If you're thinking of adding the shoppable Instagram feature to your account, it doesn't hurt to back yourself with a bit of research.


Research done by Hong Kong Baptist University in partnership with The University of Nottingham, Nigbo China, into consumer trust in a decision to purchase from an Instagram store or story identifies key factors which influence consumer trust.


For consumers, it can be difficult to tell which Instagram accounts are genuine and which are fake. As Instagram shopping is relatively new, consumers are hyper-aware about being deceived or misled by tantalising accounts that offer too-good-to-be-true deals. To overcome this, the research suggests that business owners can build up their trustworthiness on Instagram in three key areas; perceived benevolence; perceived integrity; and, perceived competence.


Perceived benevolence relates to the perception that you are doing something good for your customers. Your followers can easily observe the business' conduct online and can form opinions about the trustworthiness of your store. If you take care to provide good service and interaction with your followers, they are more likely to purchase from your Instagram store.




Perceived integrity refers to the users perceptions of how honest they think you or your business is. Consumer's can't change their minds after purchasing from an Instagram store, so the decision to purchase weighs more if it has a significant price tag. Instagram stores that consistently show a fair buying-selling process – whether that's showcasing a happy customer with their received products in a post or quickly resolving any concerns transparently, allows users to form a sense of trust towards the store.


Perceived competence relates to your ability to manage your Instagram account. The platform is flooded with thousands of accounts selling the same things, so your ability to differentiate yourself from the crowd is key. High quality photos of products is the main way to draw attention to your business on Instagram. Being relatable, having a thorough knowledge of your audience and products, as well as offering exclusive deals on your Instagram are just some of the ways to utilise the platform, according to the Australian government's tips.


The research also identifies key opinion leader (KOL) endorsement and peer endorsement as other ways to build trust amongst your followers. Consumers are not able to inspect the product before purchasing from Instagram, so transfer their trust on to KOLs – otherwise known as 'influencers', or their peers who have purchased it. Influencers are seen to provide trustworthy and useful information to their followers; and with the mandatory #ad or 'sponsored post' tags, users are able to easily decipher the KOL's genuine opinion from advertising – making an Instagram purchase easier. Similarly, users are more likely to trust their peers' opinions than they are a Instagram account or brand they're unfamiliar with.


So now you've got that under your belt, check out this resource on how to set up the shopping feature on Instagram.


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