It is a universally acknowledged truth that a brand in need of customers must possess an active Instagram account. Add a partnership with some influencers to the mix, and bam! You’ve got yourself the recipe for success.
Promoting your products on Instagram, however, has one tiny problem. Customers need to click on the link in your bio to be redirected to your website. Wouldn’t it be SO much better if this extra step could be removed? That’s exactly what Instagram Shopping does!
Read on to find out what it is, how it will help you, and how you can get approved for it.
What Is Instagram Shopping?
Instagram Shopping is an Instagram feature that allows brands to list their catalog of products on their Instagram page, adding a digital store to their profile. This makes their products more discoverable for users, allowing them to browse and shop for products directly from Instagram.
Customers can also discover new products by searching for categories. In short, it simplifies the selling as well as the shopping process.
Brands with Instagram Shopping will usually have a button called “view shop” under their bio.
Once users click on that, they will be taken to the catalog of products.
You can check it out for yourself by visiting an Instagram shop and clicking on any product that catches your fancy. You will be able to see the full description along with an option to “add to bag” and then “proceed to checkout.” Once you checkout, you will be prompted to fill in product specifications, your contact details, and payment details. Then you will be able to complete the purchase by using the Facebook Pay service.
However, this checkout option is available only for U.S businesses and creators that comply with all of Instagram’s policies. Other businesses that don’t have this feature can still set up a shop and connect their website. Users will be able to view the products on Instagram and then proceed to the website to checkout.
Another cool part is that you can tag Instagram Shop products in your posts, stories, and reels. This will add a little shopping bag icon to your posts. Users can click on that and be redirected to your Shop- specifically to the product you tagged.
You can also tag products to your ads! Yet another way to promote your products is by talking about them live and adding the product tag to your live session.
For example, let’s say you create a reel wearing a dress you sell. You can tag that particular dress in your reel and people will be able to shop by clicking on the bag icon!
Here is a post with a product tagged on it:
When users tap on the icon, they will be able to view the product labels as well as the price. Instagram allows you to tag a maximum of 5 products per post.
In a nutshell, Instagram Shopping is an e-commerce tool that lets you set up a shop inside Instagram.
How To Set Up Instagram Shopping?
Now that you’ve decided to make use of Instagram to sell your products, the next step is setting up your shop on Instagram. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Check Eligibility
The first step to setting up an Instagram Shop is knowing if you can set one up. What does this mean? It means that Instagram has certain requirements that you should meet in order to qualify for setting up a shop.
Here are the requirements:
- You must be located in one of the eligible countries.
- Your product must be physical goods and not services.
- Your products must comply with Instagram’s e-commerce policies and merchant agreements.
- Your business must have its own website. This is where you will be selling the products from.
- You must have the latest version of Instagram.
Step 2: Convert your Instagram account to a business/ creator account
This is an easy process and can be completed with just a few clicks. Head to Settings → Account → Switch Account Type → Switch to Business/ Creator Account.
In order to complete the process, you will be asked to link your Facebook business page to your Instagram profile. Head on over to Edit Profile. It is right there under your bio. Under Public Business Information, click on Page. Choose your Business Facebook Page, connect it, and you’re all done!
If you don’t already have a business facebook page, you can create one.
Step 3: Upload Your Product Catalog
Any online shop needs a catalog. A catalog is simply a list of all your products including price, photos, and descriptions. There are two ways in which you can complete this step:
- Through Facebook by using its Commerce Manager.
- By importing items to your Facebook catalog by using one of its e-commerce partner platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce. Follow this guide to learn how to do that.
Step 4: Submit your account for review
The next step is submitting your account for review. This may take a few days, so hang in there.
Go to Settings → Sign up for Shopping → Follow the steps and submit your account for review.
Instagram will send you a notification when your account gets the green light for Instagram Shopping. Alternatively, you can also check your status by visiting the “shopping” tab under “settings.”
Sometimes, you may get a notification from Instagram asking you to prove ownership of your website domain. In such cases, follow these steps, and you’ll be good to go.
Step 5: Turn on Instagram Shopping and start adding product tags
Once your account has been approved, go to Settings → Shopping → Choose the product catalog you want to add.
Once that is done, start adding product tags to your posts/ stories/ and reels to maximize exposure and drive sales. You can also monitor your Shopping insights under the “insights” button.
Benefits of Setting Up An Instagram Shop
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Turning it into an e-commerce platform has several benefits for brands:
- Your products reach a larger number of people, making your brand easily discoverable. Even people who don’t know about your brand have the chance to discover your product, which means more customers for you!
- It makes your products easily shareable – whether it be through tags or direct messages. This acts as an indirect promotion for your products.
- It makes for a very easy shopping experience for consumers. They don’t have to jump through hoops to buy things; they can do it right there inside Instagram in just a few minutes. Moreover, users can also save your products and revisit them at a later time.
- You can use it to announce product launches! Let’s say you are launching a new t-shirt collection. You can use the shop sticker to announce it and create anticipation on your story. The best part? Users get to set a timer for your product launch! As soon as the timer runs out, they will be able to click on the sticker and go to the product description page. (Note: This feature is available only for businesses in the US that are eligible for the “checkout” option.)
- If you partner with an influencer, their followers will be able to shop for your products directly from their page. Influencers will be able to add product tags to their posts. Upon clicking the tag, users will be redirected to the product description page. You can easily distinguish such posts by the “paid partnership” tag.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of Instagram Shopping, it is time to set it up and start selling! But don’t forget to share this article before you go.