Instagram recently updated their platform by replacing the “Activity” tab with the “Shop” tab. This was in an effort to make Instagram more business-friendly. The new feature makes it easier for people using Instagram to shop for items they see in their Instagram feed directly from the app. Let’s take a look at what this feature can do for your business and how to sell on Instagram and jumpstart your business with it.
Why Sell on Instagram?With the new shoppable Instagram feature, and other tools that are included in it such as wishlists, shopping stickers, and product launch reminders, users can go through the complete buyer’s journey all in the Instagram app. It’s no secret that social media is a great tool for increasing brand awareness, and boosting sales, and Instagram’s new shopping features are no exception. Many Instagram users have reported buying a product after seeing it appear on their Instagram feed, so why not make the process easier for them by shopping directly from the Instagram app? This benefits not only direct-to-consumer brands but B2B brands as well. When an Instagram post is shoppable, it is marked with a clickable shopping bag icon which shows the product information and includes a call to action to view the products, which will take the user to the Instagram shop page. This is a great way to advertise your products on Instagram without Instagram ads.
Steps to Selling on Instagram
Shoppable Instagram Eligibility Criteria Must be MetIn order to start selling on Instagram your account must meet certain criteria.
- Your business must be located in one of these markets(link)
- Your Instagram business profile must be connected to your business’ Facebook page
- Must sell physical goods that are approved under Instagram’s commerce policies(link), and merchant agreement(link)
Uploading Your Product Catalog to InstagramYour product catalog is a file that includes the products you wish to sell on Instagram as well as their descriptions and pricing info. You can upload your product catalog to Instagram by either manually adding items through Facebook Business Manager, or by using an ecommerce platform partner like BigCommerce or Shopify. We will go over these options in a bit more detail.
Uploading Your Products ManuallyIn order to create a catalog through Facebook, you must have a Facebook Business Manager account. This is not the same as a Facebook Business page. After creating a Facebook Business Manager account, you will use the Commerce Manager feature to set up your catalog. It’s vital that your product catalog is synced with your Instagram business profile, and that your prices and product descriptions are accurate. So if an item you sell on Instagram is on sale, make sure you are updating your product catalog to reflect the changes.
Uploading Your Items Via an Ecommerce PlatformYou can use an ecommerce platform to connect your Instagram Business account to a Facebook catalog. Shopify and BigCommerce are two popular options.
ShopifyTo use Shopify you will need to have the Facebook sales channel on your Shopify store. This will create a “Shop” tab on your business’ Facebook page. After setting that up, you can add the Instagram Sales Channel to your Shopify store, which will connect your Shopify and Instagram business account. This is a quick and simple action. Go to your Shopify admin section, and click the “+” button which is located beside the “Sales Channels” heading. You will see an option to “Add sales channel”. You want to click “Instagram”, then “Add channel.” It will direct you to log into your Facebook account in order to authenticate your Instagram account for the sales channel. After that is completed, you can go to your settings on Instagram and enable the feature.
BigCommerceGo to BigCommerce and select Channel Manager on your account. You’ll start with Facebook and select “Get Started.” After selecting a compatible currency, you will need to review the product requirements, and select “Get Started.” You’ll fill in the details of your business such as phone number, contact email, and your business’s Facebook Page. After Facebook approves your product catalog, you’ll go back to Channel Manager on BigCommerce, and you’ll see an option for Instagram. Click “Get Started” and confirm that your business meets the requirements.
Time to Review Your Instagram AccountAfter connecting your product catalog to your Instagram account, you will submit your Instagram account for approval. We will break down how to do this below.
- On your professional dashboard, click “Set Up Instagram Shopping.”
- Click “Get Started.”
- Select your catalog
- Make sure all the details are accurate, then click “Submit for Review.”
Tagging Products on Instagram With Shoppable PostsOnce your account has been approved for Instagram shoppable posts, you’ll need to add tags to your post. This is the easy part!
- Start by creating a post. Select the image you want to use and click “Next.”
- Select “Tag Products.”
- Click on the item in your photo that you wish to tag.
- Select the product that corresponds to the item
- Click “Done” to finish the post.