Over the last few years, Instagram has transformed into more than just a place for sharing your photos. It’s now a thriving marketplace where users smoothly shift from browsing to making purchases.
Recent data reveals a remarkable trend, with more than 800,000 shoppers using Instagram every month. What’s more remarkable is that 5 million businesses use Instagram actively, while there are 500,000 advertisers who use Instagram to promote their business or product. The outcome? A major 75% of Instagram users are known to take action after seeing a CTA, which can include visiting the business website or shopping.
If that has inspired you to take your business to Instagram, you’ll need an Instagram Scheduler. It will help you post consistently on the platform so your brand can gain momentum!
By enabling the Instagram shopping option, you can improve the eCommerce experience for the customers. Moreover, the platform adds new features every few days, making it easy for your followers to make direct purchases from Instagram without ever having to leave the website.
Now that the platform is well on its way to becoming the focus of direct sales, Instagram has earned praise from both consumers and brands. That’s why, in this article, we will learn how to make a shop on Instagram and the benefits of integrating Instagram shopping into your social media strategy.
Related Article: Instagram Algorithm 2024: Make Your Content Seen & Rule the Platform
Why Instagram Shopping Should Be a Top Priority for eCommerce Brands
With online stores like Alibaba, Etsy, Amazon and AliExpress, it seems like a fruitless effort to open your shop on a platform primarily used for its visual appeal. But hold on. We believe that we can convince you otherwise. Let’s see what unique opportunities and advantages Instagram shopping has over these other eCommerce websites.
Build Your Instagram Shop With the Champs
With Social Champ’s Instagram Scheduler, you can easily and consistently post on the platform. Grow with the Champs now!
You Can Leverage Followers, AKA Customers
With Instagram shopping, you’re not starting from ground zero. Instead, you have this huge pool of potential customers in the form of your followers. These people already love your content; all you have to do is sell them on trying your products as well.
A huge example of followers turning into customers on Instagram Shop is the case of Kylie Cosmetics, founded by Kylie Jenner. With a massive Instagram following, Kylie uses Instagram Shop to directly connect with her audience and turn followers into customers.
You Can Create Planned Shopping Sessions
Around 28% of Instagram shopping sessions are planned. But what exactly are planned shopping sessions and how can they be utilized by businesses in an effort to increase sales? Well, we are here to explain all that.
Planned Instagram shopping sessions are basically occasions where users intentionally set aside time to explore and browse the shopping content on the platform.
Here’s why planned shopping sessions have an edge over spontaneous sessions:
- Intentional Engagement: You are more likely to search for a shoe if you’re planning to buy it. That’s what’s excellent about planned sessions; users are deliberately spending time to engage with shopping content on Instagram. They may have a specific goal in mind, such as finding new products, exploring promotions, or comparing products to find the better one.
- Pre-Defined Shopping Objectives: During these planned shopping sessions, users often have specific goals or items they seek. This could include researching a particular product, looking for seasonal discounts, or taking advantage of limited-time offers.
- Strategic Timing: Planned shopping sessions are an excellent way for brands to anticipate the time when the majority of the audience will be online or using the platform. Usually, evenings are when most people engage in browsing online shops.
- Active Exploration: Planned shopping sessions involve active exploration of Instagram Shop features. These include posts, product tags, and specific collections. This is commonly seen during seasonal festivities like Halloween or Christmas. Users may visit specific brand profiles or explore themed collections according to the occasion. Knowing what your customers will be looking for and when is one of the biggest tools for brands.
An excellent example of a brand working with planned shopping sessions on Instagram Shop is Glossier. Glossier is a famous beauty and skincare brand. It uses the power of planned shopping sessions of Instagram shopping and strategically plans and launches new products through Instagram, aligning with the shopping behavior of its audience.
You Can Offer the Ease of Direct Purchases
Instagram shopping has made the whole process of online shopping much easier and streamlined. From importing products from Shopify to browsing and checkout, it’s just one smooth journey for customers. Brands no longer have to work on getting noticed when they can just direct their huge following to their shop. Followers trust the brand they follow, and this trust usually extends to the products as well.
Improved Brand Discovery
Social media has been a source of worldwide exposure for brands. This especially benefits small businesses as they would need a huge budget to reach that big of an audience pool on their own. With Instagram shopping, brand recognition can easily transform into product discovery without some extra effort.
So, here’s proof as to why Instagram shopping is now a necessity for eCommerce brands. With its smooth shopping experience, pre-existing customer pool, planned sessions, and continuous innovation, brands are starting to become aware of its potential. It has become part of their social media strategy to use the Instagram shop and provide their followers with a one-stop solution.
What Are the Key Features of Instagram Shopping
Let’s briefly explore the key features of Instagram shopping and how they make it different from other selling platforms.
The shop is the main entrance. It’s the first thing your customers will see as soon as they tap “View Shop” on your account or product pages. This is where you will be selling your products, highlighting the top favorites, showing promotions, and displaying items on sale.
Another great way Instagram allows you to integrate Instagram shopping into your content is through tags. You can tag products from your shop in your images or videos. This serves as an excellent approach, especially when you’re trying to leverage user-generated content. By including tags on your products, your audience will simply tap on the tag and will be taken to your Shop to buy that product.
Influencers can also use these product tags as a part of their marketing strategy. They can simply tag your product in their photos or videos where they can be seen using or wearing that product, and just like that, you get exposure to the huge following of that influencer.
Collections are something like playlists. They allow you to arrange your products in different categories and then group the ones belonging to a similar category. It’s a good practice because shoppers are more likely to browse products in an organized shop with a different collection rather than browse through the entire collection. You can also make collections of best sellers or on-sale products, so customers looking for discounts can easily browse through them.
Product Detailed Pages (PDPs)
Like on Etsy or Amazon, these are your individual product pages on Instagram. This is where your customer sees all the details about your product, like descriptions, details of specific product specs, and shipping policies.
This is the fun part. So now you can either send your customers to your website by the ‘View on website’ tab,—or, better yet, you can use Instagram’s option to provide smooth checkout service to customers so they don’t have to leave the platform. All they have to do is tap that ‘Buy Now’ button, and they’ll be taken to the Checkout page. Here’s an example from the brand “By Human Kind”:
Like any online shopping portal, the Discovery tab on your homepage search bar lets you look at the products from Instagram Shops. The products you see on this tab are based on your recent activity. There are more filters there, which you can choose from depending on what you are looking for.
How to Set Up Instagram Shopping
Okay, so now comes the important part. How can you set up Instagram shopping?
Well, Instagram makes the process easy enough, and if you simply follow their directions, you will have no problem setting up your shop. So, let us walk you through the whole process over here.
Step 1: Updated App
The first step of the Instagram shopping feature is to make sure your Instagram app is updated. How do you know if your app is updated? If you are not able to see any Instagram shopping tags, that would mean the app on your phone is not updated. So go to your phone settings and update the Instagram app.
Step 2: Instagram’s Eligibility Criteria
If you’re wondering how to get approved for Instagram shopping, there’s good news. Unlike YouTube or Facebook, eligibility for Instagram shopping doesn’t require a specific follower count. As long as your online presence is active and you have a solid account, you’re good to go.
There are just four eligibility requirements from Instagram to set up Instagram shopping:
- You must have a business in one of Instagram’s supported markets
- You need an active website domain from where you sell your products
- You must have an eligible product to sell that is not illegal to sell
- You must accept Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies
Step 3: Conversion to Instagram Professional Account
Now, you need to convert your Instagram profile to a professional account. Don’t worry; we’ll tell you just how to do that if you haven’t done it already.
- Go to Settings
- Select Account
- Switch to Business Profile
Once you switch to Business Profile, you’ll need to fill in information about your business, like opening hours, website address, business address and contact information.
Step 4: Connect to Meta (Facebook) Page
It doesn’t matter if your business is not being promoted on Meta. Even if Meta is not your choice of platform for business, you still must connect your Instagram shop to your business’s Meta page.
Just like setting up a Meta Shop, the process for Instagram is simple. From your Instagram profile:
- Go to Edit Profile
- Select Public Business Information
- Tap on Page. Now, select the Meta page you want your Instagram Shop connected to. If you don’t have a Meta business page yet, create one.
Before selecting the page, you must understand that Instagram needs you to have complete control of the account you are using to manage your business on Meta. That includes managing permissions for both the page and the catalog.
Step 5: Upload Product Catalog
With the Instagram shopping feature, you have two options when uploading your products to the platform: you can either use Meta Business Manager or you can upload products through Instagram’s integration with an eCommerce platform partner like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Using an eCommerce Platform
Using an eCommerce platform, you can create your shop by importing and syncing your products from an existing catalog. Just click Sync a partner platform on the right-hand side and follow the link to your partner website to complete the setup. This is an excellent option for importing a huge amount of products simultaneously.
If you are importing from Meta, you must manually input each product into the Commerce Manager.
Here’s how you can create a catalog on Commerce Manager:
- Log into Commerce Manager.
- Click on Catalog.
- Click on Add Products.
- Select Add Manually.
- Add the product’s name, image, and description.
- Add any unique identifying feature of your product in the Content ID section.
- You must also add a link to your business website where people will go to buy your product.
- Set the price of the product. It should be similar to the one displayed on the website.
- Determine the availability status of your product.
- You can add further details, like brand, used or new status, and more.
- Next, give shipping options for customers and information about the return policy.
- If the product has multiple sizes, colors, or designs, add them as well.
- Once you’re done, click Add Product.
Step 6: Submit for Review
Once the catalog is uploaded, the shop is ready. Now, you have to submit your Shop to Instagram for review. It may take a couple of days, sometimes longer, to get your shop reviewed.
Step 7: Turn the Shop On!
Got your review results? Approved? Good! What are you waiting for then? Go ahead and turn your Instagram shopping on!
Which Types of Content Can I Post to Instagram Shopping?
Instagram is creative with content types, especially when it comes to Instagram shopping. There are quite a few options that marketers can enjoy when promoting their products. Let’s see all the different types of content Instagram shopping lets you post.
Posts and Stories With Tags
Tagged product posts are one of the most used content types on Instagram shopping. They convert a simple image or Instagram Story into an easy passage to your store.
Instagram Shopping Ads
Get highlighted by Instagram to gain the attention of your targeted audience. Instagram shopping ads have a high success rate and are shown all over the users’ feeds and stories.
Shopping guides help educate the masses with your marketing. These posts can provide valuable tips or bits of relevant information while also highlighting your product.
5 Instagram Shopping Strategies to Promote Your Store
We have learned about the benefits of the Instagram shopping feature and seen how to set up an Instagram shop for your business. So what now? Well, now you need some killer shopping strategies to promote your store. Let’s explore five effective ways to promote your Instagram, boost visibility, and increase sales.
Make your product photos on Instagram shopping stand out by using vibrant colors, and stunning visuals, and experimenting with different types of posts. These tricks draw attention and enhance the visual appeal of your Instagram shopping items. Aesthetically pleasing images are a guaranteed way of capturing the interest of potential customers scrolling through their feeds.
Related Article: How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Aesthetics in 2024
Captions and Product Descriptions
You must know how to use the captions and product descriptions to your maximum benefit. Your product’s description must reflect your brand personality. Focus on essential benefits, and keep it concise.
Oak and Fort gives a detailed yet concise description of this tote bag, mentioning all the unique features in a captivating style. Descriptions that are too long make customers skeptical and bored. Short but effective is the way to go when creating a product description on Instagram shopping.
Instagram shopping is still new, and for a lot of people who are still on the ropes about it, shopping from your website or other online shopping portals sounds better. So, how do you get those people from your website to your Instagram shop?
Two words: Exclusive promotions.
All you have to do is run promotions exclusively for Instagram, like offering discounts. Explore Instagram’s new feature, “Drops,” to create hype around product launches, allowing customers to set reminders and preview upcoming sales.
Utilize User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a great tool for any brand on every social media platform. Considering this, you must encourage customers to tag your products or their experience with you. What does this accomplish? This is a way to prove your engagement with genuine customers having a positive experience.
K Mart is an excellent example of promoting user-generated content. This platform asks customers to tag them with their favorite K Mart finds and be featured on their Instagram feed.
Encourage Shopping in Stories and Reels
Another great way to get your shop noticed is by using the popularity of Instagram stories and reels to your advantage. Besides usual posts and captions, these short video formats provide multiple opportunities to promote your products. Many successful brands dedicate Stories to featuring customer testimonials, creating engaging content and driving traffic to their shopping page.
We hope that by using these strategies in your Instagram content calendar, you get a well-balanced advertising schedule. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with influencers, running ad campaigns, or creating content of different types; just find the right mix that resonates with your target audience.
Remember, Instagram shopping success is about strategic promotion, engagement, and finding the sweet spot between advertising products and connecting with your audience. So start tagging your products and engaging with your audience to enhance your Instagram shopping experience.
How to Measure Instagram Shopping Success
Let’s say you have made a vibrant shop full of top-notch products, and you have followed all the strategies we just explained above; how do you know if it’s working out for you?
Believe it or not, we have an answer for that as well. While there are different tools to get analytics, the most commonly used for Instagram shopping are either from Instagram itself or by BigCommerce Analytics.
When using Instagram, just go to any of your shoppable posts and tap “View Insights”. Swipe up to view insights about your posts with product tags. Instagram Analytics will give you information about two factors:
- Product views: Product views are calculated by how many times people click on a post with a tagged product and land on the product page.
- Product button clicks: The second measurable factor is how many times, after reaching the product page, the customers click the purchase button.
If you are going to get your numbers from the Commerce Manager, that’s even better because those analytics are much more detailed. They will give you product page views, product page views per tagged product, the performance of your shop, details about your catalog, and even information about your customers and where they are coming from. You can reach the Insights tab through the Commerce Manager on Facebook.
With Instagram shopping, you give your followers an all-in-one package where they can enjoy your content, browse your products, and buy them all through the same platform. The Instagram shopping feature is still new and needs to be advertised by businesses to make their customers feel more comfortable using it as a shopping portal. Still, already it’s taking root in the eCommerce market.