Impulse buying is as old as retail itself. Brick and mortar retailers have perfected the art of eliciting spontaneous purchases by customers. It’s easy to do when you have physical control over the shopping experience through product placement, signage and even the layout of the store itself. A survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International shows that 5 out of 6 American shoppers admit to making impulse purchases. However, 8 out of 10 of those impulse buys were made in a store. By employing some of the same tactics as their brick and mortar brethren, savvy online retailers can boost the average order size, making more money from each customer every time.


Before we reveal these powerful tips on using Instagram to drive impulse buys, we feel a need to include a disclaimer. Trust should always be at the core of your ecommerce marketing strategy. It is critical for long term success to establish and maintain trust with your customers.

Eliciting impulse buying could easily cross the line into spam country, making customers feel like you are focused solely on getting the sale. While you may experience a temporary bump in order size, over the long haul, damage to consumer trust will negatively impact sales. What we’re saying here is, use the following tactics for good, not evil.

Ask yourself the following questions and everything will come up roses…
  1. Am I being helpful to the customer?
  2. Is this in the best interest of the customer?

3 Instagram Marketing Tactics to Boost Impulse Buys

There are three tactics that brick and mortar retailers use to encourage impulse buying that online retailers can leverage.

#1 Make it Easy- The odds and ends that offline retailers put in checkout lanes or end-caps are usually small in size and easy to throw in your cart without hassle. Products that are suited for impulse buying don’t require extra steps like asking a sales associate for help. If there is any work involved, the customer has time to reconsider, killing the impulse to buy.

To capture impulse buys from Instagram, apply the “make it easy” philosophy. When a potential customer sees a product that catches their eye in your Instagram feed, sending them to your website’s homepage through the link in your profile is death to the impulse to buy. The customer has time to consider if they really truly need the object of their desire as they search your site for the product. It is also a poor user experience. e-commerce optimization experts are always trying to reduce the number of clicks or steps a user has to take to make a purchase.


Think about optimizing Instagram shopping in the same way. Reduce the steps a customer must go through to purchase. Adding an Instagram shop is the best way to drive sales from your feed. Pixelshop’s InstaShop provides a seamless experience by connecting your Instagram post directly to product purchasing pages. Pixelshop provides you with real-time analytics to track customer conversions and impulse buys. Leverage this data to determine what images and products produce the best results and update your social strategy accordingly. Setting up your Instagram shop takes only minutes and the impact to can be immediate and massive.

#2 Grab Attention- Brick and mortar retailers use all manner of tactics to catch the shopper’s eye such as signage and flashy displays. If your customers don’t see the products you intend as impulse purchases, they won’t buy. This is obvious and not an earth shattering observation but sometimes it’s the simple no brainer things that make all the difference. Adding a shoppable gallery of Instagram posts to your website is the online retailers equivalent of a flashing sign. Actually it is better because displaying lifestyle photos from your Instagram feed engages customers and engaged customers stay on sites longer and buy more. Use an embeddable Instagram gallery on your website to grab shoppers attention and encourage impulse buying. A basic Instagram feed on your site is good for engagement but when the images link to product purchasing pages to facilitate impulse buying, that’s when you see conversion rates skyrocket and average order values soar.

#3 Placement is Key- Retail stores are strategic about where they place products intended for impulse purchasing. They don’t bury them in the back of a store or hide them mid aisle. These products are commonly found in checkout lanes or with complementary products. For example, grocery stores display graham crackers, hershey chocolate bars and marshmallows together in the same display even though they belong in different aisles. Ecommerce sites should also place products strategically. If you sell furniture and home furnishings, embedd a currated Instagram feed of lifestyle images featuring bedding on your bed product pages. Your customer may have come to your site with the intention to buy a bed but because you have beautiful Instagram photos of your bedding in the right place, they may click on the shoppable image and add a sheet set or blanket to their order.

#4 Display Best images Focusing on customer specifications will make the company more resilient. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that is made but is about the stories that are told. But how does the product speak about their attributes? The product images are expected to have a sleek and professional image for the customer to bump up buying the product. The professional image-editing service providers will serve the editing needs for customers want. The service providers, like Pixelz, Fix the Photo, and PixelPhant, are easily approachable and will deliver edited images in no time. The images need to trust transparent to improve the buying experience.

Boost Sales and Order Values Today!

Don’t write off the time tested techniques of brick and mortar retailers to boost your bottom line. By applying them to new online channels such as Instagram, you will see results immediately. Get started capturing impulse buys from Instagram today!