Columnists

Selling on Instagram: A Q&A with Industry Expert Katerina Perez

ColumnistsNov 17, 2020

Selling on Instagram: A Q&A with Industry Expert Katerina Perez

In this special installment of Creative Connecting, the influencer talks about why specificity and patience are important, and what consumers want when they shop on social media.

duvall-jcw-7.jpg
Duvall O’Steen, left, and Jen Cullen Williams are independent communications strategists and senior consultants for the Luxury Brand Group. They can be reached at DuvallOsteenNYC@gmail.com or Jen@JenCullenWilliams.com.
Scrolling through Instagram is not only linked to inspiration, socialization and escapism, it has also become an increasingly important marketing tool, lead generator and marketplace for the 25 million-plus businesses on the platform as of 2020.

According to Instagram, 70 percent of “shopping enthusiasts” turn to the platform for product discovery.

Instagram has built a variety of shopping features that tap into existing social media behavior patterns to help business accounts become shoppable storefronts and convert browsers into buyers.

Selling on Instagram is clearly a growing business opportunity, but how can the jewelry industry reach this group of active shoppers?

To answer this question, we spoke with renowned international jewelry influencer Katerina Perez of KaterinaPerez.com to get her expert advice on strategies and best practices for jewelers.

She recently launched an online Instagram sales course designed specifically for the jewelry industry, and she shared some of her practical and thoughtful tips with us.

Q: Why is selling on Instagram something jewelers should consider?

Katerina Perez: Instagram is not just a social media tool. It is slowly but surely becoming a marketplace with a good percentage of high net worth individual users.

By having the right Instagram strategy, a jeweler can expose their brand to a new and wider audience, which is especially relevant nowadays. They can also secure sales by having engaging content and taking advantage of the various tools that Instagram offers, like the InstaShop feature or Targeted Advertising.

Q: Does fine jewelry sell on Instagram, or is lower priced/fashion jewelry more saleable?

KP: Both (high- and low-priced products) sell on Instagram, but of course, fashion jewelry finds new owners more quickly because of the price tag. Fine jewelry account managers have to put more work into managing Instagram to find the right target audience and to inspire them to buy. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I know brands that have sold jewelry with a six-figure price tag, only thanks to Instagram.

Q: Is an Instagram shopper different from a traditional shopper? If yes, how so?

KP: Instagram shoppers are spoiled and their attention span is minimal, as there are thousands of jewelry accounts accessible at a tap of the finger. 

Also, they don’t want to have to take too many actions to buy something or spend time figuring out how to order what they like in your feed. That’s why it is so important for every jewelry 
brand to have content that catches the eye and sparks interest, as well as key features like shoppable tags in stories, retargeting campaigns, shipping calculator, etc., that make it easy to shop.

Jewelers must also constantly review their Instagram account through the eyes of their followers, who are also their potential clients.

Q: What is a consumer expecting from an IG shopping experience?

KP: When it comes to jewelry, first a potential client wants to get to know the brand through Instagram. Only after they have been following for a while and started trusting it will they be ready to buy. This is when they want a fast purchase and headache-free delivery, as well as a responsive person running the account who can answer all their questions within minutes, or at least within a few hours.

Q: How can businesses define their audience to better target core customers on Instagram?

KP: This is actually one of the things I work on with those who attend my course, “How to Sell Jewellery on Instagram.” I am going to give you a small abstract from the course.

When defining your target audience, don’t think in broad terms like, “I want to attract women who love jewelry.” That will not help you narrow down your visual and verbal communication.

Be more specific. Think of your ideal client’s age, location, marital status, work and hobbies, where they like to travel to, which events they like to attend, how much time is spent on Instagram, what do they do on it, do they follow any bloggers, etc. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine their world and what they might be looking for on Instagram.

Once you have a clear picture of your target customer, you can offer your followers the type of content that would correspond to their specific needs.

A fashionista who wears jewelry to complete her look will not bother reading long posts about historical jewelry, right? But she would be super-keen to know about the hot trends in jewelry or how to style your collections.

To have a long-lasting relationship with your audience and win their loyalty, you need to showcase through your content that you understand what they desire and that you have exactly what they want.

Think: Why would people want to follow a jeweler on Instagram? What would they expect? To see pretty pictures? Learn about jewelry? Find their dream jewel or buy a gift for someone?

Put yourself in the shoes of a client and give them what they might want before they even ask!

Q: Outside of direct sales, are there any other advantages of setting up Instagram shopping?

KP: The main thing to remember that Instagram is first and foremost a platform where people go to socialize and find entertainment. That’s why the ability to sell jewelry is really a bonus.

The real advantages a brand may receive are getting quality requests and leads, as well as making new contacts and finding business connections and potential clients.

With over 1 billion-plus active monthly users, Instagram recommends businesses take these three steps to find ways to leverage shoppable content.

1) Make content actionable
2) Own your brand voice
3) Plan ahead

Remember to always be mindful of Federal Trade Commission disclosure guidelines when posting product for sale on Instagram. The Jewelers Vigilance Committee has a clear, easy and downloadable guide on its website.

Lastly, remember that at the end of the day, you are selling emotion, not a product. Jewelry is a precious container of the emotions that we hold dear—mementos of self-worth, a memorable occasion or a loved one.

So be sure to add the romance.

Pair your beautiful hero product shot or video with a caption that speaks to it greater emotional value.

Use the swipe to feature to show the product being worn for context as it relates to size.

And make sure any lifestyle images reflect your core brand values and look like your target customer so that they can see themselves in your ads.

Interested in setting up your Instagram shopping experience? Visit Instagram’s business page for more information.

Ready to enhance your Instagram selling strategy? Consider participating in “How to Sell Jewellery on Instagram,” Katerina’s six-week online course.

National Jeweler readers can receive a 15 percent early-bird discount for the gold and platinum levels by emailing education@katerinaperez.com and using “NationalJeweler” as code word.

Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams are two independent communications strategists and senior consultants for the agency Luxury Brand Group. They can be reached at DuvallOsteenNYC@gmail.com and Jen@JenCullenWilliams.com.
Jen Cullen Williamsis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.
Duvall O'Steenis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.

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