Shoppable Posts in 2021

We’re all glued to our phones, scrolling through social media, checking out the latest Instagram posts. It’s no secret capitalizing on social media has an enormous impact on businesses, and with Instagram’s new shoppable post feature, this is all the more true. They have made it easy for customers to shop for their favorite brands, all from one app. Shoppable posts have endless benefits for brands, influencers, and consumers as well, and here’s how your business can capitalize on this feature.

For Brands

If you’re a brand in 2021, you better have a killer social media presence. Not only for brand awareness but for sales! Your followers can now buy your products directly on Instagram. Your brand can list their products in the “IG Shop,” and users can then check it out in the shop or navigate your brand’s website to finish their transaction. For brands, this means each post has a much higher chance of leading to a sale.

screenshot of Gillz Instagram profile with arrow pointing to "view shop" button

Once an item has been added to a user’s cart, Instagram will even send them reminders to finish their purchase. This helps with conversion rates and creates a seamless shopping experience. Users can also save items to their wishlist for purchases at a later date. As a brand, you can also tag products in your in-feed posts. They’re marked with a shopping bag logo in the top right-hand corner of the post. When the tag is clicked on, it takes the user directly to the product featured in the post.

screenshot of Instagram shop with Gillz apparel/ Arrow and text highlighting shop and wishlist features,
screenshot of a shoppable instagram feed. Arrows highlighting shoppale post iconsin upper right hadn corner of each post
In-feed Instagram post with arrow highlighting product tag

The Downside

There are some downsides for brands. Instagram charges a transaction fee of 5% per shipment or $0.40 per order. All customer communications and data are kept by Instagram. Brands do not have access to it. Instagram is a business, after all. The app has created a way for brands, influencers, and Instagram to make a buck off your scrolling habits. 


We’ve preached before about the value of influencers in a previous blog post, and we all know social media influencers can be very powerful. Influencers can now create shoppable posts themselves. When an influencer makes an in-feed post, they can tag the brand featured. When users click on the “paid partnership” disclaimer, they will be taken to said brand’s Instagram page. The brand will even be able to see the metrics and insights from the influencer’s post.

Collaborating with influencers produces content for the brand and increases the likelihood of a post showing up on the discovery page. Influencers can now even tag brands in stories, posts, and reels. Making this user-generated content valuable to businesses and sometimes reposted to their social media accounts. 

White screen with text and product lays for apparel. Screenshot highlighting "in this video" feature for shapable posts on instagram.

Need some help?

When curating your social media strategy, make sure your brand uses social media to the fullest extent. Features like shoppable posts are a great way to engage your customers in a familiar space on a platform they already use.

Read more about shoppable posts via this step-by-step guide to shoppable posts, or contact us here at James Ross if you’re looking for a social media marketing agency to help elevate your online presence and incorporate this absolutely required tool into your business’s social media strategy.

10 E-Commerce Trends for 2021

2020 threw us a curveball. To stay relevant in this ever-changing marketplace, retailers need to adapt to the latest eCommerce trends. Just as COVID-19 changed the way many people shop, it has also driven innovation in the eCommerce industry.

According to Shopify, eCommerce sales are at an all-time high after the pandemic accelerated years of growth in just weeks. Also, it’s estimated that the eCommerce industry saw ten years of growth in the span of 3 months due to pandemic-related changes in customer lifestyle and needs.

The pandemic exposed the extensive capabilities of online retailers, and as a result, customer expectations are higher. Now that consumers have experienced the ease and immediacy of eCommerce, they will expect nothing less. While we can’t predict precisely what the post-pandemic world will look like, there are some emerging trends in eCommerce to look out for. 

Here are 10 e-commerce trends to keep an eye on in 2021:

1. AR & AI

Augmented Reality

AR gives customers a chance to interact with a product from the comfort of their homes. With the power of Augmented reality, brands like Ikea allows customers to see what furniture will look like in their homes before purchasing. By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in AR online and in-store, according to Gartner, Inc.

hand holding a phone in their living room while using augmented reality to view a red chair in their home prior to purchase
Photo Credits to Inter Ikea Systems via

Artificial Intelligence

AI tunes into customer preferences to offer a customized shopping experience. Using an influx of data, shops can cater the shopping experience to each customer’s preferences and tastes. Personalized experiences add a “human” touch to an otherwise completely digital experience.

2. Shoppable Posts

Many online retailers have opted to create shoppable posts for social media. Apps like Instagram make it easy for customers to shop a store’s products by simply scrolling through their Instagram feed. Brands can tag products in posts for a smooth shopping experience.

Instagram screenshot of a platter with 4 glasses of lemonade and sprigs of fresh herbs
Photo credits to JRA

In addition, Instagram has even added an Instagram shop, where users can shop a curated selection of products from the brand’s profile. Users can also add items to their cart and checkout all within the Instagram app. Furthermore, when brands hire influencers, they too can tag a brand’s products in their posts. This allows the influencer’s followers to shop directly from their post rather than the brand itself.

Instagram screenshot of Instagram shop feature with all white screen and pictures of products
Photo credits to JRA

3. Sustainability

In addition to improving the virtual experience, sustainability and environmentally conscious business practices are essential to many consumers. More people are beginning to care about the environmental impact of the products they consume. Whether it’s recyclable packaging or production that uses less water, customers want to know that companies care about their footprint. According to, “32% of consumers would pay more for a product from a brand that they believe is committed to sustainability,” and “75% of environmentally-conscious consumers want brands to reduce the amount of packaging they use”. Consumers want to buy from brands with transparency and sustainability in mind.

sustainable supplement packaging with 2 sizes if green bottles and recyclable containers
Photo credits to Trailer & Eater

4. Payment Options

Flexible payment options have become a norm in eCommerce website design.  Services like Afterpay, Later, Klarna, and Affrim allow customers to get the item now and pay in installments. In a culture that thrives on experience, these services enable customers to enjoy products now and pay later.  Other payment options include Apple Pay & Google Pay which allow customers to save a virtual version of their payment card to their phones and use it during the checkout process. This additional feature allows for a seamless checkout process for on-the-go shoppers. Applications like Venmo and CashApp give consumers easy ways to send and receive money from their friends and family. These apps have become increasingly popular, and some have integrated them as payment options in their eCommerce website designs. 

screenshot of online shopping cart with pink proceed to cart button and multiple payment options
Photo Credits to JRA via

5. Subscription Services

The subscription and auto-ship services bring products to consumers’ front doors regularly without the hassle of constant ordering.  Some subscription boxes and services offer a culmination of curated products, such as themed boxes from Bespoke or a unique collection of products from Ipsy.

screenshot  of subscription packages on a white background.
Photo Credits to JRA via

Autoship features allow customers to check out once and receive a constant stream of products. Items are then shipped monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually depending on the product or customer preference. Intuitive features for subscription services like community chat rooms or even text reminders on your order are becoming increasingly popular in eCommerce website design. Probiotic brand, Olipop, sends subscribers a text at the beginning of the month where customers can pause, modify, or cancel their monthly subscription via text. In a world of uncertainty, many customers flock to the ease and convenience of subscription-based products.

screenshot from website with green text and picture of a text message conversation on a. phone
Photo Credit to via

6. Chatbots

People want answers now. Many brands have integrated a pop up-chatbot feature in their eCommerce website designs. After giving the bot a clever name, this bot can answer customer questions in real-time.

screenshot of the chatbot ecommerce trends witha  white background and pop up of a chatbot waiting to assist cusotmers
Photo Credit to JRA via

7. New E-commerce Products

COVID-19 opened up an entirely new market for eCommerce within grocery stores. Grocery providers have found innovative ways to reach their customers, as people began to buy things online that they’ve never bought before.

Major grocery chains have created contactless delivery, curbside pickup, and new apps to create a seamless shopping experience. Consumer packaged goods brands now have to create an easy shopping experience both in-store and online. Some consumers use third-party services like Instacart and Shipt to deliver packages to their doorsteps. Others can buy their groceries via the grocery store’s website or app and pick up their items later in the store.

8. Automated Shipping

With an influx of online orders, many retailers turned to automated shipping to keep up with high demand. Third-party logistics companies like Shipmonk work with eCommerce brands to simplify and quicken the logistics process. Some brands use software that syncs inventory with warehouse computers, while others use robotics that can pick, pack, and ship products as soon as the customer clicks “Place My Order.”

man and woman interacting with robotic arm that sorts a yellow object into a box

9. Fast and Easy Mobile Sites

In an age of immediacy,  people want things fast and easy. To keep up with the ever-changing market, company websites need to be easy to navigate with a clear menu, legible font, and quick load time. Google released a report that over 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.  Check out our previous blog post to learn more about how to optimize your mobile site.

10. Innovative Packaging

When the cardboard boxes start piling up at your doorstep, it’s nice to receive something different. Many brands have begun using innovative packaging to enhance user experience. From shipping boxes personalized with your name to signature color poly-mailers, companies have innovative ways to brand every aspect of the user experience.

hand holding a brown recycle package with a motivational phrase  in front of a white background
Photo Credit to Pinterest
brown cardboard box on a wooden table with branded tissues paper packaging inside
Photo Credit to Fit Small Business
bright red box on a purple surface surrounded by postcards and small bags
Photo Credit to Pinterest

Challenges faced in 2020 means innovation in 2021. We were forced to adapt, and most companies changed for the better. It will be challenging to know what will happen to eCommerce after the next major world event, but we do know that eCommerce can adapt and meet the needs of customers, no matter the circumstances.

Contact us here at James Ross Advertising to help ensure your business is staying up-to-date on the latest eCommerce innovations.

The Anthem Video; A Rallying Cry

More and more brands are creating brand anthem videos. And for good reason. It’s harder than ever to get the attention of the people you’re trying to reach. With the plethora of media choices available to us every day, it’s hard to break through the clutter. More than ever, people need to be entertained to pay attention to content. 

What is a brand anthem video? 

It’s an entertaining video for customers and employees to rally around which expresses who you are as a brand. It’s a dive into the company ethos that captures the fundamental truth of what your brand stands for. Think of a brand anthem like a movie trailer. Exciting, entertaining, inspiring and relatively short, the trailer makes you want to see more and gets you pumped about the full-length film. 

And just like a movie trailer, an anthem video should make the viewer feel an emotion. 

Here is an anthem video we created for Gillz Performance Fishing that expresses their essential brand truth. 

So, what makes a successful anthem video? 

1. Make sure you communicate what you stand for. Today’s consumer wants you to stand for something that’s important to them. What are your guiding principles? Why is the company in existence? Do you stand for durability, creativity, or something else? Make sure that comes across in your branding video. 

2. Communicate an essential truth. As humans, certain truths reside in all of us. Expressing one of these commonalities will bring people together to support your brand. Choose a theme we can all get behind and support. 

3. Don’t go on long-winded product descriptions or features and benefits. Pick an overriding theme and hit that home. Remember, an anthem video is something for customers and employees to rally around. It’s not a sales video. 

4. The tonality of your video should reflect what your company offers. The tone and style of a video for a hospital would obviously be different than one for a software company. 

5. Hire a professional marketing firm to shoot original content. Sure, you can try to D.I.Y it, but professional brand anthem videos should be seen as an investment. They can have diverse marketing uses and have a long shelf life. The bottom line- don’t cut any corners. There’s nothing worse than an anthem video that features generic, amateurish, poorly shot footage. 

6. Make sure the music creates the emotion you’re after. Video content allows you to connect with a consumer on multiple levels. The audio shouldn’t be an afterthought. Select music that tells the story of your brand.

An agency that works in brand design can guide you in creating a video that not only resonates with customers but tells the story of your brand. Want to get started crafting your company’s brand anthem? Reach out to us, and we can create the brand anthem video of your dreams.

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

It’s a rarity to meet anyone who doesn’t have their smartphone within reach. Many people turn to their phones for online shopping, news, and information. When considering a new website for your company, it’s more important than ever to make sure it is user friendly, especially on mobile. If you’re an eCommerce company, it should be a “mobile-first” design, meaning you’re optimizing the design to work first on the phone and secondly on the desktop. Why is that? The fact is, it’s now statistically much more likely that eCommerce customers will be interacting with your website from a smartphone than a desktop. There are many reasons why you should create a mobile friendly website, we’ll touch on a few below. 

Remain accessible to all potential customers

Mobile is the go-to for over half of internet users. Smartphones are everywhere and more accessible than desktops. According to Google, as of 2019, the number of mobile website traffic outweighs that of desktop, and 63% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from you if your website offers them relevant information. By 2025, 72% of internet users will be solely using mobile According to the World Advertising Research center. You would hate to lose a customer just because they can’t access your site from their preferred platform, wouldn’t you?

Because Google Says So

Google’s algorithm prioritizes user friendly websites overall, and especially mobile-friendly sites. When evaluating which site ranks at the top of Google searches, mobile accessibility is one criterion Google hunkers down on. To get the most out of SEO-optimized content, your site has to be accessible on mobile devices. 

Information Source

Consumers look to mobile sites for information. Think of your mobile site as a virtual welcome desk; users can get information about products, locations, mission statements, contact information, and much more, all from their phones. With the click of a link, the user can send an email or make a phone call. Some mobile sites even include messaging and live chat features to assist with their customers’ experience. 

Credibility and Relevance

In 2021, many consumers expect any reputable company to have a fully functioning website. According to a study done by SurveyMonkey and,  40% of mobile users will leave a website if it is not mobile friendly. Those are all potential customers you are missing out on.

So now, here’s the second big question, what makes a site mobile friendly?

While much goes into the website design process, a few things should be considered when designing a mobile site. A good mobile website is:

  • Responsive- Website responsiveness means that the site will adapt to the size of your screen. The website will automatically adjust based on the size of the screen the user is viewing the site on. The user will not have to zoom or scroll to view all the content on the page.
  • Quick Load Time- Mobile sites should load quickly to reduce bounce rates. Google released a report that over 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. 
  • Easy Navigation– Mobile sites should be easily navigable. This includes legible fonts, clickable contact information, and an easy-to-use menu. 

You can read more about website optimization from our blog post here.

Mobile sites shouldn’t be an afterthought but instead looked at as a way to reach new customers. After your next website redesign, make sure to test the site on both mobile devices and desktop to ensure it’s an enjoyable, easy experience for users. In this day and age, you must be able to engage with your customers no matter the device they’re using.

Contact us here if you’re ready to make your website mobile friendly!