Instagram has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last few years.
It has arguably become the go-to platform for people to share and discover new products, destinations, and experiences.
This presents an incredible opportunity for businesses, be it major brands or local mom & pop shops, to reach their target audiences and drive more sales.
"200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily"
In this guide, we'll break down the steps for businesses to set up shop on Instagram.
- September 2020 Update - Instagram Shop
- What Do We Mean By Selling On Instagram In 2020?
- Your Introduction To Instagram Shopping
- How To Create Shoppable Instagram Posts?
- How To Create Shoppable Instagram Stories?
- 5 Tips For Selling Products On Instagram
Keep reading, or jump to a section of your choice.
September 2020 Update - Instagram Shop
Instagram is now becoming really serious about exploring the e-commerce aspect of the platform. Here are the most important updated Instagram is testing and partially releasing in the USA and across the globe to make shopping on Instagram mainstream.
Shop Tab On Main Navbar
This is a big one. Instagram is testing a Shop tab in the main nav bar at the bottom of their app. This is huge because it confirms two big facts:
- Instagram is serious about e-commerce
- Huge changes are on the way
There have been multiple versions of this test that have been reported. Here’s how Instagram might look in the coming weeks.
Instagram Checkout Rollout
Initially, Instagram began testing the checkout feature with 26 brands in the USA. This was a closed beta group with brands such as Zara, Nike, & more. Starting from September 2020, the checkout feature is being made available to more and more brands. You can get more details here on the @shop Instagram handle.
View this post on Instagram
“In 2014, our senior year of college, we sold 20,000 pairs of socks pretty much out of our backpacks,” says Taylor Offer, who, with friend Parker Burr, officially founded clothing line @feat in 2015. “Our whole thesis was if we could sell socks at $10 a pair to college kids, then there might be something here,” he says. 🧦 And while the California-based duo still makes fun, bright socks, these days @feat is best known for its high-quality hoodies. “To get to the next level, we realized we had to make a premium product and really focus on it,” says Taylor. “You always need a good, solid hoodie.”
A key thing to note is that Instagram has proposed to charge 5% or $0.40, whichever is maximum, per shipment. Read More
Shopping On Live
Now, you can tag your products in live streaming on Instagram. The products you select can be seen pinned on the bottom of the screen so your viewers can go buy them. Here’s how you can do it:
- Tap the camera icon on the top left in Instagram mobile app.
- Toggle to Live at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Shopping icon.
- Select the product(s) or collection you want to feature.
- When you’re ready, tap live shutter button.
What Do We Mean By Selling On Instagram In 2020?
Before Instagram got serious about it's commerce aspect, businesses had the option of either paid advertising or influencer marketing. But with the launch of shopping on Instagram, brands can now do much more to generate direct sales from the platform.
Brands can now tag products directly in posts and stories and lead customers directly to the item they want to purchase within the app. And, with the release of the "checkout" feature last year, users no longer have to leave Instagram to buy products from their favorite brands.
Your Introduction To Instagram Shopping
Let's take a good look at what Instagram shopping is and how brands are using it to drive sales on Instagram.
Instagram has added a lot of new features that have laid the foundation for an Instagram Shopping Platform. Let's take a look at the Instagram Shop tab in the explore section that helps brands audience discover new products from their favorite brands.
Instagram Shopping Platform integrates with your existing product catalog and tags into your feed to create a seamless shopping experience for your followers.
After integrating your product catalog with your Instagram page, your followers would be able to purchase products directly from your page by simply clicking on the shopping bag icon.
Understanding Instagram Shoppable Posts With An Industry Example
Let's take an example of the popular clothing brand Zara who has created a subtle yet effective shopping experience for its followers on Instagram.
"130 million Instagrammers tap to reveal the product tags in shopping posts each month"
The company regularly shares shopping enabled posts, and a simple tap on the photo highlights the tagged products in that post. These posts are different from the regular posts and are identifiable by Instagram's shopping bag icon in the top right corner.
You can tap on "view products" to view all the products tagged in the post and click on any one of them to view additional product details.
If you're interested in purchasing the product, click on "View on Website," and you can complete the purchase.
If you want to see all of Zara's shoppable posts, click on the shopping bag icon and scroll down.
Now that you've seen how other brands are taking advantage of the Instagram shopping platform, let's take a look at how you can do the same for your business.
How To Set Up Shoping On Instagram?
To begin selling your products on Instagram, you'll have to follow the below-mentioned steps.
1. Set Up A Business Profile
Since only businesses are allowed to sell products on Instagram, you'll have to set up a business profile. Fortunately, it's an easy process and you can "follow these steps" to set up your business profile.
2. Connect Your Product Catalog To Instagram
After you've set up a business profile, it's time to connect your Facebbok product catalog with Instagram. Follow these steps to "set up and connect your product catalog".
The products in your catalog are the ones that you can tag in your posts and Stories.
Additionally you can check out "this article" by Facebook to add a shop section for your brand's profile page.
3. Get Your Instagram Shopping Account Approved
After you're done with connecting your product catalog with Instagram, you need to get your Instagram shopping account approved.
You'll have to "comply with these guidelines" in order to get your shopping account approved.
If your profile complies with the mentioned guideline, Go to your profile's settings, tap on Business, and then tap on Instagram Shopping. Follow the steps mentioned on-screen to make sure everything is good to go and submit your account for review.
Usually, the process takes a few days, and you will receive notifications from Instagram when you're approved. You then need to then set up shopping by going to your Instagram settings.
How To Create Shoppable Instagram Posts?
Now that you've set up your Instagram shopping profile let's see how you can create shoppable posts and tag products to photos.
1. Begin Creating An Instagram Post
Like any other regular Instagram posts, begin with uploading images and adding a caption to it.
Once you're done writing the caption, select "Tag Products." This option will appear below "Tag People" only if you have shopping enabled on your account.
You can now tag up to five items per image, or up to 20 if you are sharing a carousel post.
2. Add Your Products
Instagram will automatically pull the products from your product catalog that matches the words you type so that you can easily tag any product that you've added in your catalog.
3. Share Shoppable Posts
Once you're done adding products to your post, the only thing left is to share the post with your followers. Click on share, and the post tagged with products will appear on your Instagram feed with a little shopping bag icon in the top-right corner.
You and your followers will be able to see all shoppable posts you've shared at a single place by clicking on the Shopping bag icon on your profile.
How To Create Shoppable Instagram Stories?
Profiles that are approved to use Instagram shopping can add one product sticker (with customizable text color) to any Instagram story.
Any customer that taps on the product sticker will be taken to the same product details page they would see if they tapped on a shopping post in their feed.
On this page, they can see additional product images from your catalog, product details, similar items, and a link to your mobile site to make a purchase.
To start creating shoppable Instagram stories,
Add a Picture or a video in Instagram Story composer
Tap on the sticker icon in the upper-left corner and select the product option
- Tag your item (only one per Story). As with a post, you'll be able to find any item in your product catalog by typing its name
- Tagged items in your Stories can be identified with a shopping bag icon. Users can tap the icon to view the full product details and tap on it to go the product page
5 Tips For Selling Products On Instagram
Now that you're all set to use the Instagram shopping platform to create shoppable posts and stories, here are some of the tips that can help you maximize your efforts and drive more results.
1. Always Make Sure To Attach Tags To Correct Products
The items that you can tag in your Instagram shoppable posts must be items in your product catalog. If you have a lot of items that have similar names, make sure that you are tagging the right ones!
Try creating a naming system that helps you quickly identify each product.
2. Tag Multiple Products In A Single Post
Since we don't recommend you create an Instagram feed for your brand that is filled with just product posts, you can add multiple items in a single post for increased chances to catch your customer's eye.
We also recommend maintaining a balance between shoppable posts and other content. Doing so will ensure that your followers are consistently engaged with your brand day-by-day.
3. Benefit From The Right Hashtags
If you use hashtags effectively, you can boost the visibility of your shoppable posts and reach new customers.
Take a look at our Instagram Hashtag marketing guide to effectively use hashtags for your Instagram shoppable posts.
4. Mantain A High-Quality Product Portfolio
Since Instagram is "the visual platform," creating eye-catching, high-quality product posts is a must.
If you tend to push out low-quality visuals at the expense of pushing out a lot of product images, odds are your followers won't click on them.
It's essential to maintain a library of high-quality product images & videos.
Statusbrew's Asset Manager allows you to store all your images and videos at a single place. You can directly schedule a post with a saved image by just clicking on it.
5. Monitor Your Sales Performance To Fine Tune Your Strategy
Lastly, you'll need to track the performance of your product posts to fine-tune your Instagram strategy.
Statusbrew's comprehensive reporting makes it easy to track your paid and organic campaigns all in one place, including all the insights for your Instagram stories.
With Statusbrew, you can schedule posts and stories to Instagram, easily engage the audience, measure performance, and connect all your other social media profiles.