Facebook client partner Phil Bonano reveals how fashion brands can raise the commercial and engagement stakes on Instagram.

Over 9 million Australians use Instagram every month and many are inspired by the content they see in their Feed or Stories for their next purchase.

This influence is being driven by creators on the platform, as well as businesses of all sizes who are using Instagram’s Business Tools to connect with potential customers.

Consumers are eager to engage with businesses on Instagram and as a result the platform has become synonymous with brand building.

In fact, two in three people say Instagram is a place that enables interaction with brands, with more than 90% of users also following brands on the platform. This presents an immense opportunity for retailers looking to speak directly to a range of audiences.

For those looking to harness the platform, below are two key ways any retailer can use Instagram to reach new shoppers:

1) Use consumer connections

A smart idea for retailers is to use already existing consumer networks to their advantage. With 57% of Gen Z respondents stating they’ve purchased a product after seeing it recommended or discussed by a creator on Instagram, brands should be leveraging this to drive consumer action.

Instagram is home to countless local and global creators, all of whom are producing creative content and demonstrating their expertise aligned to their passions and interests. This means they’re recommending and referencing brands to an engaged and captive audience of followers. Simple tricks such as seeding products for a collaboration on the platform can reap significant benefits.

2) End-to-end Shopping

Consumers on Instagram were asking for a frictionless shopping experience on the platform, so in response, last year Instagram announced the Shopping tool in Feed and more recently in Stories.

By launching this product, Instagram has created a better shopping experience for consumers and transformed the platform from a place where businesses are discovered, to a place where business is done.

Three quick reasons retailers should consider using Shopping on Instagram are:

1. Simplify: Shopping simplifies the shopping experience for both businesses and consumers, making it easier for brands to connect people to the products they will love. When scrolling through their Feed or in Stories consumers can instantly click-through and seamlessly they get more information on a product including its cost and size, it’s that easy.

2. Tell a story: Brands can tell a more immersive story using a range of Shopping posts via video in Feed or Stories. The more creative the content, the better! Grab the attention of the consumer as they are scrolling through their Feed. At Instagram, we call this thumb-stopping creative.

3. Scale: Shopping helps brands to reach current and new customers on Instagram through the Explore feature. This is a community that is already keen to shop, so why not capitalise on this!

More than 130 million accounts are already interacting with Shopping posts on Instagram every month and locally, brands such as Country Road and The Iconic have quickly adopted the Shopping feature and had great success in reaching new audiences.

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