- Instagram direct messaging (DMs) works very similar to how in-store retail associates help shoppers by answering any questions they have or by suggesting new or complimentary products.
- When a customer submits a question, and there could be thousands of questions depending on what a customer is looking at, so the first thing a brand has to do is automate the ability to respond.
- Natural Language Processing mechanisms allows brands to be able to automatically answer generic questions about shipping policies, coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs, among others.
At a time when social commerce is undergoing explosive growth, automatic Instagram direct messages are the most effective way to recommend products during conversations with customers. Since 81 percent of consumers say Instagram assists them in conducting product research before making purchasing selections, it is a great way to help increase sales and they will soon become the most used feature for brands on the social platform.
Instagram puts such a large focus on high quality pictures and videos, which is why so many shoppers go to the platform to discover new products and catch up with their favorite brands. Social media influencers also use the platform as a visual aesthetic to post lifestyle photos, personal videos, and anything related to fashion. Given that many product purchases are based on seeing visuals of the merchandise, there is nothing that comes close to Instagram, making it the best place to shop other than an ecommerce website.
Personalized Online Shopping
Beerud Sheth, co-founder and CEO of Gupshup, says that Instagram direct messaging (DMs) works very similar to how in-store retail associates help shoppers by answering any questions they have or by suggesting new or complimentary products. Every customer might have different questions about different items, and therefore need a retail associate to help with their inquiries — this is where Instagram DMs come in. They are private, consumers can ask as many questions as they want, and an associate can answer them, enabling the shopping experience.
“It works in two parts: when a customer submits a question, and there could be thousands of questions depending on what a customer is looking at, so the first thing a brand has to do is automate the ability to respond. Even though it is great that consumers are sending queries, brands need to respond, and automating an answer allows you to respond quickly. After that, integrating Natural Language Processing mechanisms allows brands to be able to automatically answer generic questions about shipping policies, coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs, among others. These are all opportunities for a brand to answer and respond to users and ultimately convert the window shopping experience into a sale,” Sheth said.
Make Personal Recommendations for Future Purchases
Not only can automatic Instagram DMs help make a single sale, but they can also help encourage future purchases from the customers you engage with. Automatic messaging provides a great opportunity for brands to have one-on-one conversations with a shopper. During that process, retailers can build a very deep relationship with the consumer and ask them questions, collect feedback, and engage in a way that feels more personalized than a survey. This opens up opportunities to be able to share information on new products that you think they will like based on past conversations.
“I think there is an enormous opportunity to make very personalized recommendations since you are not trying to guess what a user will like without context,” Sheth said. “I know this customer’s history, and based on a certain item I know they like, I can recommend a budget accessory in a particular color or style that matches their interests. The automatic Instagram DMs capability allows brands to create personal shopping assistants that high-end luxury retail stores would typically offer.”
An Affordable Sales Solution
Integrating automatic Instagram DMs is an affordable solution for smaller, independent brands who do not have the same budget as larger retailers. Gupshup, for example, offers different tiers of pre-packaged solutions that already know how to handle different questions. The more you personalize your automatic messaging, the more expensive the technology gets, but the pre-packaged solutions still cover all of the stages of shopping including product discovery, payment, returns, and cancellations. Besides Gupshup, retailers can also try ManyChat, DMpro, and Direct Bulk Sender.