8 Powerful Instagram Ideas for Ecommerce Shops

Never run out of Instagram ideas again

Posting gorgeous, on-brand Instagram posts consistently is pretty hard.

You need to strike the right balance between product shots and non-promotional posts. Your color palette needs to be complementary and recognizable. AND your followers have to love your posts—otherwise your organic reach begins the long tumble down to obscurity land.

That’s a lot of spinning plates when you’ve got a busy ecommerce business to run.

That’s why we scoured Instagram and put together some post ideas that get great engagement rates that you can start using today.

Posts that feature your product

Your products are your lifeblood.

You spent countless hours agonizing over vendors, teaming up with the right creators, selecting the perfect items and creating a unique collection that delights your customers.

But, you don’t want to use the same product shots you’ve featured on your website. So, let’s take a look at some fresh ways you can shoot your products and create some top notch posts.

1. Show off your product in its natural habitat

Items have purpose. Help your followers visualize exactly how your product would fit into their lives.

Buffalo Jackson is all about the rugged outdoors. Their entire brand is built around the hard-wearing, “could drop it in a river and it would still work” esthetic.

So they took a coffee mug and instead of shooting it next to a coffee machine, they contextualized it. This isn’t just another “buy my cup” post, it draws you in and makes you dream of the outdoors.

Find your context. What’s your product for and where would your customer use it? That’s the photo to take.

2. Use the aaaaawww factor

The world is divided into two types of people. Pet owners and wannabe pet owners. Appeal to both by using pets in your photo shoots and make the fluffy cuteness work for you.

A post shared by Redbubble (@redbubble) on

Ask around the office and find out who’s got cute pets (though to be honest, they’ve probably cornered you with photos of Mr. Cutie by the watercooler one too many times already.)

Create a story that features the pet and the product. This works really well with wearables and home decor items—only the coldest hearts can resist clicking like on a puppy in a t-shirt or a guilty kitten next to an overturned vase.

This type of shot shows off your brand’s playful side and it creates a link between happy emotions and your Instagram feed. Strengthening that link will increase engagement.

3. Place like with like

Link products that fit together.

It’s the perfect time for a little motivation and cute notepads to get organized. Coming for ya #2017.

A post shared by Ames and Oates (@amesandoates) on

This shot is beautifully designed. Something about the clean white background, dropping shadows and pop of color draws the eye in.

For your post, chose a background that fits with your overall Instagram aesthetic and complements the items you picked.

Then, arrange them together, make sure your lighting is good and take a top down shot. This type of post works really well for clothes, jewelry, bath items and kitchenware.

4. Don’t make your product the center of attention

Give your product some well earned chill time and shoot a beautiful photo that features your product without putting it front and center.


View this post on Instagram


Rise above. #standfortomorrow

A post shared by TOMS (@toms) on

This type of post is effective because it doesn’t feel like a staged shot. It says “look, people use this in the real world all the time and you can too.”

So, put your product in a real life context and focus on the big picture. If you sell scarfs, you can take a snap of your colleague working on their laptop with the scarf hanging on the back of their chair. Use a great filter and voila: you’ve created a relatable post.

5. Tap into user generated content

Instagram is about sharing and connecting. What better way to honor that than by inviting your followers to share their content?

Zulily, a Seattle based ecommerce company, started the hashtag #zulilyfinds.

They encourage followers and customers to share their special moments that feature products they bought through Zulily. They even created a separate page where you can shop Instagram favorites.

A post shared by zulily (@zulily) on

This is a great strategy to use for any ecommerce company that sells products people love to use.

Create a specific hashtag and ask your customers to snap a pic and tag you. For extra incentive, you can run a monthly competition where the favorite Instagram share gets a voucher.

Posts that don’t directly feature your product

To build strong, lasting relationships with your followers you have to do more than just post endless product shots.

6. Create posts that elevate your brand’s message

A post shared by Casper (@casper) on

Casper sells mattresses. Their whole brand is built around the importance of getting a good night sleep.

But, mattresses aren’t something you buy every day and to keep their followers engaged after the initial purchase, they have to be about more than that. So, they post a lot of sleep jokes and random sleep statistics because who doesn’t want to spend all day napping in bed?

Find your equivalent. What’s your brand about besides your product? What else do you stand for?

Create a few slogans or put together some interesting statistics that your followers will enjoy and place them against a clean background.

7. Inspirational or funny quotes

I know. Every time you see these, you roll your eyes. But, a lot of people love them. The important question here is how do your followers feel about them?

SumoMe grew their instagram following from about 4k at the start of 2016 to 108k at the start of 2017. They gained over 100k subscribers in just 12 months by regularly posting inspirational quotes!

Olive Ave boutique intersperses quotes between product shots to add variety to their feed.

A post shared by Olive Ave (@oliveaveboutique) on

So, it’s time to ask yourself the big question. Is this something your followers would love? If you aren’t sure, test it! If you think you are sure that they won’t, test it anyway.

Pick a quote that will resonate with your ideal client and use a tool like Canva to create a simple graphic. Add a few relevant hashtags and post.

8. Show the people behind the product

Show your face and the faces of your team. People do business with other people. We love seeing what’s going on behind the scenes, in the secret mysterious background!

Snap a pic of your team on an outing, in the office, during lunch or while preparing for a product launch. This makes you instantly appear more approachable, relatable and human.

Keep your feed on brand, keep it real and create posts with your followers in mind. That alone will set you apart from all the other ecommerce companies who forget to put the social in social media.

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