How to Actually Make a Sale on Instagram

Instagram is the platform with the pretty pictures, the storytelling capabilities, and the legions of millenial users.

For many marketers that advertise on Instagram, they know how to capitalize on the engagement possibilities of the platform.

Consider, for example, the fact that 80% of Instagram users follow a brand.

However, what you may not know is how to actually sell on Instagram.

Making a real return on your investment is still elusive to many.

how to sell on Instagram

Luckily, we’re Instagram advertising specialists that are here to help you create an Instagram sales strategy that works.

Learning how to sell on Instagram is the key to earning your best ROI.

By leveraging the platform’s potential for reaching a motivated group of consumers, you’ll make sales faster and easier than with any other PPC strategy.

We’re investigating why the platform is effective for direct selling.

We’ll also look at the tools Instagram offers for ecommerce businesses to thrive, and how you can use them.

To turn engagement into revenue, follow this guide.

Why Instagram for Ecommerce Works

The first place to look at when discussing the selling capabilities of Instagram are adoption and engagement rates on the platform.

how to sell on Instagram - daily usage
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According to Pew Research Center’s 2018 data, 71% of Americans ages 18-24 use Instagram.

Additionally, 60% of users visit the app at least once per day.

This represents a highly engaged audience to target and reach when you advertise on Instagram.

And consumers themselves say Instagram is an effective way to connect.

survey of female Bustle readers recently revealed that 40% of them identify Instagram as the best social media platform to reach them.

So what does it look like when an Instagram sales strategy works?

how to sell on Instagram - Gymshark
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Just look at Gymshark’s Black Friday Instagram ad campaign results:

  • 6.6X ROAS
  • 40% of total purchases came from Instagram
  • Over 16 million people reached

Clearly, Instagram offers some incredible advantages for ecommerce brands.

Launching Your Instagram Sales Strategy

As you transition your Instagram advertising campaign objective to sales conversions, there are a few tools to assist you.


To get people to make a purchase, they first need to discover and get to know your brand.

When you advertise on Instagram, hashtags are the way to do this.

A post with at least one hashtag has an average of 12.6% higher engagement than a post without.

A tool like Hashtagify lets you conduct searches on certain keywords to discover which products, trends, etc. are most popular on the platform.

Include an array of both branded and generic hashtags to make your page as discoverable and shoppable as possible.  

However, don’t overdo it.

Research has revealed that four or five hashtags represent the peak of interaction.

After that point, engagement dips.

For your Instagram sales strategy to be its most successful, start with relevant hashtags that help users find and engage with you.  


how to sell on Instagram - Like2Buy

With Curalate’s Like2Buy, Instagram users are transported from your Instagram page to your website with a click of the Like2Buy link in your profile.

On this page is a gallery of Instagram photos they’ve either liked before, or featured images curated for them.

The gallery can include user-generated photos and feature more than one product per image.

By sending customers to your website, it creates a stronger branded experience for them.

Additionally, the process is both visual and seamless to ensure they’re moved through the funnel efficiently.

Shoppable Posts

how to sell on Instagram - shoppable posts
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In March of this year, Instagram introduced a key feature to make Instagram for ecommerce even more effective.

With the “shopping” feature, you can tag up to five products.

Users can then click in to both learn more about the product and “Shop Now” on the business website.

Since its introduction, the shoppable post feature has garnered at least one company an 8% increase in revenue.

By presenting users with a seamless shopping experience, they can go from browsing to buying with just a few taps on-screen.

Native Payments

how to sell on Instagram - native payments
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The traditional methods of how to sell on Instagram have been upgraded since the app’s latest announcement.

With the introduction of native payments to the options for Instagram payment methods, users can purchase directly on the app.

There’s no need to travel from the platform to your website in order to complete the purchase.

Now, users can input their credit or debit card information.

Then, they can click to buy.

For now, this Instagram payment method is restricted to specific partners.

These include salons and restaurants, which make reservations and bookings a breeze.

The plan is to integrate native payments with Shoppable posts.

Obviously, this holds incredible implications for the future of Instagram for ecommerce.

Start Selling on Instagram 

It’s clear that Instagram for ecommerce offers huge potential in the realm of earning real revenue.

Using the tools, strategies, and audiences available on the platform is the key to making sales.

From the introduction of new Instagram payment methods to tools that help you get discovered, all brands can have an Instagram sales strategy that works.

Follow this guide, implement some Instagram ad best practices, and optimize your campaign as it’s live based on what’s working for your brand.

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