, selling points, and overall aesthetic are present & at their best, now more than ever, can make or break a conversion. To a social media strategist, this has always been at the forefront of what we do – ensuring the page has a cutting-edge strategy with messaging & visuals to match. However, the value in these efforts has been enhanced tenfold.

Social metrics will now hold even greater weight. For instance, now a profile visitor should be viewed as equivalent to a website visitor and a follower equivalent to an email signup. Your customer’s journey can begin with a post impression. It has been mentioned that the average user will not follow a brand on Instagram if the first 3 rows of the page’s Instagram grid are not visually appealing & relevant. If that is the case, the same applies for a profile viewer to convert off of said profile.

Here is how you can set your brand up for success with this update:

  1. Create robust product catalogs for your Instagram in order to increase the likelihood of a purchase. In other words, when a user does click on the product tag featured in your Instagram post, they will need to see multiple images – perhaps lifestyle, perhaps strictly product angles – alongside product information, etc.
  2. Collaborate with your cross-channel marketing efforts to ensure that quality traffic is being driven to a quality Instagram profile. (Ie. Now marketers can better track ROI from Influencer partnerships).
  3. Keeping your Instagram content engagement-rich is no longer just a matter of being prioritized in the algorithm – it is a matter of your customers seeing shoppable posts from your brand on a regular basis organically. A healthy engagement rate gives you more opportunity to reach users & receive profile visits to your now shoppable ‘landing-page’ profile.
  4. Engagement will also be more essential for your brand credibility. Now when new users visit your Instagram profile and see hundreds to thousands of likes on each post, you 1. Win their trust as an established brand through social proof and 2. Have just created FOMO for this new user who now must see what the hype is about.

Why is this happening?

Both Facebook & Instagram want their users to remain within the platform. Therefore, by creating an in-platform checkout process, they increase their chance of keeping users on Instagram. Adversely, the ‘swipe up’ feature utilized in Instagram Stories take users out of Instagram.

Net-Net: The better the social profile, the better the customer journey, the more conversions through Instagram.

To read more about this up and coming Instagram update from TechCrunch, read more here.

Marissa is an Organic Social Media Specialist at Power Digital. Born and raised in California, she enjoys working in the digital space to practice and enhance her strategic and creative thinking. Having graduated top of her class at SDSU, she finds enjoyment in the ever-changing and challenging world of marketing.