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Clothing store finds success using Instagram to grow business

Retailers are successfully selling products through Instagram and it can drive customers back into their storefronts at the same time.

GAINESVILLE, Ga.- Shopping until you drop doesn't require that much effort anymore, but retailers aren't just selling on the web.

They're also successfully selling products through the social media site, Instagram, and it can drive customers back into their storefronts at the same time.

Danielle and Derrick Case shop and sell for a living. They've got it figured out when it comes to the latest trends, not just with fashion, but also online.

"We live by Instagram and we are a social media company," said Danielle.

Their retail shop, Dress Up, has grown to 20 locations across the southeast with constant new arrivals for a growing client base.

"When you get as much inventory every week as we get in, you've got to convey that out to somebody," said Derrick. "There's no easier way than for somebody to flip through their phone."

The Cases said Instagram is one of the top referrals to their website, with hundreds of thousands of hits monthly, just from the app.

"Last month, I believe, it was 70 percent of our purchases made was on a mobile phone," said Derrick.

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Instagram is a full-time job. At least 10 people are working on the store's social media every day, with an in-house photography team, photo shoots, and 10,000 pictures a week.

They're not alone. Small businesses are tapping into the Instagram age, making it easy for customers to browse and make purchases with a swipe or a few clicks.

Instagram launched business accounts in 2016, and now have 25 million of them worldwide. Eighty percent of users follow a business account, with more than 200 million active users visiting at least one business daily. They said 150 million Instagrammers have conversations with business every month, leading to connections and quick responses between companies and customers.

Georgia State Professor Denish Shah runs the university's Social Media Intelligence Lab.

He said companies are also leveraging the popularity of online influencer who've found fame and followings online.

"They may not have the budget to hire, say, Lebron James or some big celebrity, but you can definitely reach out to a social media rock star, who could be just somebody living across the street but happens to have a lot of followers," said Shah.

For Dress Up, Instagram has also brought customers into the stores, phones in hand, looking to check out the merchandise in person. A process that all starts with the team engaging customers where they are.

"They are living on Instagram," said Derrick. "They're getting their inspiration from there, so you've got to be there."