Written by : Muhamood Yasin
Aug. 2, 2020
The Instagram story is not ceasing and with over 1 billion users and growing, we can safely assume it is here to stay.
It is estimated that 50% of Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day. So, not taking advantage of this huge customer base would be tantamount to rejecting a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when Instagram is moving on further into eCommerce.
But what exactly is Instagram shopping? And how will it help you sell your products?
Let’s find out.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram is a social networking platform where you can share photos and videos with your family, friends, and followers. Previously, Instagram could be used to build an audience and encourage your fans to visit your physical store or website. But from 2017, Instagram enabled users to integrate products with their profile thus allowing them to transform into virtual stores.
With 70% of shoppers using Instagram to discover new products and over 130 million clicks on shopping posts per month, the opportunities for Instagram shopping is huge. It is considered an essential marketing tool for every major brand now.
And with a few steps, you too can set up an Instagram shop to create an enjoyable fuss-free shopping experience of your products.
To open your Instagram shop, first, you need a Facebook shop. It is required because your information about any product is pulled from Facebook to set up shop on Instagram.
There are two ways to go about this. One option is to create a Facebook business page that acts as a standalone shop. The second option is to sync your already existing eCommerce site to your personal Facebook page.
Alright, now that this has been established let’s set up a shop.
Instagram has a couple of requirements you need to meet to open a shop.
Foremost to remember is that you can only sell physical goods. Which means you won’t be able to use an Instagram shop to sell any services. Also, ensure that your business meets with their Commerce policy
Instagram hasn’t yet made the shop feature available to all the countries. To check if your country of business has access to this feature, please click here to know the listing of countries with access to Instagram shopping features.
Finally, ensure that you have downloaded the updated version of the app to use this feature.
Begin by opening a business profile page on Instagram. If you already have an existing personal profile you can easily convert it by doing this -
Next, connect your newly opened business profile to a Facebook catalog.
So, the following three things need to be connected-
Once you have tick marked all the above-mentioned requirements go ahead and submit your account. Review of account and approval usually takes a few days to a week.
Once your account gets approved, you will receive a notification stating the same. Approval will get you a new option titled Shopping under Business and Settings. Turn this on to begin your Instagram shopping.
Start by uploading a photo of your product like you would in a regular Instagram post. Do keep in mind that you are allowed to tag up to 5 items on a single image or video post and 20 items on a multi-image post.
Then tap on the tagged items and type in the product description corresponding to your catalog. You can select them as they appear in the prefilled search box. You also have the option to go back and edit the tags on your previous posts. Instagram story on your business profile can feature just one product tag per story.
To place your Instagram shop in front of your target audience and create product awareness, here are a few essential tips:
As in regular Instagram posts, using hashtags is an effective way of boosting traffic to your content. By scoring unique hashtags, your store stands to get featured in the Search and Explore tab. This means you get exposure to more than 500 million Instagram users each month!
Strategize your Instagram stories to attract and retain customers. Leverage the use of product stickers by playing with the available sticker styles, color, and text.
Instagram shops also have the option to run your posts as advertisements. This is a convenient way for users to directly shop from your mobile site by clicking on the ad. For guidelines to set this up, check Instagram shopping Ad
There is no denying the worth of using striking visuals to set your store apart from your competitors and keep the customers coming. So, invest in taking and uploading good high-quality images and videos.
As far as the magic mantra of shopping goes, sales, or promotional codes when used correctly are a surefire way of driving sales.
Keeping track of the performance of your posts and stories will give you an insight into what your customers want and which relevant products to offer.
An important factor to connect with your followers and inspire loyalty is to be original in your posts. Customers today want to purchase products that are owned by businesses that align with their values.
So, create inspiring captions, tell the story behind a product, and provide your voice and personality to your Instagram shop.