Retailers that invest in building seamless digital experiences to help customers make purchase decisions will win.
In July 2020, REI generated 2x more social media engagements than the average number of engagements from its competitive set. 96% of REI’s social media engagements took place on Instagram.
Top-performing Instagram posts in July focused on cute product photos, park conservation, and product-focused nature appreciation.
REI also utilizes Instagram Stories to further promote engagement on the platform. For example, REI has categorized past Stories into highlights on its profile which users can scroll through to find useful content. REI uses the “Swipe Up” functionality in the highlights to link directly to blog articles.
REI also uses Instagram Stories to answer any customer service questions that they would typically receive in-store. A “Swipe Up” link is then placed at the bottom for the user to quickly be taken to the product page for the item in question.
In a similar fashion, Instagram Live is used by REI to provide value that would be typically found in an in-store specialist – such as how to choose running shoes. REI uploads a copy of the live stream to their profile after it was done for it to exist as an evergreen asset.
REI is using Instagram Stories to provide value typically found in-store: REI is creating and categorizing stories into highlights to provide information for a question that a customer would typically ask in-store. Such as, “which running shoes are best for me?” or “what backpack is best for long hikes?”. These stories include a “swipe up” feature linked to REI’s website for further reading or to shop for the item in question.
What Brands Should Be Thinking About
Utilize Instagram Stories to answer questions and provide value that would be typically found in-store: With an increase in online shopping, it is highly valuable for customers to be able to tap into a brand’s expertise to help them when making a product decision.
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