How Instagram Works for eCommerce

From Browsing to Purchase

Below are two case studies of a product sale on Instagram. I have detailed my journey as a customer from browsing and viewing an advert, all the way through to my eventual purchase. This shows how you can use your company’s Instagram account to increase your product sales.

Case Study 1:

The Cultivating Creative:
Creative writing course with Christina Macpherson

Christina Macpherson is an Australian model and writer. During the New Zealand lockdown, every day at 11am she posted half an hour of writing exercises on her Instagram stories, saving them to her Highlights so people could view them again whenever they liked. People could tune in and practice their writing alongside her or come back at a later time. From the success of this, and for the love of writing and sharing, Christina created an online course called ‘The Cultivating Collective.” This, she advertised on Instagram. You can purchase it for $60.00 AUD. The course is four weeks in length, but once you purchase it, you have lifetime access.


Customer Journey:

  • Christina’s writing exercises during lockdown, gave customers a sneak peek/free-trial into what her course would offer. As I followed her exercises during lockdown, once lockdown ended and she stopped hosting the exercises on Instagram, I was still eager to keep up my practice and hence her course was very appealing, with the idea of all of the exercises in one place – I assume this was the case for many.
  • She advertised the course on her Instagram Stories, every now and again, with a swipe up option to head to the website where the course is hosted.
  • Furthermore, the website url is also permanently in her link in bio.
  • Her course website is simple, clear and to the point – it explains the “what” and features several reviews.
  • Her price is low and she compares it to buying 8 coffees with oat milk.
  • A simple swipe up (or click of the link in her bio) takes you to the website page, where a basic ‘Buy Now’ button allows you to purchase the course.

My Steps:

  • I followed her writing courses during lockdown on Instagram, having already been “following her.”
  • When she started advertising her writing course on her Instagram story, I swiped up to find out more.
  • I read the online website page (it was short and sweet and didn’t take long to fill me in on what I needed to know).
  • Over the next few weeks, I had the course in the back of my mind – Christina advertised it a few more times on her story which reminded me of it (not over saturated though- it was mixed in with her usual posts).
  • Eventually her reminder of how much it would cost (comparing it to the oat milk coffee) got me to purchase the course.


I followed Christina on Instagram -> she ran writing courses on her story over lockdown -> she posted an advert for her writing course on her story -> I swiped up with the swipe up mode on Instagram -> read through the course page of the website -> added the course to my cart -> purchased!

Case Study 2:

Scout and Nimble

Scout and Nimble is an affordable designer furnishings and decor company. They are very active on their social media, especially Instagram. Almost every day they post on their Instagram story, showing you not only their product, but how it’s made and why it would be perfect for your home or space.

See below for the typical customer journey to purchase on Scout and Nimble’s Instagram.


1. View their story


2. Keep clicking through their story which goes into detail about their trending product on show.


3. Continue to click through their story, which then shows product placement in an area you can imagine as your own home.


4. Next is the product itself, with a call to action swipe up to shop, using Instagram’s “see more” option.


5. For those that choose to continue to click through their Instagram story, they have more options for you to “Swipe up,” this time linking you to a blog to explain more about the product.


6. You swipe up, curious to learn more about this product. The blog explains “five easy ways” that their product should fit in your home.


7. The blog describes how the product is made, and also the history, making it a luxury product that you must have in your home


8. Accompanying the blog are photos of their product set up in a stylish home space.


9. There is a call to action near the end of the blog, “Sign me up!” which allows the customer to write their email to hear about new blog articles. This is a way to catch those customers who are not yet ready to buy, but are interested in learning more.


10. At the very end of the blog, there is a photo of the product the blog has focused on, which allows you to click through to the product page and purchase. There are also photos of other products similar to the one it has just described in the blog. Maybe your customer does not actually need a futon, but they do need a pillow! This is a good way to show the other range of products you sell.


11. There is also a place to comment on the blog – engaging your customer and showing them that their views are important too. Below this, there is a link back to their Instagram, reminding you to follow them. There are finally links to the rest of their website, including their About Page.



Follow Scout and Nimble on Instagram through interest in decor -> Click into their Instagram story and view product photos -> continue clicking through story to view more details about the product and photos of the product -> use Instagram’s swipe up option -> this opens a blog about the product on their website -> read the blog -> sign up to stay in touch with the company -> click on final product photo -> add to cart and purchase!

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