Instagram Shopping: What, How, and Why
Alongside giants like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is another go-to social media app for people of all ages. It’s a simple and intuitive platform for people to post pictures of their adventures with friends, their meals, their pets, and just about anything else they want. Now the Instagram team has integrated shopping into the application, so customers can purchase the products they come across while browsing through their feed.
Thanks to Instagram shopping, sellers can advertise their products using posts and stories. This is extremely convenient for brands that have a significant Instagram following and are looking to cut out the middleman. Here’s a brief overview of what Instagram shopping is, how it works, and why it might be the right move for your business.
What It Is
The way you use social media in your personal life isn’t quite the same as the way you should use it for your business. If your goal is to sell products and promote your band through your social media presence, you should have an account on all of the major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This way you can maximize your exposure as well as cross-promote your content.
Instagram shopping allows businesses to sell their products directly through the Instagram app. A clothing brand can post an image of a model, and then customers can purchase the different pieces the model is wearing right from the post. This expedites the sales process by getting customers from interest to purchase with ease.
How It Works
Most modern businesses are using social media to promote their brands in some way or another, and yours should be too. If you already have an Instagram account, then you already have an idea of how engaged your followers are. The goal is to use this engagement to keep increasing exposure and turn more clicks into conversions.
Use Instagram shopping to set up a storefront that you can promote using all of your social media outlets, bringing more interested consumers to your virtual store. Your Instagram account will be linked with your Facebook catalog, and you’ll use product tags and stickers to promote, describe, and sell your products. The tags and stickers are tappable, and customers can follow them to product description pages. You can only use so many tags and stickers per post or story, so use them wisely.
Setting It Up
- Eligibility and Requirements — Before you can set up your first Instagram shopping campaign, you need to make sure you’re eligible to sell your products on this platform. First, you must live in a country that allows Instagram shopping. Then you need to set up a business profile to promote your goods, which must comply with Instagram’s policies.
Your Facebook business page is important at this step as well. The page must be accessible to people of all ages and in all countries, and any shipping restrictions should be noted at the point of checkout. Once you’re sure you meet the proper criteria, you can link your Instagram business profile and Facebook catalog.
- Connecting Your Instagram Profile and Facebook Catalog — There are two ways you can connect your Instagram account with your Facebook catalog.
- Shop Section — For the first option, it helps if your Facebook business page uses a shopping template. Click the shop tab and read the terms, then add the necessary information about your business like the address of the building, associated email addresses, and accepted currency. Now enter your state tax registration number and then add your products.
- Business Manager — The other way you can link your Instagram profile to your Facebook catalog is using the Business Manager account. Keep in mind that you have to be an administrator on the page for this to work. You can use this account to create a new catalog, or you can link an existing catalog through this method. You can also partner two Business Manager accounts so both can access the catalog.
- Account Review — Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll have to wait for the Instagram team to review your account. New catalogs must be approved before this review period, but the whole process shouldn’t take more than a few days.
- Adding Tags and Stickers — After your account has been reviewed and approved, remember to download updates whenever they’re available. Now you can start using tags and stickers to your posts. Go to the Business Settings section of your Instagram business profile and find “Shopping”. Then choose your product catalog and click “Done”, and you’re ready to tag products in your posts and stories.
- Publishing Shopping Posts and Stories — With your Instagram business account linked to your Facebook catalog and ready to go, you’re up to the fun and creative part. You can now tag your products in your posts and use stickers in your stories. If you post a single image, you can tag up to five products. For a multi-image post, this number rises to 20. Stories are a little different, and you can use one sticker that shows the name of the product.
When you add to your feed or your story, go to the share screen and find “Tag Products” or tap the sticker icon, respectively. From here you can choose the appropriate product from your catalog and attach it to the image, then share your post or story with the public.
Why It’s Valuable
Instagram shopping presents a new and relatively simple way to sell products to your customers through social media engagement. If the people who interact with your posts and stories weren’t able to easily find your products, they wouldn’t make as many purchases. Instagram shopping makes this easier than ever.
In addition to feed and story posts, there’s also the Search & Explore section. Here, people may come across your posts and seek to learn more about your products. Selling your products through Instagram gives you a chance to be creative with your marketing campaigns and the way you teach your followers about the items you have to offer. You can also see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong when you look into your Instagram analytics. Be sure to check those regularly so you can tweak your strategy and sell more inventory.
If something goes wrong when you set up your Instagram shopping account, or you run into a roadblock at some point in the future, you can always reach out to the Instagram support team. They might have noticed a problem that kept your account from being verified, or one of your products might not have met the necessary qualifications to be sold through Instagram shopping. Consider your account and your campaign, and make sure you’ve followed all of the rules before asking for help.
Instagram shopping is a relatively new feature, but you shouldn’t waste any time getting to know how it works. It’s a convenient and effective way to show your customers what you have to offer as well as teach them about the products they look at in your posts. This opens the doors to new and creative ways to promote your brand and turn followers into customers, so use this information and start engaging your fan base.