Instagram as a marketing tool is essential to eCommerce businesses, big and small. You can use paid Instagram Advertising to promote your business to more than 500 million Instagram users who are on the platform daily. Still, also, Instagram is exceptionally passionate about e-commerce.

In the last 12 months, they have made constant Instagram Shop updates, offered a gift card facility and introduced a checkout button as well as the stand link in bio. So, it’s evident that if you are an eCommerce store, you must keep or risk being left behind.

But what exactly is an Instagram Shop, how will it help you grow your online business, and how can you set up Instagram Shopping?

Read on to find out how you can create shoppable Instagram Posts and Instagram Stories so you can drive traffic to your Instagram shop or e-commerce website. Instagram Shopping is compatible with most major eCommerce platforms such as Woo-commerce & Shopify. To start your Instagram Shopping Journey, all you need to do is follow these simple steps, and you’ll have created a shop on Instagram and be able to tag your images with direct links to your website.

What is an Instagram Shop?

An Instagram Shop lets you integrate your product catalogue with your Instagram profile allowing you to promote your products to your followers and other Instagram users. You will be able to tag your products in posts, Stories and in a special Shop tab which will appear on your profile.

Below I have shown an example of how an Instagram Shop works.

The image below features cricket brand SM Cricket UK and shows the Instagram Shop tab in action. The users visiting their profile to see all of their products without leaving the Instagram app.

From this point you will also be able you to tag any products in your Instagram shop into your posts, in the same way, you would tag a friend adding a small shopping bag icon to the image (see below).

When users tap the photo, they can view the prices of the featured product and tap the product labels to view the product page. They can also directly visit the product on your eCommerce store.

You can tag up to five items per image or twenty items per carousel.

Every time you tag an image with your products, that content will appear in an exclusive shopping feed on your Instagram business profile.

You can even promote your products in Instagram Stories.

The image below shows a user viewing a Story, tapping a product sticker to get more information about the product, and then making a purchase.

Product stickers are only available to businesses in certain countries. If you’re based in one of these markets, you can use the stickers with images, videos, highlights, and even swipe-ups.

Instagram Shop product pages feature everything a user might want to know before purchasing an item, including:

  • The name of the product
  • Product images
  • A product description
  • The price of the product
  • A link to view the product on your website
  • Related products

The 5 Benefits to Setting Up an Instagram Shop

Instagram is now a massive player in the e-commerce world. Below we have listed what we consider to be the Benefits of setting up an Instagram Shop.

  • Easy Product Discoverability – There is nothing more frustrating when you are browsing on Social Media, you come across a product you like the look of, but there is no link or instruction as to where we can buy it. With Instagram shopping, however, product discoverability becomes extremely easy for Instagram users because they can click on shoppable tags to explore the details and pricing of the products in real-time to make a purchase decision.
  • Visual Marketing with Authentic Advertising – Visual marketing or using user-generated content is an excellent way for people to see the product being used in ‘real-life’. This is very hard to decipher on a website making Instagram the perfect platform to do so. As a store owner, you are able to use captivating images & videos to attract and engage the customers and lead them to conversions.
  • Influencer Marketing – Influencer Marketing is probably one of the most powerful marketing tools of the 21st Century. Suppose you used Instagram Influencer marketing before you might have found that people just found your page but didn’t interact with your brand. By setting up an Instagram stop all the excellent page traffic your Instagram Influencer has gained for you, you can turn into meaningful interaction, website traffic and sales.
  • Increased Engagement & Sales – Sale is probably the most important for any e-commerce business and an Instagram store. By turning your Instagram posts into shoppable content, your users suddenly have an increased likelihood of converting their intention into a sale. By setting up an Instagram stop all the excellent page traffic your Instagram Influencer has gained for you, you can turn into meaningful interaction, website traffic and sales.
  • Overall Customer Experience – Your customer experience also intensifies. If they go through to your website, you are able to use your Facebook Pixel to retarget and show your users relevant advertising to tempt them back and complete their purchase.

How to Start an Instagram Shop for Your Business

To start an Instagram Shop for your business, you first need a Facebook Shop. This is because Instagram pulls your product information from Facebook to create your Instagram Shop.

Starting an Instagram shop isn’t easy, it’s a little time consuming, but ultimately, if you’re an online retailer, it’s more than worth it!

There are two ways to create a Facebook Shop:

Facebook Shop Option 1 – Create a Standalone Facebook Shop

This is the more complicated solution – Facebook’s eCommerce manager isn’t fantastic, and ultimately it would be much better to connect to a website shop to get the best features. You probably already have one, so you don’t want to be managing 2 stores, you want them to seamlessly link together so that you don’t have extra work on your plate like inventory tracking.

Instead, option two is a far better solution:

Facebook Shop Option 2: Sync Your Ecommerce Website to Your Facebook Page

When using a solution like Shopify or WooCommerce, you can simply sync your entire product catalogue with Facebook – meaning you don’t need to create manual product listings.

In short, to set up an Instagram Shop, you need to connect and sync these three things:

  • eCommerce Store
  • Facebook Page/Shop
  • Instagram Business Profile

OK, now we’ve covered that, let’s get into our step-by-step guide. How to get an Instagram Shop set up.

8 Steps to Set Up Your Instagram Shop

1.   Check you are Eligible to Set Up an Instagram Shop.

The first thing to do is check if you are eligible to sell through the Instagram Marketplace. Instagram has 4 criteria you must pass, if your business ticks all of these boxes, you will be able to set up Instagram Shopping.

  • Your business must be in a supported market.
  • You must have eligible products.
  • Your business complies with Instagram’s MERCHANT AGREEMENT and COMMERCE POLICIES.
  • Your business owns a website domain in which you intend to sell from

2.   Convert your Instagram Account to a Business or Creator Profile.

If you haven’t ticked this box already, you need to have an Instagram Business or Instagram Creator Account. Follow these steps to convert your account to an Instagram business account. Once you have a business account, you can add in relevant business information, such as opening hours, business address, phone number and a link to your website.

  • LOGIN to your account
  • Go to SETTINGS
  • Click ACCOUNT
  • Select SWITCH TO BUSINESS ACCOUNT

3.   Connect your Facebook Page to your Instagram account.

Again, you may have already connected your Facebook Business Page to your Instagram Account. If not, this is the next critical step when setting up Instagram shopping. Ensure that your Instagram page is connected to your Facebook Page by following the instructions below:

  • Go to your business’s Instagram profile.
  • Select EDIT PROFILE.
  • Under the PUBLIC BUSINESS INFORMATION, select PAGE.
  • Choose a Facebook Page from your Pages that you’d like to connect.

4.   Create & Upload your Product Catalogue

Instagram Shopping is powered by your product catalogue. These are the products you will be able to tag on your shoppable posts and in Instagram Stories. There are two ways to connect a product catalogue to your Instagram business account:

CATALOGUE MANAGER

Catalogue Manager is the “do it yourself” method found within Facebook Business Manager. You can customise the products you chose to bring into your Instagram Shop, or you may already have a thriving Facebook Shop that you want to replicate.

E-COMMERCE PLATFORM PARTNER

The 2nd option is the e-commerce platform partner. This is an integration through one of Instagram’s certified e-commerce platform partners, such as Shopify, woo-commerce or BigCommerce. You can make all of your website’s products available or only have a selection that you can tag in posts on Instagram.

5.   Send your Instagram Catalogue for Review

Once you’ve connected a product catalogue to your Instagram account, your Catalogue will start to populate. Once your Catalogue has populated, you need to submit your account for review. This is when Instagram decides whether you are able to start tagging your products in posts and stories. It takes typically Instagram a few days but sometimes can take longer to review your product catalogue.

You can ask Instagram for a review using the following steps:

  • Go to your INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT and TAP in the corner of the screen.
  • Select SETTINGS
  • SIGN UP FOR SHOPPING
  • Follow the steps to SUBMIT YOUR ACCOUNT FOR REVIEW.
  • To check the status of your account, REVISIT THIS PAGE.

You may find that you will be notified by Instagram that they require additional information from you to set up Instagram shopping, for example, to prove ownership of your website domain – if this happens follow the steps on the email you receive and submit your account for review.

6.   Get Started with Instagram Shopping

Once your Instagram account is approved for shopping, you can turn it on. This is a relatively simple 5 step process:

  • Go to your INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT and tap.
  • Select SETTINGS
  • Tap BUSINESS followed by SHOPPING.
  • Select the PRODUCT CATALOGUE you made earlier.
  • And finally, tap DONE.

7.   Start Tagging your Posts

WELL DONE. We understand it’s quite a long-winded process to set up Instagram Shopping; however, you are about to be blown away at your new sales channel. Your Instagram Store is now up and running; it’s time to start using your shopping tags to highlight products in your photos and videos across feed and Stories.

To tag products within an Instagram post, it is quite simple:

  • UPLOAD a photo
  • Add a caption.
  • Tap on TAG PRODUCTS
  • Tap on the photo.
  • Search for the product in the image.
  • Select the product you want
  • Tap DONE
  • Tap SHARE
  • WATCH THE SALES ROLL IN

8.   Start Using the Instagram Shopping Sticker in your Instagram Stories

Now that it’s all synced, you can start tagging your products in your Instagram stories. This means when watching your story, your followers can now tap on each sticker to learn more about the product and even make a purchase.

Tagging your products in Instagram Stories stickers is a more organic way to promote shopping on stories, and allows you to showcase product details without seeming to sales orientated and offers a much clearer pathway for your customers which I’m sure they will appreciate. And it’s super-easy to do:

  • CHOOSE YOUR IMAGE
  • Tap the sticker icon in the top right-hand corner.
  • Select the product sticker from the sticker tray.
  • Select the product from your Catalogue that you want to feature.
  • Move the product sticker to where you would like it to appear on the image.
  • Change the text colour of the product sticker by tapping the sticker.
  • Share your story
  • WATCH THE SALES ROLL IN

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