Instagram initially rolled out the gift card sticker for Instagram Stories to help businesses survive the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the interactive sticker can not only help get you through these difficult times, it can also help you grow your business once the pandemic is over.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping has seen an unprecedented surge. This is not surprising, seeing that in many countries, lockdown measures have been very strict, making it difficult or even impossible for people to shop at a store. Also, many consumers have simply felt unsafe shopping in person, so they have switched to shopping online instead.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development survey “Covid-19 and E-Commerce,” among 1,800 consumers from nine countries, the pandemic has transformed online shopping behavior. Besides a personal increase in online shopping, many consumers also stated that as they have gotten used to it, they are also more likely to shop more online, even in a post Covid-19 world.
For businesses that have suffered greatly under the pandemic, this change in online shopping behavior also offers a great opportunity that will likely extend beyond the current situation.
Setting up ways for your customers to shop online will definitely help your business to survive the pandemic, but it can also increase your revenue, help you find new customers and grow your business in the future.
It is true though, setting up an online shop is not an easy task, especially for a small business. If you are just starting out, or simply want to see if online sales are a good fit for your company, Instagram offers the perfect solution: gift card stickers on Instagram Stories.
Instagram launched the gift card sticker in April 2020 as a new feature on Instagram Stories to help small businesses get through the pandemic. You can include the sticker in your stories by selecting it from the stickers menu when you create a new story.
After selecting the gift card sticker, you will be prompted to select a business partner, such as Kabbage, Square, LoyLap, or Toast, and then include a partner link. You can also customize the design of the sticker to best fit your story.
Once you share your gift card sticker in a story, users can tap on the interactive sticker and it will lead them to the partner website where they simply have to follow a few instructions to complete their gift card purchase.
If you are a traditional brick-and-mortar store and most of your customers are not on social media, you might think it’s not worth worrying about offering gift cards online — and you might be wrong. Especially if your business had to close temporarily, or if you can only operate with many restrictions right now, it is definitely worth considering gift card stickers.
They offer your business a way to stay afloat. Consumers are happy to help out small businesses and treat their friends and family, or even themselves to a gift card they can redeem later. Of course, the challenge is to let your customers know that you are offering gift cards online.
Instagram Stories will allow you to connect to more of your customers, and potentially, to find many new customers and let them know about your business. It can therefore be a great way to increase your sales, especially since using the feature is very easy and intuitive for users and involves very little work for you.
All in all, it is a great feature to gain new customers and keep your business going during this difficult time.
If you offer gift cards, you should generally include this information by adding a gift card button in your profile.
While this will help those customers who already know about you and are specifically looking for a gift card, adding the gift card sticker in your Instagram stories can also help reach users who are simply browsing through their story feed for news. It will increase your chances of selling gift cards online.
Why? Because including the sticker also in your stories gives more followers a chance to find out that you offer gift cards.
Instagram users don’t necessarily use Stories because they want to buy a gift card, but they will use the feature to get inspired when looking for gift ideas.
Think about this when you create stories, and design some of your posts as gift ideas. If a user finds a gift idea they like, but doesn’t want to fully commit to buying a specific product, the gift card sticker is a clever alternative to the shopping sticker for those more undecided shoppers that would otherwise turn away.
Also, by hitting the gift card sticker, their gift card is also only a few taps away. It’s a unique opportunity for your business to turn followers into customers.
While people might be looking for birthday gifts all year long, there are obviously certain occasions where almost everybody is trying to get a gift for their loved ones, such as Valentine’s Day or the holiday season. Make sure not to miss out on opportunities like these, and plan your gift card sticker stories around these occasions.
Even if, due to the pandemic, customers might not be able to immediately use a gift card for your specific business (such as staying at a hotel, enjoying a spa weekend, or taking in-person classes), people are eagerly awaiting when they will finally be able to do these things again safely.
Help them get over the pandemic blues and make plans for after Covid-19 by adding gift card stickers to your stories.
People like to have something special to look forward to, and gift cards are perfect for that. At the same time, selling the gift cards will help your business during these difficult times.
While online shopping might be a lifeline for your business right now, it can also help you grow your business in the future.
Using the gift card sticker on Instagram Stories is a great way to try out online shopping for your business, and see how it works for your brand without investing too many resources. And who knows, it might turn out that Instagram, with its [one billion monthly users](), is a great platform to gain new customers and sell your products or services online! It is definitely worth a try.
Even when customers do come back in person, it doesn’t mean that you should abandon online sales. Especially with Instagram being such an important platform, it can benefit your business even beyond the pandemic.
It will allow new users to discover your brand, and give you a new opportunity to turn followers into customers. Especially with Instagram’s gift card stickers being so easy to use, many users actually prefer using Instagram to purchase a gift card as opposed to other websites where the process is more complicated.
Even if Instagram will not become the main platform for your online business, it could still be a lucrative extra channel for online sales.
In order to help you make the most out of using the gift card stickers on Instagram Stories, we have compiled a few bonus tips for you.
Instagram Stories is meant to spread news, which is why stories by default only last for 24 hours ([unless you archive them]()). Use the time limit to highlight new items, products, services, or even discounts, and tag them with a gift card so users can act immediately and get a gift card right away.
Instagram posts in general and Instagram stories in particular are most effective when you interact with your followers directly. Make sure to take advantage of this knowledge when you go about promoting your gift cards. If one of your customers shares a story about how they used one of your gift cards, share their experience in a story of your own.
It will show your fans that you care about their experiences, and if you include a gift card sticker in your story, it can motivate other followers to join in on the fun.
Everybody is struggling right now, so showing a little gratitude towards people that support your business can go a long way. Make sure to say thank you when customers purchase a gift card. It’s a great way to interact with customers, and it shows that you appreciate their business.
Don’t be ashamed to use hashtags such as #supportsmallbusinesses with your gift card stickers to show your fans that you need their help. There is nothing wrong with being honest with your followers, and you might be surprised how many of them will gladly help you.
Not every single story should include a call to action where you ask your followers to buy something. Even for customers who love your products and services, it will get to be too much. So be mindful when using gift card stickers, and plan carefully when and how you want to use the feature. One way of doing this is to use Storrito to plan your stories.
Storrito is an online tool for planning and editing Instagram Stories. Unlike on the app itself, Storrito not only allows you to use all the features of Instagram Stories, including the interactive stickers, but it also lets you schedule your stories, which can be extremely helpful when using gift card stickers because you can plan ahead.
Storrito even lets you schedule stories in bulk, which makes it easy to plan your gift card post around certain events. Storrito is also a collaborative tool, so you can work on a story with multiple users from different devices, including desktop computers or laptops.
Storrito can save you a lot of time, improve the quality of your posts, and help you get the most out of Instagram Stories for your business. Find out [how to get started on Storrito]()!
How to Schedule Instagram Stories from your Desktop PC
With Storrito, you now have access to a web tool that lets you schedule your Instagram stories from your desktop PC.
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