American Marketer


Shopping trending big on Instagram, opening opportunity for luxury brands

February 24, 2020

Top trending travel destinations on Instagram. Courtesy of Brandwatch. Top trending travel destinations on Instagram. Image courtesy of Brandwatch.


More than 54 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of seeing a post on Instagram, offering an effective way for luxury marketers to directly reach and convert affluent shoppers.

Visual posts produce 650 percent more engagement than text posts on social media, per analysis by British market researcher Brandwatch. Instagram has 1 billion monthly users, 60 percent who log in daily.

“This is a hit in the U.S., with consumers loving the ability to stay in the app, click on an item they want and checkout,” said Leia Reid, data journalist at Brandwatch, Brighton, England.

“It's a platform where we're used to seeing branded content, and if luxury brands are able to engage audiences, they could definitely see sales figures rise,” she said.

“I’d recommend luxury brands get in on this action, by making their posts clickable to purchase,” she said.

Brandwatch is a digital customer intelligence company that analyzes consumer and brand behavior.

In 2019, eMarketer estimated that Instagram ad revenue was $9.45 billion, and projected the platform to hit nearly $14 billion in 2020.

Instagram drives sales through both ads and in-app purchasing, according to research from Brandwatch.

Trending landmark in Paris on Instagram. Credit: Instagram Trending landmark in Paris on Instagram. Image credit: Instagram

Travel selfies and hashtags

Consumers love to post photos of themselves travelling on Instagram. Selfies in front of landmarks are especially popular.

India, London, France, Paris and Thailand are the top destinations mentioned on Instagram, the report found.

Travel posts are particularly popular between April and October, with a bump in December during the holidays, according to the report.

Luxury brands can tap into this popularity by joining the conversation surrounding these sites.

"Users love to post pictures of temples, skylines and food,” Ms. Reid said. “Luxury brands should make the most of this in terms of their advertising, and engagement.

"Consumers like to portray that they’re cultured, and they want to be involved in travel trends,” she said. “Let’s face it, vacation pictures get the most engagement on social because they’re romantic and exciting.”

The most popular destinations for vacation pictures in London are Tower Bridge, London Eye and Hyde Park, according to Brandwatch’s research.

In Paris, the leading sites are Disneyland, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame.

“Luxury brands should focus their attention on similar experiences,” Ms. Reid said.

“It may be harder to sponsor landmarks, but music festivals and other popular destinations are fair game," she said. "These events provide an opportunity for brands to install the next Instagram-worthy backdrop or scene.”

The top hashtags found in the Brandwatch report were #travel, #photography, #travelphotography, #photooftheday, #nature, #love, #Instagood, #picoftheday, #beautiful and #travelgram.

Luxury brands should use hashtags to connect to consumers who are traveling or aspiring to travel hashtags that work well since those in the general sphere, as well as those that fit a brand’s specific niche to attract attention to themselves.

“This will drive consumers’ awareness of the brand and raise their profile,” Ms.Reid said. “Hashtags are also the easiest way to track the success of a campaign.”

Influencer Cardi B. Credit: Instagram. Influencer Cardi B. Image credit: Instagram


Based on the chatter during January’s shows, Brandwatch expects streetwear to have another banner year.

Additionally, pink and yellow are colors that are trending this year.

The report also revealed Milano was the top-mentioned fashion show this year so far, followed by the Louis Vuitton and Jean Paul Gaultier fashion shows.

Not surprisingly, fashion shows generate a large amount of Instagram posts.

INTERESTINGLY, THE REPORT found that people in the audience at the shows get more attention than the designers, models and brands themselves. This may be due to the fact that fashion shows are often attended by celebrities.

“Frankly, social media loves celebs, and although Instagram is focused on the visual elements, not everyone knows who designers are,” Ms. Reid said. “But everyone knows celebrities.

“From Cardi B’s iconic studded balaclava looks at this year's Men’s Fashion Week, or Ciara and Russell Wilson rocking the #nyfw mentions on Instagram, people love to talk about the outrageous actions of celebs,” she said.