How Does Instagram Affect Our Shopping Habits?

Social media platforms have become a huge part of our daily lives and they continue to increase in popularity. As the number of social media users increase, we see new social media platforms being introduced. With social media platforms becoming an indispensable part of our day-to-day routine, our lives keep changing accordingly. From the way we view friendship to our concept of beauty, social media deeply affects our lifestyles.

How Has Instagram Changed Our Lives?

When it comes to the most popular social media platforms, Instagram is one of the first to come to mind. Since Instagram is probably the most visual out of all the social media platforms, it is quite easy to find yourself spending hours on it. Studies show that Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and it is no coincidence. But, how does Instagram’s popularity affect our world?

Our Perception of Beauty Is Now Shaped by Social Media

First of all, what differentiates Instagram from most of the other social media platforms is that it is mostly based on visuals. Since it is a platform where users can share photos and short videos, it doesn’t take too long for a picture or a video to go viral in a matter of hours. Makeup and fashion trends also get passed around on Instagram, which results in our perception of beauty to constantly change and adapt to what’s being shared on Instagram. For instance, there are certain makeup trends that are called the “Instagram makeup” by young people especially. The rising popularity of “highlighter” is another example to how Instagram has the potential to make certain makeup trends or products go viral in such a short period of time, which is of course due to popular posts by Instagram influencers about “Instagram makeup”.

It is also fair to say that Instagram has changed not only our perception of beauty but also our way of constructing and framing photos. The mainstream photo frame we mostly favored used to be a horizontal rectangle, whereas now, we see the rise of “square photos” or “horizontal rectangles” (as in the stories section), thanks to the popularity of Instagram. We can see this shift in the visual marketing content shared by brands on social media as well as on our own Instagram profiles.

Instagram’s Effect on Our Shopping Habits Keep Increasing!

As a result of our perception of beauty and aesthetics, Instagram has become a platform for advertising as well. Most brands keep the way Instagram displays visual in mind in their product development, packaging design and marketing processes. Now, brands are focusing more on how well a product will look on Instagram rather than focusing on how it will look on the shelves. How this affects the product quality is another issue, of course. However, when it comes to makeup and beauty products, it is fair to say that Instagram is the main marketing platform for beauty brands.

Fashion is another industry where visuals are of utmost importance, therefore the role of Instagram in fashion has become indispensable. Instagram has become incredibly important for fashion giants. They form partnerships with influencers and celebrities to promote their brands on Instagram via storytelling by using “posts that don’t feel like advertising content”. This makes it easier for customers to shop online rather than preferring to shop in brick & mortar stores, changing the customer experience drastically.

 

A More Accessible Shopping and Brand Experience

With brands setting their marketing strategies based on Instagram, localization has become a very important factor as well. Becoming aware of the bigger markets and target audiences, brands are now forming partnerships with influencers that can address a specific target audience. This helps them localize their content and promote the brand by working with people with whom the customers are more familiar. This marketing approach has gained in popularity all around the world, deeming Instagram a massive marketing platform for brands as well as a social media platform for millions of Instagram users. 

Another way Instagram changed our shopping habits is that it has given a platform to smaller retailers where they can promote and sell their products. Instagram makes it possible for smaller enterprises to reach a wider target audience, which is a great advantage for smaller boutiques. Instagram makes it possible to support diversity in industries like beauty and fashion, as it serves as a platform where smaller retailers are able to promote and sell their products to a wider audience. For customers who prefer authentic products and designs, Instagram is a platform where they can find products and brands that are more in line with their personal styles, without being limited to the mainstream brands.

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