Is Instagram the New Amazon?

Is Instagram the New Amazon?

Live Streaming Trends May 8, 2021

With the proliferation of social media live streaming, Instagram is likely to dominate the future of digital marketing. Identified as the emblem of strong visual power, Instagram has emerged as the go-to advertising platform for companies of all sizes aiming to enhance brand awareness and magnify sales.

Instagram ads have always directed users away from the platform to complete the purchase. This has always posed significant risks to the advertisers, including losing sales due to cross-platform friction and consumer confusion. Interestingly, the latest Checkout feature on Instagram makes shopping much more convenient, elevating it as an authentic commerce platform. It brings the holy grail of social shopping much closer – the consumer can buy any product directly from the seller through a single Instagram post. In simple words, with Checkout, Instagram is now more than a social networking platform; it's a marketplace.

Selling Power of Instagram

Instagram, today, is a central retail environment, where selling is no longer just the domain of retailers. It has evolved as a competitive landscape for influencers and e-tailers who capitalize upon the platform's selling power. Take the fashion industry, for example. Global fashion chains and individual designers have been able to showcase their products and display important product information on Instagram. Consumers can purchase these products without leaving the platform. Influencers tag these products to add to their visibility, and the consumers can shop these photos in just the same way as they can from the feeds of the fashion retailers themselves.

Control over Commerce

Amazon has enjoyed a monopolistic power over e-commerce through its unique offering of promptly giving the consumers an exact answer to their shopping queries – utility shopping. According to a study from Feedvisor, as many as 74 percent of online shoppers in the U.S. go directly to Amazon when they need to buy any specific product. However, Amazon has miserably failed in transforming into a one-stop marketplace with the required control parameters. On the other hand, Instagram offers long-sought control over digital commerce, control over product presentation and pricing. The consumers can fill up their shopping bags just as they fill up their carts in the native checkout function and purchase their desired products without leaving the app. Not to forget, pricing is a significant driver when talking about Amazon, and Instagram offers far better margins - another blow to Amazon. This is precisely why the tech giant is largely being acclaimed as a high-end alternative to Amazon, offering an incredible social shopping utopia.

Discovery Shopping

Proponents contend that Amazon's failure to capture the opportunity in 'discovery shopping' is what has paved the path of success for Instagram. The Checkout is a revolutionary step for Instagram that has radically transformed a social networking platform into an online shopping destination. And for once, Amazon finds itself looking up to Instagram from a position of weakness and fragility. This feature has essentially capped off the social photo-sharing app's multi-year filtration with becoming a real and prominent player in e-commerce. Owing to its visual nature, Instagram is mainly transforming the consumer shopping experience, allowing them to discover more and more products and inspiring them to covet their wares. In other words, it is bridging the gap between product discovery and product purchase. This is something so innovative and big that no other social network or giant online retailer, even Amazon, has done to date. Instagram has successfully built a big business inside a mobile app, primarily based on impulse buying that brick-and-mortar firms have feasted on for decades.

Skepticism Calls

However, some are a bit skeptical about the complete do-away of Amazon at the hands of Instagram. While the opportunity for Instagram is enormous, so are the risks. For instance, there is a transaction fee for brands using Checkout, which could be a potential problem if Instagram starts to account for a disproportionate amount of sales. Secondly, the brands' control over their image posted on Instagram can be jeopardized if it turns out that anyone can put up a photo to sell their products. Thirdly, there are risks on the merchant's side as well. While under the conventional shopping method, the consumers are directed to the brands' website where the merchant can show the consumers more products and potentially sell more products, Instagram users can only purchase one product at a time directly in the app.

Leverage the Power of OneStream

Despite the risks, Instagram has hit the bull's eye in building a massive online platform for discovery shopping. And the underlying reason remains Amazon's failure to do so. Businesses can leverage the power of live streaming on Instagram to significantly increase consumer engagement and magnificently amplify their visibility. Since live stories are placed in front of regular stories, they fetch more attention and visibility. Moreover, these live stories are push notification-enabled, which is an excellent catch to the followers' attention.

With OneStream Live, businesses can manipulate the power of live streaming on Instagram by:

  • Promoting their products through demos and tutorials so the followers can see everything first-hand and in real-time,
  • Encouraging any limited time offers and create excitement by making live announcements,
  • Conducting interactive Q&A sessions to answer the queries of consumers and influence quicker decision-making,
  • Running pre-recorded videos to stream as real-time and improve brand awareness, visibility, and authenticity,
  • Uploading videos from multiple cloud storage options,
  • Multicasting Instagram live videos on 40+ other social networking platforms and the web simultaneously,

And a lot more!

Read More: Ace Digital Marketing through Live Streaming with OneStream Live

Instagram has taken the lead in satisfying the shopping savvy millennials' (and Gen Z's) needs for pictorial inspiration. At the same time, it has offered businesses an immersive storefront, beating Amazon and taking pride in establishing a discovery-shopping-enabled marketplace. The opportunity lies in delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time, and Instagram is doing it exceptionally well.

OneStream Live is a cloud-based solution to live stream across 40+ Social Media Platforms and the web simultaneously. For queries and feedback, Live Chat with our team or write to us at [email protected]. You’re also welcome to Write for Us!


Saba Mohsin

Saba is the Lead Digital Content Writer at OneStream Live. She is a progressive researcher and an ardent blogger with a keen eye on ground-breaking technologies.