Live selling on Instagram: a guide to drive sales and connect with customers

Live shopping on Instagram is exploding.


Across Southeast Asia, social commerce roughly doubled over the same period last year, with orders up by 102 percent. It’s little surprise as Southeast Asian users are social media and mobile-savvy. There are over 887 million mobile connections in the region, accounting for 132% of the total population. Instagram is also one of the most popular social media platforms used by Southeast Asian internet users aged 16 to 24.


With Instagram live shopping picking up speed, live selling on Instagram is a powerful way to connect with your audience, build your brand, and drive sales. Here are 5 ways to get you started.


But first, why do Instagram live selling?

Instagram live selling allows creators and brands to sell products directly from the app via a live broadcast. With Instagram live, you can build hype around newly launched or exclusive products, showcase products in great detail to your audience at no real-time limit, and even respond to potential customers’ questions live.


You can instantly interact with your customers and even save the videos on your profile so customers can continue shopping and browsing the featured products after the live broadcast. Think of it as a live video catalog.


It also allows you to connect with your customers authentically and directly. It can be off-the-cuff, unscripted, and genuine. It’s like speaking with a potential customer in person, except you can talk to an even larger audience at one go in the comfort of your own home or office. The beauty of Instagram live is the instant connection you make with your customers, which cannot be replicated through other online selling methods.


Tip #1 Outline your topics for your Instagram live stream. Be customer-centric.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think about what they would like to see from you. With this, you’ll put out meaningful content that your customers appreciate. Ensure that the content is aligned with your business objectives. Brainstorm about potential topics that might interest them and make it educational. Whether it’s tips and tricks, a guide to selecting the right product in the category, or perhaps ways to life-hack with the product, customers are always on the lookout for content and products relatable to them.


Make live selling exciting and easy to follow. This could mean overlaying your live with some text highlighting key points and throwing in some interactive games such as a live quiz where customers can participate.


Tip #2 Promote your Instagram live ahead of time

Start promoting your Instagram live up to a week before it goes live. Drop teasers to excite your audience, and start highlighting the types of content they can look forward to during the live stream. Post these sneak previews about the upcoming live stream on Instagram stories and link them to your Facebook account to double your awareness. Post a countdown up to a week before the live stream and even drop exclusive promotions and discounts that your customers can expect if they tune in. If you are collaborating with a co-host, ensure your co-host promotes the live stream on their channel too.


Tip #3 Be equipped to capture and manage orders

Gone are the days where customers place an order by direct messaging you. Now, there are Instagram live tools to capture comments as orders instantly. With proper Instagram live software, customers can simply comment with the relevant product codes and quantity (e.g., ad + 1), and the system will automate the order for you.


Many of these Instagram live systems come with inventory and order management so that you can keep track of your products easily. This means that you can also keep an eye on the movement of your stock. With each customer’s orders appropriately tagged and recorded, you are fully aware of the status of your inventory at any given time.


With such Instagram live tools, there are no missed opportunities as every part of the customer journey is being taken care of while giving you peace of mind.


Tip #4 Don’t be shy to promote your CTA throughout the live stream

Don’t leave your CTA at the end of the live stream. Take the opportunity to mention it to your audience at regular intervals. If you use an Instagram live tool to capture orders, you can also highlight how they can place an order with the code. Some optimal times to use a CTA can be after describing a product feature, after an engaging, interactive Q&A session about the product, or even when you notice an influx of people joining your live stream. Do remember to also regularly introduce yourself and make quick recaps of the hero products you are promoting.


Tip #5 Do a post-mortem of your Instagram live and plan the next steps

Your Instagram live doesn’t end the moment you conclude your live stream. Follow-up with your audience about what they liked about the live stream or if they found it helpful with a poll. You can even source inspiration for your next live stream by asking what they would like to see next. Based on your customer engagement and sales performance, you can evaluate the products that performed well and if specific interactive, engaging formats to promote the product helped boost sales. From there, you can plan the cadence of your live stream. It does not need to be weekly as pop-up live streams can also generate excitement and exclusivity since customers can lookout for something special during the live stream.


Final thoughts about Instagram live selling

There you have it, 5 tips about live selling on Instagram to generate sales and engage with your customers. Instagram live shopping is only growing, and selling on this platform can help diversify your sales tactics and streams. Always switch up your content to avoid burnout, and space your live streams apart to excite your customers. So don’t idle. Start now! Set up your Instagram for Business account, stock up your virtual shelves, and follow these tips. Your customers are out there waiting for you.

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