By Jaci Schreckengost
Instagram rolled out four new story features for businesses to utilize during COVID-19 — and possibly beyond.
As they said in their April 15, 2020, post, “Small businesses are an important part of our community, and many are facing immense challenges during the COVID‑19 crisis.” In response to this, they are creating features to help out.
Here are the four features Instagram has created to help boost sales during this time.
Share your favorite businesses
The first feature is a sticker that anyone can use to show support of their favorite small business. It shows a blue ombre shopping bag with a heart in it, with the ability to tag your favorite small business. This helps benefit local companies, as they are able to increase their audience without actually marketing themselves. While companies should not rely solely on this for marketing purposes, it is helpful during this time of need.
Food delivery through IG stories
For businesses with food services, Instagram created the option for customers to order through a third-party service right from an Instagram story. When you begin setting up the sticker, you’ll be able to choose what food delivery service you would like to have your customers order through. You can choose from Caviar, ChowNow, delivery.com, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless, Toast, or UberEats, depending on what works best for your business and area of the country. Customers can then click on the Order button, which will then direct them to the third-party app, and then allow them to order from the restaurant.
This is a great way to promote your restaurant, even when customers can’t come in and sit down.
Donate to nonprofits
If your organization is a nonprofit or a nonprofit is closely related to your company, you can add a donate button to your Instagram stories. This allows clients, fans, and followers to donate right to your cause, or a cause closely related, from the Instagram story. When you insert the donate sticker, Instagram gives you an extensive list of nonprofits, with ones suggested for the viewer at the top. Users can also search for their favorite nonprofit with the search feature.
Buy now, shop later
The fourth feature to benefit companies during COVID is the gift card Instagram story feature. With this, businesses can choose from third party vendors (Gift Up!, Kabbage, LoyLap, Raise, Rise.ai, Square, Toast, or Yiftee) to make gift cards available for customers to purchase. This helps businesses that are seeing less income during this time still make money.
While personal accounts only have access to the donation and support small businesses, consumers can still use these two to help out their favorite small businesses and nonprofits during this time. These are all accessible in the stickers section while editing an Instagram story post.