Daily Insights

When Instagram Is Not Enough

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Jan 25, 2019

During the holidays, labels look left and right for ways to catch consumers’ eyes. One way to cut through the noise? Social media. But with the swarm of seasonal promotions and the “just keep scrolling” attitude taken on by busy users, it can be tough to catch an eye. By turning a social platform into a shopping destination, here’s how brands can drive customer awareness and help products stand out.

Walmart serves as an example of how adopting commerce-centric posts can enhance a holiday strategy. The company used shoppable tags in almost 70% of its Instagram posts each month in November and December 2018 according to Gartner L2’s insight report on holiday retail. The posts focused on toys and influencers, with shoppable tags helping to drive immediate conversion for exclusive products promoted on Instagram.

One particular partnership involved Instagram influencer @ThePioneerWoman in late November 2018 to launch a limited edition Barbie kitchen playset, and promoted the product through a shoppable Instagram post. When the playset sold out online, Walmart replaced outbound links on the shoppable post with an in-stock Barbie cooking playset add-on to preempt customer visits to the out-of-stock product page. In the comments section, the retailer addressed complaints of the sellouts, reminding customers to click the “Get In-Stock Alert” on the product page to receive notifications when an item restocks. Later, @ThePioneerWoman posted again to announce a restock of the product, driving customers to store in her caption.

Turning to social media platforms may seem like an obvious choice for brands looking to connect with consumers. However, just building a brand personality on the platform is not enough. Brands need to think about exactly what products they’re pitching there, especially during the holiday season, and how they can best direct and communicate with customers to ensure they’re being sent further and further down the path to purchase.

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