India has the second largest base of Internet users after China. With over 373 million users as of 2016, reports suggest that it will double up by 2021. With a vast online population using social media nowadays, eCommerce is now changing in nature in India. Gone are the days when you could only buy from the retailer’s website or app. Now a better experience is available to the buyers about how and what they want to order. Online shopping is moving towards Instagram as it allows convenience to the buyers and to the retailers too for driving sales directly from such a large platforms.
What is Social Retailing or S-tailing?
Social retailing is a blend of eCommerce and social networking sites. It is one of the latest enhancements to the Internet. It is marked as an extension of business-to-consumer eCommerce where sellers come online on social networking sites to sell products directly to the consumers.
Social Retailing with Instagram in India
Instagram started in 2010 as an online mobile photo-uploading app that also served as a social networking service that allowed users to share posts publicly or privately. Today, Instagram has transformed into a place for the youth’s favourite pastime-shopping. Indian Instagram has everything- from luxury brands to rare, vintage and handmade clothes and articles. It has become a place for the Indian customers to discover and buy in-trend, unique products.
Shopping on Instagram is like community shopping. A study conducted by Facebook found that Indians on Instagram are mostly young, mobile-first users who can spend a significant amount of money. People between ages 18-24 are the most engaged ones on Instagram (51%). The study also observed that Indian users not only share pictures but also actively follow brands and retailers on Instagram. According to 2017 statistics, there are about 43 million Instagram users in India.
Here are a few of the brands in India which are playing the Instagram game right!
Chumbak is one of the most loved profiles on Instagram in India. This brand sells quirky things from cushion covers to mugs to badges and even art pieces. With 164K+ followers, it is one of the leading Indian retail brands on Instagram.
Masaba Gupta, one of the finest designers in the country has an Instagram account called House of Masaba. With 156K+ followers, this account gives updates on the newest of her collections from her clothing and makeup line.
Tanishq is a jewellery chain owned by Tata. Its Instagram account is one of the most loved Jewellery accounts of Indian Instagram. They bring together exquisite collections; one of the recent ones are for the film Padmavati.
Femina is one of India’s leading women’s magazines. This Instagram account tries to connect with every woman, trying to make itself her favorite brand. It has a wide range of posts from offers to advice and celebrations.
Why Indian consumers love shopping on Instagram!
Apart from the fact that Instagram has a very appealing user interface, consumers can easily find high street products at comparably low prices and alternatives of high-end luxury products at major discounts and deals. Not just this, most sellers offer customised products on Instagram which are a major attraction for the Indian consumers.
A direct interaction with the retailers is one of the most convenient features loved by the Indian Instagram shoppers.
So why should you care? Here’s why retailers from both India and the world should be a part of the Instagram Bandwagon in India:
- You don’t even need to have a website to sell on Instagram. You only need good pictures.
- Using Instagram is free of cost. So your set-up cost would be internet charges only!
- Promoting your products on Instagram has the simplest procedure- upload a photo, write a description of it and its price, and post. Users can then contact you via DM if they wish to order it. You can also use hashtags, which is a convenient way for users to search posts of the product range they are looking for.
- It’s pure B2C. This results in increased margins because you can directly sell the products to the consumers.
- With Instagram, you can reach out to the customers India wide.
77% Indian online users prefer to buy products via social media sites.
Thus, if you want to promote your retail brand online, you should switch to Instagram already!