Instagram is rapidly becoming the next giant in ecommerce. Your brand needs an Instagram shop in order to keep up with the competition. The Instagram shopping feature allows customers to go through your tagged posts and shop your Instagram like it’s an extension of your brand’s website.
Here’s how you can prepare your Instagram account, setup your Instagram shop, and market your brand’s products through Instagram.
Preparing Your Instagram Account for Shopping
Before you set up a synced Instagram catalog and start maintaining an Instagram shop, you’ll want to make sure that your account is already optimized for shoppers. These few changes can help you reap big rewards before your Instagram shop is even activated. This is also a good list to review while you are waiting for Instagram’s approval to start your shop on Instagram.
Change to an Instagram Business Account
The business profile on Instagram is the only account type that offers Instagram shopping as a feature. You’ll need to go into your Settings on Instagram and change to a business profile before you can do anything else.
Changing to a business account also allows you to have additional analytics and to add some additional information to your profile page, so it’s definitely worth the switch.
Use the CTAs
One of the main features that an Instagram business account offers is additional CTAs (call-to-action buttons). You can add additional ways to contact you, including phone and email. Once your Instagram shop is live, you’ll also be able to add a “Shop” button.
Refine Your Bio
Does your bio reflect your brand? Your Instagram Bio is a 1-2 sentence space to advertise your brand to profile visitors.
You can show your brand’s voice, explain what you sell, and even direct attention to your website link, which is displayed directly beneath your bio.
Target’s bio has a good example of this:
Add a link to your website
Make it easy for people to find your website by adding a link in your profile. This link is the easiest way to get visitors back to your website. Before Instagram shopping, this was the best way to drive conversions through Instagram.
If you have a more complex structure or you need to link to more than one area, then you can solve this problem by setting up a Linkinbio or a Linktree link. These links create a landing page that incorporates the main links that your Instagram audience will be looking for.
How to Get Approved for Shopping on Instagram
Instagram’s shopping feature isn’t automatic. You’ll need to complete a setup process, then wait for Instagram to approve your brand.
You’ll need to:
Connect your Instagram profile to a Facebook page.
Add a product catalog to your Business Manager on Facebook.
To set up Instagram Shopping, you’ll need a catalog manager. This means that you’ll need a way to export your products, then import them into Facebook according to Facebook’s formatting guidelines.
For a Shopify Store
Facebook is a Sales Channel within Shopify, so it is easy to create and manage an entire product catalog. You’ll just want to add Facebook as a Sales Channel and sync your Facebook page to your Shopify store. Easy!
For Everyone Else
Look first to see if Facebook and your ecommerce provider have a plugin or extension to do the heavy lifting for you. Otherwise, you can download a template from Facebook, format your product catalog, and upload it as a CSV to your Facebook product catalog. However, this will require consistent updating, so finding an automated way of doing this is advised.
Not Approved for Instagram Shopping?
If you don’t get approved for Instagram shopping, you’ll want to make sure that you are following Instagram’s guidelines. You have to sell physical goods, not services, and you’ll need to follow their commerce policies.
You can go through their checklist to make sure that your brand is eligible to sell on Instagram, then you can appeal the decision to try to get approved for Instagram Shopping.
Using Instagram Shopping to Promote Your Brand
Once you have created your Instagram Shop, you’ll want to use all the features to really get the most out of this new feature. Your Instagram shop online allows you to advertise your products easily so that customers can get a look at what you sell without even leaving the app!
Instagram Shop Now Button
With Instagram Shopping, everywhere you put your products is now an opportunity to take customers to an abridged product page where they can click the Shop Now button. This is the best way for them to get to your website to complete your purchase. Now instead of just saying “Shop My Instagram” you can lead them directly to where they will convert.
Instagram Shopping Tags
Posts that feature your products can now have a product tag in addition to your other tagging. A product tag will tell customers what the item in the photo is, as well as the price. If they click on this, they’ll be taken to an abridged product page where they can learn more. Shopping posts are a great way to use your Instagram Shopping feature. Simply tag the products in each picture to watch your conversions grow!
With Instagram Stories, you can also have shopping tags through Product Stickers. Much like the other stickers available in Stories, this product sticker allows you to customize your story and include product information. These product stickers will also allow you to link to the product page within Instagram so that customers can get more information.
Instagram’s Shop Profile CTA
The Instagram Shop Button is available to anyone using the shopping feature. To add a Shop button on Instagram, you’ll just need to customize your CTAs through your profile settings. The Shop CTA will bring people to a list of products for your catalog.
Update Your Existing Posts
In order to get the most out of the shopping feature, you’ll want to go back and optimize your previous posts. Existing posts can have product tags added, so that visitors to your feed can get the full experience and find the products pictured.
Instagram shopping is an easy way to pack an extra punch with your Instagram profile. It makes conversions easier, helps with lead nurturing, and provides ways for potential customers to get back to your website. It is another tool that can help you get a leg up on the competition. Start today so that you can be one of the early adopters of this feature.