6 Tactics to Affect the Buying Decision Process on Instagram

Hugh Beaulac
10 min read
Mar 9, 2018
  • Post on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Post on LinkedIn
  • Post on Reddit
  • Copy link to clipboard
    Link copied to clipboard
Buying decision process on instagram phone

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sell on Instagram?

As one of the fastest-growing communities has rapidly grown to 800 million monthly users, the lucrativeness of using Instagram for eCommerce has increased as well. More and more companies opt for building their businesses on Instagram.

Any proof needed?

And the best part: if you want to convince your potential customers to buy your product on Instagram, here’s the list of tactics you should try.

1. Sell solutions, not products

No matter how good your product is, it’s not enough to make your potential customers want to buy it. Customers don’t care about your brand or product until it can solve their problems. If you want to boost sales, you need to communicate the benefits of using your product rather than the features it possesses.

There’s a tweet by Rand Fishkin that states:

Rand fishkin twitter on selling

When you use emotional decision-making in marketing, you focus on a human experience while your products play second fiddle. Yes, showing off your product is important but it doesn’t cause emotions. Thus, some brands use lifestyle photos to attract potential customers, and a great example is Lululemon:

Lululemon lifestyle intstagram marketing example

Lululemon knows that Instagram is about selling a lifestyle, not a product. Thus, their feed is full of lifestyle photos that grab and hold customers’ attention which means promoting their brand on Instagram.

Here’s what you can learn:

When marketers lay a bet on lifestyle photography, they can bring an authentic narrative for the audience to follow and, therefore, humanize the brand.

Lululemon instagram post

Sell solutions as it hints at what consumers can expect after buying your product.

2. Create a sense of urgency

There’s no better way to affect the buying decision process on Instagram than creating a sense of urgency.


A company that helps people set and maintain their personal goals, Passion Planner, sells on Instagram actively. Looking through its Instagram feed, you can find lots of time-sensitive posts that provoke followers to take an action and get a benefit immediately.

Here’s what you can learn:

Creating a sense of urgency is a proven way to improve the decision-making process, but you also should know how to write a caption that sells.

When you create a sense of urgency, you prompt their customers to take action which means boosting sales.

3. Post user-generated content (UGC)

Nothing kills sales like appearing untrustworthy.

Here comes the brutal truth: most customers don’t trust your online business due to lack of credibility. Stating your credibility isn’t enough; you need to demonstrate and prove that people rely on you and choose your product.

The solution? UGC!

Posting user-generated content is a genius way to generate social proof without spending much money. Just imagine: 93% of online shoppers claim that UGC is helpful in the decision-making process.

More and more brands embrace UGC as a part of the marketing strategy, and GoPro encourages followers to create original photos to feature on their feed:

Gopro example for user generated content improving buying process on instagram' class=

The days when brand content could capture audience's attention are long gone. People don’t trust overly polished professional pictures that seem too good to be true, so brands like GoPro try to post user-generated content.

Here’s what you can learn:

Gopro user generated content instagram post

Bonus tips

It’s always beneficial to encourage user-generated content, and here are some ways how to do it:

4. Optimize for ecommerce

First things first: your customers want to buy on Instagram.

Any proof needed? 30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from a social media network like Instagram. Thus, building a better shopping experience on Instagram is a must.

When you make the shopping process easier, you help customers make their purchase decisions faster. It means you fuel sales growth on Instagram if your customers don’t have to spend much time to understand how to buy what they want.

A good example of this tactic is JackThreads. Instagram has become their important marketing tool as they’ve boosted sales here not just only because they offer high-quality products but also because they take care of their potential customers and they value their time.

Jackthreads ecommerce optimized instagram

No matter what you sell on Instagram, you need to optimize your business account for eCommerce to affect the buying decision process.

Here’s what you can learn:

Jackthreads instagram shoppable tags

As a visual site, it’s easier to grab potential customers’ attention with the help of photos. And what is more, now US retailers can use shoppable tags to add description and prices on the platform to make it easier for followers to discover more about items they like.

Shoppable tags allow customers to buy the exact product featured in an Instagram post with ease, and it affects the buying decision process.

Instagram has rolled out an update that allows users to highlight their favorite stories and make them appear on a separate feed below the bio section. It helps visitors get an access to the most important information faster as they don’t have to scroll the whole feed to find what they are looking for. For example, you can create a separate circle to showcase new releases.

Jackthreads instagram insta stories ecommerce

It’s a way to keep all important information about your product in one place that is easy to find and investigate. Help your customers save time on searching for useful information, and they will never forget you.

If you have 10k+ followers, don’t miss a chance to drive more traffic to your website by promoting your products with the help of Insta stories. Business accounts can add clickable links to stories and it helps to make it easier for customers to explore products they have liked. Plus, you can create a collection to show off items on sale.

Jackthreads product links insta stories

However, you need to gain a big following first as this feature is available for business accounts with 10k+ followers.

5. Reach your target audience with instagram ads

As Instagram gives more and more opportunities for marketers to grow businesses, 70.7% of US companies use Instagram for marketing purposes. Thus, it means you’re promoting in a competitive environment.

How to beat your competitors?

The solution is simple: find an effective defense against competition. No matter how big your social media budget is, get ready to invest your marketing dollars in advertising on Instagram to reach people who matter most to your brand.

And what is more, you can easily integrate Shopify and sell your products instantly with the help of Instagram advertising. Let’s take a look at Tophattr:

Tophattr is a unique eCommerce service that offers shoppers to win deals of up to 80% off different items, and they try to reach potential clients with the help of advertising on Instagram. With over 74k views, their ad proves that Instagram returns the best results.

Here’s what you can learn:

And truth to be told: most people opt to skip ads, so try to keep a focus on offering a solution to a specific problem instead of showing off your product.

6. Run a contest or giveaway

One does not simply create a big following on Instagram and expect huge sales.

If you want your followers to turn into clients, you need to interact with them and encourage them to get interested in your product. Thus, running a contest or giveaway is an actionable way to bring your business the attention it deserves and raise brand awareness.

For instance, let’s take a look at a contest by CamillaWithLove. The combination of a lifestyle image and a great prize grabs and holds Instagrammers’ attention:

Camillawithlove instagram desert photo contest

People are greedy for free stuff, so running a contest/giveaway allows marketers to reach more potential customers, build brand awareness, and influence the decision-making process.

Here’s what you can learn:

If you don’t have much budget to spend on contests, you can offer a discount for your followers which can help to increase sales as it’s in our nature to buy more when we can save money.

Where should you start?

To unlock your sales potential on Instagram, you’d better ensure that you have made a great customer shopping experience by answering several questions.

So, can your visitors:

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all the above-mentioned questions, you’re on the right track. Once your Instagram account is optimized for eCommerce, it’s high time to use actionable tactics to affect the buying decision process and see your business grows on Instagram.

Get a glimpse into the future of business communication with digital natives.

Get the FREE report