The Majority of Instagram Users Now Shop on the App

Instagram is the most popular app for Gen Z and Millennials, with 1.5 billion monthly users and beating TikTok for the most-downloaded app in Q4 2021

The platform’s content and features have seen major changes in recent years, turning into a direct shopping channel with the potential for brands and retailers to engage with consumers and drive sales. 


Part of its refocus on shopability comes from the demand for social commerce. According to recent Forrester research, social selling is the top priority for commerce businesses (63%). Of all Instagram users, 70% open the app to shop.  What new capabilities give the platform an edge? 

  • Organic content: Instagram gives businesses the opportunity to generate unpaid marketing content and engage with consumers authentically. Organic content comes in three forms: 1) businesses’ own content posted to their business profile, 2) user-generated content posted to the business profile, and 3) influencer partners who promote products or services on their own profiles. Executed correctly, organic content is one of the easiest ways to establish trust with consumers.
  • Ads: Companies can start with Basic ads, which feature a photo or video, and can get as complex as Collection ads, unique ads for Reels and Stories, and Carousal and Branded Content ads that allow businesses to leverage paid partnerships. Similar to the organic content, paid advertising on Instagram needs to blend with content on users’ feeds. 
  • Instagram Shops: Instagram Shops possibly holds the platform’s greatest commerce potential. This storefront is where users can browse curated product collections, view product details like sizing, color variations, and availability, and make purchases directly. Brands and retailers can set up shopping tags on products in their Instagram ads to take users directly to their storefronts.