Gaining customers just got easier thanks to Instagram Shopping. Launched in 2020, Instagram shopping is a feature that makes it easy for e-commerce companies to create a fully shareable digital catalogue of their products on Instagram.
Four Reasons Why You Need An Instagram Shop
Setting up your business on Instagram is a smart strategy to gain access to millions of customers. IT can also reduce the risk of your business being dependent on Google and other social platforms for customers.
- Audience. Instagram is one of the largest social networks in the world. The social network has approximately 1 billion monthly active users. Less than 10% of Instagram users are under the age of 18.
- Business Engagement. Wordstream reports that more than 200 million Instagram users visit a business profile daily.
- Shopping. The Instagram Shop feature lets customers browse your product catalogue online and buy products directly through the platform for a fee.
- Instagram Advertising. Worried that you don’t have enough followers to make Instagram worthwhile? You can use Instagram ads to get your posts in front of potential customers. The Instagram advertising capability leverages the power of Facebook, so you can easily target potential customers
There are only two reasons why Instagram shopping might not be a good fit for your brand. First, Instagram is a highly visual social media platform. You need quality photos and videos to succeed on the platform. Without these assets, it won’t be easy to attract attention. Second, Instagram is best suited for consumer brands. If you are selling products to companies, Instagram is probably not a good fit.
Starting Your Instagram Shop Step By Step
Getting started with an Instagram shop takes a few steps. Pour a cup of coffee and get ready. You can launch your company on Instagram in a matter of hours.
1. Confirm your business is eligible.
Take a few minutes to confirm whether Instagram shopping is available for your business.
- Instagram Shopping Availability. Fortunately, it is offered in many countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom.
- Instagram Policies. To use the Instagram platform, your company has to follow the company’s policies.
- Owns A Website. You need to have a business website on your own domain.
2. Create an Instagram business account
You need an Instagram business account to sell products. If you already have an account, you can skip ahead to the next step.
3. Connect to a Facebook Business page
Open your Instagram business profile and use the following steps to connect it to your Facebook Business Page.
- Click Edit Profile
- In the “Public Business Information” section, click Page
- Select the Facebook Page you want to connect to. Choose carefully if you have multiple brands or businesses on Facebook
According to Instagram, a Facebook Page Shop is not required for Instagram shopping, only a Facebook Page.
Note: there are three ways customers can check out their purchases on Instagram: directly on Facebook and Instagram (limited to the US at this time), checkout with messaging, and checkout on your website. To maximize your orders, we recommend always giving customers a choice to check out on your website using Checkya.
4. If you already have an e-commerce website, there is a different path you can take. For example, a Shopify store can automatically sync its products to Facebook.
5. Upload your company product catalogue
There are two methods to upload your products.
- Option 1: Upload products through an integration. You can automatically upload your e-commerce catalogue if you use a supported platform. As of August 2021, supported eCommerce platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce.
- Option 2: Use the catalogue manager in your Facebook Business Manager account. This is the preferred option if you do not have an established e-commerce store.
6. Submit Account for review
Submitting your Instagram shop for review is simple.
- Open your company’s Instagram page. Tap the triple line symbol (≡) and then tap on Settings
- Sign up for shopping
- Submit your account for review
You have to wait for Facebook to approve your products before you can sell on Facebook or Instagram. Generally speaking, approval takes about 48 hours. While you wait for approval, you can work on other steps like taking photos of your products.
7. Turn on Instagram Shopping
Once your account is approved, turning on shopping takes a few minutes.
- Visit your business’s Instagram page. Once again, tap on the ≡ symbol and open Settings
- Tap business and then tap Shopping
- Choose the product catalogue you want to use.
- Select Done.
8. Start Tagging Products In Posts
Now for the exciting part! You’re ready to make posts on Instagram about your products. In the next section, we’ll cover some of how you can create posts that drive sales.
How to create Instagram Posts for your Shop?
There are two aspects to creating successful posts on Instagram to drive sales. First, you need to know how Instagram posts with products work. Second, you need good marketing skills to make your products attractive.
Creating a post that highlights a product isn’t that different from creating a regular post (i.e., an image of a person using one of your products and a caption). Once you have your post idea in mind, an image, and a caption, use these steps:
- Tap on “Tag Products.”
- Select the product you want to highlight.
- Tap on “Done” and “Share.”
In addition to a basic post featuring a product, there is another option. You can use a “shopping sticker” in Instagram Stories. To use this follow, use the following steps
- In the top right-hand corner, tap on the sticker icon.
- Choose a product sticker from the list
- Select a product from your company catalogue that you want to feature
- Choose where on the screen you want the sticker to appear in your story (Tip: placing the sticker close to the top is usually a good idea because it will be easy to see and not obstruct the rest of your post).
- Experiment with different text colours. You can check the text colour of the sticker to make it more prominent. Aim for contrast so that potential customers can easily see the sticker
- Share your story
Creating Instagram Posts That Sell
Creating posts that sell products on Instagram takes more than showing your products. You need to apply marketing principles to your posts. Here are a few ideas you can use to create posts that sell your products.
- Add a sense of urgency. Give customers a reason to buy your product right now. For example, your post might offer a 24-hour sale where customers can get 10% off.
- Tell a story about the product. Look for unusual stories to tell about your product. Check out this post by Bossproject to see this idea in practice.
- Use hashtags. At a minimum, use 2-3 hashtags on each post (Instagram lets you have up to 30 hashtags). Using #shoes for a post about shoes is just the start. Look for trending hashtags that other people are talking about that might be related to your product. You might use #backtoschool if you offer products for children and students.
Tip: To discover relevant Instagram hashtags for your business, open the Instagram app regularly and search tags like a customer for your business.
Creating Instagram Stories for your Shop
In addition to traditional posts on Instagram, you can also post short videos called Instagram stories. Before you create an Instagram story, it is helpful to know a few points on how this feature works.
- Stories Disappear After A Day. Instagram stories automatically disappear from Instagram after 24 hours.
- Maximum Video Duration. Instagram Stories videos have a maximum length of 15 seconds. If you have a longer video idea in mind, you can post a series of videos to tell your story.
- Photo or Video. Instagram stories can be based around a video or a photo.
Once you have created an Instagram story, use the sticker tag to highlight one of your products in the post. While you can promote products in your stories, avoid constant promotion. Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk recommends the following approach: 75% of posts should promote your business, and the remaining 25% should not directly promote your business.