Today, Instagram is one of the most preferred platforms by brands and marketers. Not just for personal and recreational use, but for Instagram commerce, too. That’s because it generates engagement and drives conversions for brands.
- More than a billion people use Instagram every month
- Instagram’s engagement rate is 6x times that of Facebook
- Instagram posts and stories are the most popular formats of content among influencers
- Instagram is the most preferred platform for marketers to use for influencer marketing
These are just some reasons businesses have started exploring selling on the platform–social commerce. Instagram Shopping has made it possible.
The platform’s ‘shop’ tab is the most used feature by 47% of marketers.
In this blog, we take you through all about Instagram commerce, what it is, how it works, its benefits, and the different types of content you create for your Instagram shop.
What is an Instagram shop?
Instagram shop is a feature on Instagram that allows eCommerce brands to integrate their product catalogs with the platform and sell via it. You can promote your products/services via posts, stories and a ‘Shop’ tab on your profile. Customers can access your shop through posts, stories, or your profile.
Here are some examples of how Instagram shops look:
An example from clothing brand Mango’s Instagram shop setup:
How does an Instagram shop work?
An Instagram shop allows shoppers to shop directly via Instagram. Brands can tag products in their Instagram posts, stories, live stream, etc. Shoppers can click on the product image, read all the details, and shop via links.
As seen in the above examples, Instagram shop works in an easy and convenient way, where shoppers can browse the products via Instagram posts, stories, live stream, etc.
Benefits of Instagram shopping — why should businesses explore Instagram shops?
It makes shopping faster and easier for customers
Imagine your customers browsing Instagram like a product on your page. You obviously want to turn it into a sale. So you try to drive them to your website via a link in your bio.
It’s not easy to get customers to leave Instagram. That’s where Instagram shops come into the picture—you take your shop to where your customers are.
Here’s how this helps:
- Reduces friction while shopping
- Keeps customers hooked
- It lets customers browse the catalog, check prices, etc.
- Allows them to save a product for later
Allows you to promote products directly
In the past, it wasn’t easy to drive leads or conversions through Instagram because the platform doesn’t allow brands to have clickable links on its posts. Brands can only have one link in their profile.
For example, if you promote a product in a post and want customers to check it on your site, you have to ask them to click on the link in your bio. That’s a long process that takes customers out of Instagram, so they avoid clicking on it.
The Instagram Shop feature helps overcome this limitation.
- You can integrate your store and Instagram content
- Tag a product in your image/creative
Increase targeted customer reach
Instagram Shop has the Shopping Explore tab, which lets people browse tagged shoppable content. This feature helps brands personalize content to target users based on their interests and preferences. This way, you can increase sales when you target users with a high shopping intent.
Users can discover products easily
Instagram users may or may not be browsing the platform to shop. In both cases, it’s possible that they like a product they see in a post or a story and want to know more details about it.
This is where Instagram Shop makes it easy for customers to discover products that are for sale. Users can see products that have a shoppable tag and click on them to make purchases.
Visual marketing boosts sales
Images and videos have a more significant impact on users. The reasons—they connect better with your message and remember your products. These factors impact shoppers’ buying decisions, making them more likely to convert.
Helps leverage Instagram influencer marketing
Setting up an Instagram Shop makes it easy to attract influencers. Before the Shop feature, brands could only boost brand awareness and customer engagement, but now, it’s easier to drive sales through influencers.
How to set up an Instagram Shop – step-by-step
If you want to set up an Instagram Shop, you should have a business that complies with Instagram commerce policies.
- Step 1: Convert your Instagram account to a business account. To do that, go to your account settings, switch to a business account, and add your business details.
- Step 2: Set up your shop. To do so, use a supported platform. Choose a checkout method—this is where customers will complete their purchase.
- Step 3: Choose the sales channel by selecting the Instagram business account you want to be associated with your shop.
- Step 4: Create a catalog and add products to it.
- Step 5: Submit your shop to Instagram for review.
- Step 6: Once your Shop is approved by Instagram, you can turn on the shopping features.
Instagram shop best practices:
- Ensure you have the latest version of the Instagram app
- Convert your Instagram account into a business profile
- Be an admin on a page or business manager account
- Have a product catalog associated with a shop on Facebook
- Sell eligible goods/products
What kind of and how to create content for Instagram shopping?
When you’re all set with your Instagram shop, it’s time to start creating content for it. Just like other forms of social commerce, there are different content formats you could create for Instagram: posts, stories, ads, streams, and shopping guides. Let’s understand how to create each one of these.
1. Create posts for your Instagram shop
One of the most common types of content is posts. Here, you’d be promoting your products via posts. But before you start selling via Instagram, you’ll have to tag your products. So let’s first learn how to tag your products.
Follow these steps:
- Go to your profile
- Click on the Get Started tab on your profile
- Tap on Products
- Tap continue
- Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile
- Click Done
- After you’ve selected a photo, add a caption, effects, filters, etc. and click on Tag products
- Tap the product in the photo that you want to tag
- Enter the names of the products you want to tag; select them as they appear in the search box
- Tap Done
- Tap Share
- You can preview tags or save drafts
- You can tag five products in a single image
- Moreover, you can tag 20 products in each multi-image post
- When shoppers click on a product tag, they’ll be able to see the image of the product, a description, the price and a link directing them to your website
2. Create Instagram stories
500 million users use Instagram stories every day. Most brands share four to five stories a week. Stories have become an integral part of brands’ Instagram shop. Let’s learn how to create Instagram stories.
- Create content for Instagram story as usual
- Upload the story as usual
- Then, click on the sticker icon in the top right corner
- Find the product sticker
- Choose the applicable product from your catalog
- You can customize your product sticker to match the colors of your story
- When shoppers click on the story, they’d be able to see the products tagged
3. Create Instagram shopping ads
84% of people want to discover new products on Instagram. And one of the best types of content you can create to get your products discovered is Instagram shopping ads.
Ads help you maximize the reach of your products by boosting shoppable posts.
- You can create an Instagram shopping ad in two ways. You can either select an existing shopping post to run it as an ad, or you can create a new creative as an ad from the ad manager
- Go to ad manager and choose ‘create ad’
- Select an objective—brand awareness, post engagement, link click, conversion, reach, etc.
- Choose your audience
- Select ad edit placements
- Select ad Instagram feed as the only placement
- Then, select the shopping post you want to run as an ad
- You can only use a single image shopping post (carousel, branded content or video are not supported to run as ads)
- Complete the details of your ad
Here’s an example of a sponsored Instagram ad:
4. Create Instagram live shopping stream
Instagram live shopping enables brands to sell products during Instagram live sessions. Instagram live shopping is a feature with which brands can connect with shoppers live and encourage them to make purchases in real-time.
Here’s how you can create Instagram live streams:
- Instagram live shopping is available to any Instagram business account
- Brands can tag a product from their catalog to appear on the bottom of the screen during a live broadcast
- Set up your Instagram shop and product catalog
- Click the camera icon on the top right corner
- At the bottom of the screen, toggle to ‘live’
- Click on ‘shopping’
- Choose the products or collections you want to feature
- Tap the broadcast button to go live
- You can pin one product at a time to the screen
- Shoppers can click on the product and purchase it via the link
Instagram live is a great way to engage customers by sharing product demos and how-to streams. What is more, you can even run a Q and A.
5. Create Instagram shopping guides
Today’s customers prefer brands to help them shop, not just by recommending products and helping them discover what’s new in their store, but also by sharing informative content about their products. For example, how to use the products, how to maximize its capabilities, etc.
That’s where content such as guides, how-to-articles, demonstration videos, etc. comes in. And Instagram shop has covered that aspect, too.
You can create a guide on the platform. For example, create gift guides, product highlights, content roundups, etc. You can access all your guides in the ‘guide’ tab on the platform.
Follow these steps:
- On your Instagram profile, select the ‘plus’ sign in the upper right corner
- Then, select ‘guide’
- Then, click on products
- Search by account for the product listing you’d like to include
- Select the product you’d like to add and click ‘next’
- You can choose to include multiple posts for a single entry if available to be displayed as a carousel
- Add a guide title and description
- Click ‘change cover photo’ if you want to use a different cover photo
- Double-click the pre-populated place name and edit as needed
- Click ‘add products’ and complete the guide
Are you ready to get started with Instagram commerce for your Shopify store?
All types of brands across industries are exploring Instagram shops. And why not, it’s an easy and convenient way to set up one more space to sell your products.
Instagram shopping is an exciting tool for brands to engage shoppers and boost sales. However, to get started with Instagram shopping, you will need to meet their eligibility criteria, which we will cover in the next lesson.
You can follow the above steps to set up your Instagram shop. And to create the different types of content, follow the step-by-step process for each content type!
But before you start selling on Instagram, you must meet a few commerce guidelines by Meta. Stay tuned for our next post to learn more about them.
Already have an Instagram Shop and want to double your sales?