Every month, a staggering 130 million people explore Instagram’s shoppable posts to discover and purchase products that brands are selling on the platform (Source: Later.com). Many businesses have implemented the shoppable feature on their accounts, and they’re reaping the benefits as we speak. In November of 2020, Instagram introduced a momentous update to the app, making the shopping feature a central aspect of the platform’s layout and overall experience. It is now more crucial than ever for businesses to embrace the new app landscape and make their accounts shoppable.
For business owners who are not familiar with the Instagram shopping feature, it’s simply a tool that uses product tagging to give users the ability to tap a photo of your product(s) and view the price(s). If a user clicks on the price tag, they will be given the option to either view the product on your website or to add the product to their bag directly through Instagram.
An additional update expands this access to Instagram purchases, with product tagging not limited solely to posts, but including Stories, Reels, and promoted ads as well. This fosters a smooth buying experience, increasing Instagram’s “shopability” from the moment someone discovers your product, to when they decide to purchase it. And if that wasn’t news enough, the new Google-like search experience for the Explore Feed now includes the ability to search for keywords (in addition to the hashtags, usernames, and location options that were available before), giving users and businesses even more ways to find each other. This plays incredibly well with product tagging, making shopping on the app as accessible as possible. Adopting these new features has essentially made Instagram a second landing page for your business.
If your brand would like to start encouraging customers to shop directly from your business’s Instagram account, there are a few prerequisites that your account must meet before you can start selling on the platform:
- Keep in mind that your account doesn’t need to have 10k followers in order to create shoppable posts.
- Instagram requires that your business is located in one of these 46 countries in order for you to apply the feature.
- Your account should be dedicated to a business that predominantly sells physical goods, and your account needs to be set up specifically as a business profile. Check out Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policy to make sure you understand and are in compliance with all requirements.
- The Facebook Business Page that is connected to your Instagram account can’t have country or age restrictions.
- You will need to upload your products to a catalog that can then be connected to your Instagram account. You have 2 options for cataloging in which you can either create one yourself using Facebook’s Catalog Manager or you can use a Facebook partner like Shopify or BigCommerce to link an existing catalog of your products.
- Once you’ve met all requirements, your request to make your account shoppable will be reviewed by Instagram!
Here are the guidelines to set up shopping on your IG account:
When your account is eligible for the shopping feature, how do you actually set up your IG account to be “shoppable?”
- Go to your profile and select the three bars in the top right corner.
*insert screenshot of account w/bars circled or just the bars by themselves*
- Tap Settings.
- Tap the fourth item down, it will say either Business or Creator depending on what type of profile you have.
- Tap Set Up Instagram Shopping.
- Tap Get Started.
- If your business’s Facebook is not currently connected to your IG account, you will be prompted to connect it at this step.
- Follow the steps to connect a catalog to your account. There are two ways in which you can do this: either by connecting to a new or existing catalog, or by using a Facebook partner such as Shopify or WooCommerce.
- Follow the remaining prompts to ensure that you have selected the appropriate catalog and submit your account for review.
- The review process usually takes a couple of days. Once you’ve been approved, you will receive notifications from Instagram to complete the setup in Settings so you can start tagging products in your posts and stories.
- Start posting!
- Tap Done.
Now your company can utilize posts and stories in a more “boutique” setting like this:
The process itself isn’t complicated, but there are quite a few details to pay attention to. Instagram has great resources to help you become shoppable, and once you’ve been approved there are some key aspects to keep in mind as users begin discovering your products:
- For any shoppable posts on your feed, you can tag up to 5 products per image, and up to 20 products in a carousel post.
- It’s important to have a good balance between shoppable posts and regular photos on your feed. You don’t want to inundate your audience with price tags, but you also want to make sure they know that the purchase potential is there.
- Create a highlight that is dedicated to your products and shoppable posts. Give your followers an easy way to view everything that you have to offer!
- The Instagram explore page has a shopping tab that displays accounts with shoppable posts, so your products could very well end up on the screens of millions of users at once. With that in mind, make sure your shoppable posts feature high-quality images with a strong caption and description of the product(s).
- Use relevant hashtags to increase the likelihood of reaching greater numbers of shoppers.
- Make sure your shoppable posts align with your brand and Instagram aesthetic.
- Always make sure that your shopping tags are linked to the correct products.
- Use the “view insights” feature on your account to track the performance of specific posts.
- If you discontinue a product or change the price, don’t forget to update your catalog and feed accordingly.
If you are interested in learning more or aren’t sure if your business would benefit from the shopping feature, reach out to us and we can help you determine what’s best for your business!