The calendar just flipped to November, and with Halloween behind us, consumers can expect to see red and green fill their favorite local retailers.  Holiday cheer is upon us, and for your retail brand, holiday sales could make or break your year.

For many retail brands, day to day operations have prevented the proper planning for the upcoming holiday season.  Luckily, if you act fast, it is not to late to deploy a successful holiday marketing plan using one of the best tools available today – Instagram.

Here are four reasons why your holiday strategy should start with Instagram:

Your Customer is Likely On Instagram

Instagram boasts an impressive 800 million monthly active users.  Nearly one-third of all online adults are using Instagram on a regular basis.  Brands are currently targeting over 55% of consumers under the age of 30.

Instagram is not all fun and games to these users, either.  Over 15 million U.S. brands have established profiles, attempting to reach consumers to influence sales.  Out of these consumers, nearly 3 out of 4 make at least $30,000 per year, with just over 30% making in excess of $75,000 annually.

 

Instagram Influences Purchases

Roughly 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand.  These users are 11 times more likely to use Instagram to interact with a brand than Facebook. Interactions range from liking a picture, to commenting on a post or simply using the platform to link out to a conversion point such as a website.

Do these interactions lead to revenue for brands?  1 out of every 3 Instagram users have reported buying a product or service they first discovered on Instagram.  Not only is Instagram a discovery platform, but consumers are using Instagram to further research brands, products and services before buying.  Nearly 60% of users have claimed to use Instagram to learn more about a potential purchase.

 

We Buy From Pictures

Have you ever visited a restaurant and a picture on the menu inspired your order?  Pictures bring items to life in a way text cannot, and help prepare the consumer for the exact experience they are about to receive.  If pictures are such a strong sales tool, wouldn’t it make sense to leverage the top social network for photo sharing?

To date, over 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram.  Each day 95 million photos and videos are submitted.  By creating eye-catching graphics or videos, you are able to share your brand’s personality and create real-time customer engagement.

 

Instagram is a Purchasing Site

As of late 2016, Instagram rolled out a new shopping feature to help the platform become even more useful to brands.  20 retail brands such as JackThreads and Warby Parker tested a feature which allowed products to be tagged within an image.  By clicking on the tag, more information is displayed on each item, which also enables the consumer to start the buying process.

This shopping feature has now been rolled out to brands of all sizes, and has quickly shown impressive results.  Remember our picture from the menu scenario before?  Your brand now has the ability to offer enticing photos, and with one simple tap, your consumer can say, “I’ll have that.”  As a result, Instagram marketing efforts can better produce true ROI numbers necessary to adjust and adapt your strategy for success.

The holidays are just a handful of weeks away, but the tools needed for a successful holiday push are at your fingertips.  Take time to learn more about how Instagram can impact your brand, or partner with a team who can deliver the strategy you need.  If the holidays are critical to your success, can you afford to sit another season on the social media sidelines?

 

INFOGRAPHIC: Instagram and Retail Success