Screenshots from the Instagram shopping features


Shoppable posts: a new tool for eCommerce sites

Among the many features offered by social media, shoppable posts are a great tool for reaching a wider audience and increasing sales. Let's see together how eCommerce sites can leverage them.

Publishing photos and videos of your holidays, sharing your everyday life, keeping in touch with distant friends and relatives and staying up to date on the latest news regarding your favourite brands: the list of activities that can be carried out through social media is very long, therefore it is not surprising that in recent years it has expanded to include shopping as well.

As a matter of fact, shoppable posts help brands to offer products to their target audience directly within the social networks on which this feature is available. So, they allow you to maximise the online presence of your eCommerce and reach a very wide audience.

If you've never heard of this term, don't worry. In this article we will better understand what shoppable posts are, why they are an excellent tool for eCommerce sites and how to make the most of their features, not forgetting about fulfillment and customer service.

What shoppable posts are

For readers who are not familiar with the world of social media, let’s briefly explain what we mean with shoppable posts. This term describes a type of post on social networks through which you can buy one or more products shown in the photo directly within the app.

Therefore, shoppable posts allow brands to sell their products directly on a social platform. Among these, the platform on which shoppable posts are most successful is Instagram (where over 130 million users use shoppable posts to place a purchase every month).

At the time of writing, the feature is available exclusively on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest, but it is likely to be rolled out by other social networks as well.

How shoppable posts work

Shoppable posts allow users to place orders by simply touching the product shown within their social feed, thus simplifying all those steps that could discourage the customer from completing the purchase: it is no longer necessary for consumers to be redirected to the seller's website, to register and enterall the necessary data, because the entire purchase process takes place within the social media platform.

Each platform uses different methods, but in general the process is common to all social networks. Users can in fact place purchases in two main ways:

Through the "Shop" tab on the profile of the brands that use the shoppable posts (when you click on it, you access a page with the available catalogue, photos of the goods and information about them).

By clicking directly on photos/videos of the products in the feed.

Once the desired product has been selected, the user can choose whether to proceed with the check-out or continue scrolling through the posts, enter the shipping data (if the user is placing an order for the first time) and pay the amount due through multiple methods.

How to create shoppable posts

Thanks to shoppable posts, the shopping experience is very fast, easy and intuitive. But can the same be said for brands? Is creating a catalogue with your products just as easy? The answer is yes, but it requires some steps. Again, the procedure varies depending on the social media platform you intend to sell your products on. However, here is some useful information common to all platforms.

Before you can directly tag products in posts where they appear, you need to set up your eCommerce catalogue. In order to do this, you’ll need a Business account and be authorised by the platform itself. After completing these two steps, through the profile settings it will be possible to create the list of available products, upload photos, the description, their price and shipment policy.

Within 48 hours, the store should be reviewed and activated. It will then be possible to create new posts and tag the product present in the photo/video by linking it to the one in the previously created catalogue, thus allowing users to share the product, buy it or save it in the shopping cart.

Why shoppable posts are useful for eCommerce owners

Thanks to their features, shoppable posts represent a great opportunity for eCommerce and online stores. In addition to simplifying and speeding up the purchasing process, they allow a brand to obtain greater visibility at no cost.

In fact, being posts, they can appear in the feed of users who do not yet know the brand or be shared by followers, fuelling word of mouth. Furthermore, they can be sponsored directly from the social network on which they were published, to further boost them.

Moreover, these posts use a subtle psychological lever to attract people's attention: they don't look like advertising content, even if they are indeed. The human eye is now used to promotional content and could discard them a priori. Shoppable posts, appearing like any other post in the feed, allow you to subtlyattract consumers attention.

Therefore, it would be a shame not to make the most of shoppable posts. But how to do it? First, you need to follow all social media best practices: high-quality images and videos, an engaging description and relevant hashtags. It can also be useful to divide the catalogue by categories (outfits, purposes, exclusive offers, etc.), helping potential customers to find all the products available more easily.

The importance of customer service and fulfillment

Shoppable posts are a useful tool to attract new potential customers, advertise your products and increase the sales of your eCommerce. However, there are some aspects to which particular attention must be paid, in order to ensure that the order arrives at its destination in the best possible way.

Ensuring excellent customer service

The phase following the purchase is actually one of the most important as several problems may occur during the shipment of the product. So, it is important to constantly monitor the status of the orders and to intervene immediately if customers file a complaint, either by replacing the product or by proceeding with a refund.

In addition, some customers may leave comments and reviews on the post regarding the product they purchased. These reviews are very important for the success of any online business. Consequently, it is necessary to keep an eye on them and also apply all the other customer care strategies we discussed, so that these comments become an excellent promotional and loyalty tool.

Pay attention to inventory and shipments

Once the shoppable posts have been posted and the orders received, you will need to prepare the products for delivery. This is the most delicate phase, because it does not only involve the packaging and shipping of the product to the address designated by the buyer, but also all the various processes that fall within the broader definition of fulfillment.

Fulfillment also includes storing, managing and controlling the inventory, the preparation of shipping and customs documents, compliance with bureaucratic regulations and the management of returns and refunds. These processes require time, precision and specific skills if you want to deliver the order as quickly as possible and avoid to face unnecessary costs.

Relying on a professional outsourced fulfillment service such as IFS Italy can bring numerous advantages and is often the quickest and easiest choice to ensure that orders and requests are processed in a professional and timely manner.

Summing up

Having your own website or being present on eCommerce platforms such as Shopify is an excellent solution for selling your products online. However, to be successful it is also useful to take advantage of other channels and all the opportunities that the digital world offers.

Shoppable social media posts are a great way to reach new potential customers. The ease with which these posts can be created, combined with the immediacy of the purchasing process, can generate a sudden increase in sales.

In order to avoid overloading one's production and distribution capacity, however, it is necessary to pay particular attention to fullfilment. Without careful management of warehouse stocks, packaging, customs documentation, shipping and returns, shoppable posts may not have the desired effects and may even dissatisfy customers – damaging your brand image.

IFS can count on twenty years of experience in this area, to encourage the growth of the countless businesses that rely on its services, from small artisans who wish to sell their homemade creations to companies that need to ship large quantities of goods globally.

For more information on the fulfillment services offered by IFS Italy, you can download the brochure or visit the fulfillment & e-commerce section directly.