In the past, if you wanted to buy something, you had to go to a physical, in-person store. Nowadays, that’s not the case. It’s much more common to purchase something online vs. in a physical store. In fact, shopping online is so popular that now Instagram introduced a shopping feature right in its app. How much do you know about Instagram Shopping, and have you tried this feature yourself?
Instagram Shopping is a powerful tool for promoting your own products or affiliate products. A reported 130 million users each month tap on Shopping posts, and 81% of users consider Instagram as a way to research products and services. Despite these stats, many brands and content creators are still using outdated ways to promote their products, services, and so on. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into Instagram Shopping to explain how this works and how to get started.
What Is Instagram Shopping?
First, Instagram Shopping is a feature on the social media platform Instagram that enables brands to make a digital, sharable catalog of their products within the app. Instead of linking to outside products on your website, you can actually embed them right in each photo or post.
When users click on a Shopping post, they learn more about the product or service. This sometimes means they can even complete the checkout process right there in the app, no link to your website needed.
Instagram Shopping is perfect for ecommerce brands, especially if you have a strong affiliate marketing strategy.
Essentially, each brand gets a customizable digital storefront within your profile. Like a landing page, this is an extension of your brand’s sales funnel. Another great benefit of this feature is the Shop discovery tap. This expands your reach so non-followers can discover brands of all shapes and sizes.
How to Get Started
If you’re an online brand looking to boost sales through social media, it’s easy to get started. First, you’ll need to get confirmed by Instagram. You’ll need to meet these requirements:
- You’re in an approved region (not all regions have the Shopping feature yet)
- You sell an eligible product
- You comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and policies
- You have your own e-commerce website
- You have a business profile on Instagram
Once you’ve confirmed the above, you’re ready to begin. Here are the steps to follow to get started.
Step 1. Create a business or creator account.
You’ll need to make sure your Instagram account is a business account or a creator account. These types are ideal for small businesses as well as influencers.
Step 2. Connect your Facebook page.
Next, connect your Instagram profile to your Facebook page. To do this, go to Instagram, click Edit Profile, and under your Business Information select “Page.” Choose your Facebook page associated with this account and connect it by following the prompts.
Step 3. Upload your product catalog to Facebook.
You need an updated product catalog to link to Facebook and Instagram. Go through the Facebook Business Catalog Manager to do this. Once logged in, click “Create a Catalog” followed by “Ecommerce (products).”
The easiest way to proceed is to upload your product information and assign a catalog to your Business Manager account. You can add items manually by typing a name and product description as well as uploading an image. Once done, link to your website and click next.
Alternatively, if you use a Partner Platform like Shopify, BigCommerce, and so on, you can connect this to Facebook to do this process automatically.
Step 4. Submit your account.
Next, submit your account for review once you’ve inputted all of your products. To do this, go to your Instagram account. In your profile settings, click “Sign Up for Instagram Shopping.” Each profile is manually reviewed, so this might take a few days. Be patient and wait for confirmation that you’ve been approved.
Step 5. Turn on Instagram Shopping
When you’ve been approved, it’s time to turn on the Instagram Shopping feature. Log in to your Instagram profile and go to your profile settings. Under Business, select “Shopping” and choose the catalog you uploaded previously. That’s it!
Step 6. Make your first post.
Last but not least, create your first Instagram Shopping post. You’ll upload a photo to your feed like normal. Before you click publish, tap on the Tag Products button. Choose where you want the tag to appear, and type the name of the product you’d like to tag. Choose your product and hit done. Now your post will have in-app shopping capability.
Boost Sales Using Instagram
Instagram is a powerful tool for creators and brands. From helping you find your ideal niche to keeping you productive, this app really can do it all. Since the latest update places the Shop tab in a central location, there’s no excuse not to use this tool for yourself. It’s easy to get started with the steps above, and your ideal customer is already scrolling on Instagram.