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Why Instagram is at the forefront of inspirational commerce

Here's some stats you should know:

  • 1.1 billion people use it every month
  • 88% of its users are outside of the US
  • Users 'like' 4.2 billion posts per day
  • 80% of users follow at least one business account
  • 75% of users take action after viewing a businesses post

Instagram is the place to be, there's no doubt about it.

For eCommerce brands, it’s a platform to inspire users and drive traffic to their website.

But, with the recent announcement of Instagram Checkout, Instagram is well on its way to its goal of being an eCommerce sales platform.

So, why is Instagram heading in this inspirational eCommerce direction? What actually is Instagram Checkout? And, what does this mean for eCommerce brands?

Let’s take a look…

#1 Why is Instagram heading in this inspirational eCommerce direction?

#2 What is Instagram Checkout?

#3 What does this mean for eCommerce brands?


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#1 Why is Instagram heading in this inspirational eCommerce direction?

Put simply, Instagram Checkout allows users to act on inspiration through a convenient and effortless transaction.

Since the announcement of Instagram Checkout, many have been quick to predict that it will change the face of online shopping.

It’s all about the customer journey.

We’re a demanding bunch and want everything at our fingertips as soon as possible. We’ve lost patience.

(But hey, we'll always have our good charm ;)...)

Instagram Checkout improves the customer journey, speeds up the checkout process and encourages users to buy more then and there.

It removes that lengthy process of waiting for an external website to load, filling in all your details and waiting for an order confirmation email.


But another thing Instagram Checkout is doing is providing brands with the ultimate inspirational eCommerce platform.

We at iPaper are passionate about inspirational commerce. It’s that inspiring environment that makes customers want to shop and spend time scrolling through your products and engaging with your brand.

It’s achieved through both engaging lifestyle images and videos but is also about providing the best customer journey. So, with Instagram giving that instant checkout technology to you, a brand's sole purpose is now on creating shoppable content.

Inspirational images and videos show products in use, on real people and in a bright, aesthetically pleasing style.

You take the time to make your physical store inviting, clean and presentable to draw people in, so why not do the same for your online shoppers?

Here are some examples of inspirational Instagram Shopping posts:

Instagram Shop examples

Say goodbye to those plain product pictures on a white background.

It’s all about having those inspiring visual images or videos that show off your products in a captivating way, yet remain true to your brand values.

And it’s this type of shoppable content that draws Instagram users in and grabs those browsing scrollers who don’t really know what they’re looking for.

It attracts new followers, keeps existing customers loyal, inspires purchases and encourages interaction.

So, what actually is Instagram Checkout?


With a goal to create something that was less transactional and more immersive, Instagram launched its Shopping feature in March 2017.

Since then they have added a Shopping tab to the Explore page and enabled Shopping on Instagram Stories, allowing users to get inspired as they scroll.

Thanks to Instagram Shopping brands can drive traffic directly to specific product pages on their website, increasing flow and improving the customer experience.

But with its new Checkout feature, Instagram will house the entire checkout experience within the app, encouraging users to act immediately on their inspiration.

Here’s how the Checkout process looks:


Photo credit: Instagram

From your first purchase, your payment and delivery information are stored so whenever you shop again, it’s even less of a hassle.

How easy is that?

It’s simple. There’s no faff. You’re not spending ages entering payment details and delivery and billing addresses. There’s no complication.

So what does this mean for eCommerce brands?

#3 What does this mean for eCommerce brands?

Well when it comes to Instagram, if your target audience is active there, then you need to be too.

But looking at the bigger picture, for most brands, Instagram and its expansion into an eCommerce platform simply shows the importance of inspirational commerce.

If you want to inspire browsing shoppers that don’t know what they’re looking for, you can no longer rely on a typical white grid style layout.

It’s all about those lifestyle images that show products in use.

A splash of color and styling really does make a world of difference.

I mean don't you just want to buy everything in these posts?

Splash of colour

So, take a good look at the way you present your products and see if you could benefit from a more engaging style.

But keep in mind that you don’t have to just rely on your own content. For social media, user-generated content is incredibly powerful and can unlock a whole new gallery of content for brands.

User-generated content posts shared to social channels see a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts. 

Not only will this unlock fresh content for you, but it makes your customers feel valued, builds trust and loyalty and shows a human side to your brand.


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About the author

Jo Molloy

Jo Molloy

Jo is passionate about brand storytelling and loves to write. A self-confessed chocoholic and TV addict, she is always on the look out for the latest trends and hopes to share her knowledge and enlighten you with her insightful blogs.

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