If you’ve ever laughed at your phone while watching a parrot screech “Good As Hell” by Lizzo or felt goosebumps viewing a drone soaring over Icelandic glaciers, there’s a good chance you were seeing it on Instagram. Launched back in 2010, this social networking app began as a popular platform for sharing photos and short-form videos around the world. While Facebook and Twitter users typically post long status updates, comments, and stories, Instagram focuses on sharing stunning visuals and video content.
A glimpse at the numbers is all you need to understand Instagram’s value as a business opportunity. Current statistics show that 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform, while 70% of shopping enthusiasts head to Instagram to search for gift items and more. In addition, an estimated 71% of all U.S. businesses claim that they now use Instagram to connect with customers.
Given the platform’s rising popularity, live selling on Instagram has become a profitable business asset and a dynamic way to gain a whole new audience to view and engage with products.
What is Instagram Live Selling?
Instagram Live Selling seamlessly combines the real-time engagement of live selling with online shopping. Businesses promote and demonstrate products live as viewers purchase on the spot—without ever leaving the app. Instant feedback and insights are shared, loyalty and trust build, and your audience grows.
Features and Benefits of Live Selling on Instagram
Demonstrating how your product works via Instagram live stream selling instantly highlights your product’s benefits. Watching your lightweight sport watch tick away underwater or seeing how a sweater fits on a real person delivers valuable information. Viewers are captivated and their purchase decision is made. But that’s just the beginning. There are endless ways live shopping on Instagram expands your reach and sales:
- Promote and sell more, faster. Live selling on Instagram streamlines your selling power. Product promotion takes less time because it’s produced on one platform. More than one item can be promoted in a single live event—the sky’s the limit.
- Keep the buying process smooth and simple. Successful online shopping is all about ease. Instagram live selling helps you create a shorter path to purchase. Return customers also enjoy a minimized checkout process. Instant gratification makes your audience grow.
- Build interest and engagement. Studies reveal that 75% of Instagram followers take some action after viewing a compelling post. Using Instagram live selling lets you hit that audience with a creative, real-time look at a product’s features and benefits. This builds customer interest and confidence that keeps shoppers coming back for more.
- Strengthen relationships with followers. There’s no doubt that selling live on Instagram humanizes your brand. Anyone who joins a live stream can comment, ask questions, and provide feedback in a live conversation with the host. There’s no better way to build an authentic connection that entertains and inspires trust. Viewers will feel confident as if buying from a friend.
Getting Started with Instagram Live Selling
With an integrated solution like CommentSold, live Selling on Instagram is a straightforward process. The following steps make getting started simple:
- If you aren’t using CommentSold yet, request a free trial to unlock all the features you need to start live selling.
- Once your trial is activated, connect to your Facebook Page and set up an Instagram business account. Be sure to allow access to direct messages so you can send auto-replies!
- Turn on your Instagram live selling connection from the CommentSold dashboard.
- Create a product selection with the items you want to feature during your live sale. You can do this ahead of time in the dashboard or scan and feature items on the fly when you’re live!
- When you’re ready, start your live sale from the CommentSold Broadcasting app.
- Choose where to go live. You can go live on your Facebook Page and Group, webstore, mobile app, and of course—your Instagram!
- Manage your live sale easily from our Live Overview. Watch your comments and sales stream in from all of your channels at once!
What Other Features can I use with Instagram Live Selling?
Instagram Live Selling offers many ways to boost your brand. Once you’re familiar with the basics, explore these features to add more “oomph” to your selling power.
- Shoppable Story Highlights. Create Story highlights that remain shoppable long after the 24 hour mark. Try a Staff Picks Highlight to showcase your awesome stylists or a Most Loved Highlight to promote your most popular product lines. Better yet? Create a Highlight reel that advertises your live sale schedule and shopper instructions for shopping live!
- Instagram Ice Breakers. Your ice breaker(s) will automatically appear as a tappable option for Instagram direct messages. Once shoppers tap one of the listed questions, your shop will instantly provide them with an automated response. Try using one of your Ice Breakers to promote your live sales like “When are your live sales?”.
Tips with Live Sales Using Instagram
It pays to plan ahead when it comes to Instagram Live Selling. Along with having an amazing display-worthy product, consider these pre-show tips to maximize viewer engagement and drive sales like a boss.
- Speak your truth without a script. This does NOT mean improvise! Have your list of topics, essential selling points, prices, etc. handy—but speak naturally. A feeling of spontaneity sends out a human touch that viewers love.
- Present yourself as a pro. If you’re introducing a new shade of lipstick from your line of beauty products, wear clothes that match the vibe. Pay close attention to your appearance, surrounding environment, and overall tone. Make sure your gear is running at top performance, too. Viewers resonate best with a thoughtfully curated backdrop.
- Demonstrate the benefits. Conducting a hands-on how-to is much more valuable to online consumers than photos or video. Seeing your product in action clearly shows its benefits to viewers and makes them confident that it’s something they need. This kind of real-time engagement often triggers spur-of-the-moment purchases.
- Entertain for explosive sales. Online shoppers are becoming more savvy by the second. Product-driven live streams void of creativity are as interesting as watching infomercials at 4 a.m. Balance your brand message with funny stories, juicy “Ask Me Anything” sessions, bloopers, behind-the-scenes footage, anything that keeps interest high. Collaborating with already successful Instagrammers and other influencers not only rapidly expands your reach but also increases your credibility and value in the minds of followers.
Instagram Live Selling = Real-Time Rewards
The benefits of Instagram live selling are endless for retailers. Utilizing this multifaceted platform provides a dynamic space to interact with your community, build an audience, and drive traffic to your own site. What began as an awesome way to share videos and pictures among friends has become a powerful selling tool that helps boost brands and motivate buyers—all in real time.
Maximize Your Instagram Lives with a Multichannel Approach
To stream live shopping events across all of your social media channels at once, you’ll need to get started with CommentSold. Go live on Instagram exclusively, or on Facebook, your mobile app, and your webstore simultaneously to increase reach, engage shoppers on their preferred social platform, and diversify sales channels. Business owners just like you are hitting milestones with live Instagram shopping and multichannel selling.
Jackie Dierickx, Owner, Willow and Grace Boutique
“With CommentSold there is an option to link your Instagram live sale with Facebook. All of these channels allow us to reach more customers in more areas, so you are not just reaching people right around your shop or your business, you are reaching outside of your business in different states and different time zones. You are doing that with one click of a button.”