Instagram shopping started a few years ago in February 2018. It allows brands on the Instagram app to tag their products in posts and stories, so users can tap directly from a post to the product on a brand’s website to purchase a product.
In 2019, Instagram improved Instagram Shopping by releasing Instagram Checkout, which allows users to buy products from an online store without having to leave the platform.
Both of these features have been big news for businesses that have an online store through Shopify. They are now able to utilize these tools in order to increase sales on Instagram. If you’re looking to increase sales for your Shopify store, we’ll teach you how to link your Shopify online store to the Instagram app in order to start selling on one of the most popular social networks.
Why Sell on Instagram?
There are plenty of reasons to link your Shopify store to Instagram:
- Over half of Instagram users have said they’ve discovered new brands on their Instagram feed
- Instagram users are very active. 75% of users will follow through with actions such as visiting a brand’s website after viewing a post
- Instagram boasts over 1 billion active monthly users. 80% of those users follow brands on Instagram.
- With Instagram Checkout, conversion rates have increased substantially for many businesses because of the ease in which Instagram has made shopping.
How to Start Selling on Instagram With Your Shopify Store
Let’s go through the steps of how to use Shopify to sell on Instagram.
You Must Be Eligible to Use Instagram Sales
First and foremost, to link your Instagram to Shopify, your brand must be eligible to use the Instagram sales channel. In order to do this, you’ll need to meet a few requirements:
- Your store needs to sell physical goods
- You must be located in a country in which Instagram sales is supported
- Your brand needs to comply with Facebook’s commerce policies and merchant agreement.
You’ll Need an Instagram Business Account
In order to sell on Shopify, you’ll need an Instagram business profile. If your account on Instagram is currently a regular Instagram account, you can easily convert it to an Instagram business profile by going to “Settings” in Instagram and selecting “Switch to Business Profile.”
While this will allow you to sell on the platform, it will also provide you with analytics so you can learn more about your audience, which will help you when you want to start running marketing campaigns.
Set up a Facebook Shop
Another piece of the puzzle will be to set up a Facebook sales channel so that you will be able to tag your products in your Instagram post.
You can do this from Shopify. Click the “+” button next to “Sales Channels” and select “Facebook.”
This will allow you to connect to your Facebook account, and choose the page you’d like to use with Shopify.
After all that is done, you’ll need to give Shopify permission to manage your page. Then it’s time to play the waiting game. You’ll wait up to 48 hours so that your shop can get approved.
Connect your Instagram Account to Your Facebook Business Page
After you’ve been approved for Facebook Shop, you’ll need to link it to your Instagram account. You can do this by going to Settings, selecting “Shopping” and then “Products”, after which you’ll select your product catalog.
You’ll wait once again so that your account can be reviewed, this time by Instagram before you are allowed to create shoppable posts.
Activating Shopify’s Instagram Sales Channel
The final step will be to activate the Instagram sales channel that is located within Shopify.
Just like you did to link to Facebook, you’ll click the “+” button next to “Sales channels” and choose “Instagram” in the “Add sales channel” dialog box. Click on “Add channel” then log in to your Facebook account to authenticate.
Now that everything is set up to run properly, you can start tagging your products!
You can do this on existing Instagram posts and new Instagram posts. Simply tap “Share” on a post, then select “Tag Products.” You select the products in the photo by tapping on them, then you’ll enter each product’s name and set the order in which you want them to appear.
Once you are finished and have your products selected, tap “Done” then “Share.”
And you’re finished!
Some basics to remember for tagging products is that each photo can have up to 5 products tagged. The exception to this is carousel posts which can have up to 20.
You also have the option of adding product tags to your Instagram stories. Simply add the “Product” sticker to your tag, and you’re good to go!
How to Get the Most out of Instagram Shoppable Posts
Now that you know how to get started with selling on Instagram, it’s a good idea to go through some things you’ll want to keep in mind, and how to best set yourself up for success.
Perfect Your Profile
To get the most out of your Instagram profile, you’ll want to make sure everything is set up and working for you in the best way possible.
Let’s start with your profile photo. It’s the first thing that users will notice about your account after all. Take your time to choose a photo that will not only represent your brand accurately but draw people in.
You can use your company logo if you have one!
You can also use your bio to create a link to your website, or a short mission statement, allowing users to see what your brand is all about. This section can also be used to include things like sales, discount codes, etc.
Set up a Social Media Posting Calendar
Posting regularly on Instagram is essential if you want to make a name for yourself (or keep that name).
Set up a posting calendar for your Instagram account and make sure you are following through.
There are tools you can use that will allow you to set up posts in advance to auto-post for you. Definitely take advantage of this if you are pressed for time.
While you don’t need to have something up every day, it’s good to have some sort of a schedule down so that your fan base knows when they can see the latest from you on their Instagram feed.
Being consistent is key. You don’t want to post a bunch of content every day, or multiple times a day, and then not post anything for a week or two. This gives the impression that your brand is flaky and can annoy people. Take your time, create quality content, and spread it out evenly.
The number of posts you have will depend on a lot of factors such as your audience, your products, and your industry. Some brands can get away with posting multiple times a day, every day. While others do better posting only once or twice a day.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little until you find what works best for you.
Have Great Photos
Instagram is a mainly visual platform. You can’t even make a post without some sort of visual component. So for this platform, a main area of focus should definitely be high-quality photos.
Lighting is Important
Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to take photos.
If you are consistent and focus on taking photos during these times, you’ll be able to avoid awkward lighting, and instead, have that soft lighting that you see in the best photos on Instagram. The golden hour is real y’all.
If you’re taking photos indoors, try to rely on natural light from a window. When needed, you can use a reflector to point the light at your subject. If there’s too much light coming through you can use a light diffuser, sheer drape, or white paper.
Create a vibe
Having a consistent look will allow your customers to recognize you just by your photography. It will also do a lot for your feed by making everything flow in a great way.
Pro tip: For the best results, make sure your photos’ resolution is double the size that is recommended by Instagram. This is going to make your photos look amazing after they are compressed in the upload process.
Feature People with Your Products
When potential customers are looking at products, most find them more appealing when they see an actual person using the product, instead of just showcasing the product itself against a white background.
It’s important to try to meet this when curating photos for your products. You’ll want to feature people using them to create some context and allow potential customers to imagine themselves using them.
Perfect Your Photos By Retouching Them
It’s totally fine and honestly expected, that photos won’t be exactly perfect the first time around. That’s what photo editing software is for!
When you edit your photos, pay attention to:
- Sharpness: Are all the details of your product easy to see? If not, you’ll want to sharpen up your photo.
- Brightness: You can adjust the brightness of your photo for any lighting issues caused by natural or artificial lighting.
- Background: Use a background removal tool to fix any shadows or tiny imperfections to make your subject pop.
- Color: If the colors look off from what the subject looks like in real life, you’ll want to correct the colors to make sure your products are accurately represented.
Have Good Captions
While the photos that you choose to represent your products are an important factor in your posts, you want to make sure the captions are on point as well! They can make or break a good post.
Captions on Instagram help to add context to your visual content, and will compel the viewers of your post to take action. Captions are also the perfect opportunity to let your brand’s personality shine through.
Creating the perfect caption can take time, but becomes easier with practice.
Short and Sweet
PLEASE keep your captions short. When users are browsing Instagram, they aren’t interested in reading a short story. The sweet spot for captions is about 3 sentences or less.
Proofread and Edit Captions
If your grammar and spelling aren’t up to snuff in your captions, people may spot it and think a little less of your brand. If it’s something that happens regularly, they might get annoyed.
Go through your copy before posting to spot any errors. You can also use tools like Grammarly to proofread your content and make sure they are ready to go.
Include a Call-to-Action
The majority of your Instagram posts should have a purpose. What are you hoping to accomplish with a specific post? How can you direct them to take that action?
Using the right hashtags will help you improve the visibility and reach of your posts. But that doesn’t mean you should start stuffing your posts with as many hashtags as possible.
Be thoughtful with your hashtags, and make sure they are relevant to your content. There’s no point in having people who aren’t interested in our content seeing your posts.
By using hashtags correctly, you’ll increase the performance of your post, and gain followers.
You’ll be off to a great start by implementing these tips and practices. We can’t wait to see what you do with your brand!