Instagram Shopping: A Solution for Businesses to Start Selling Instantly
Being the second most popular social networking platform, Instagram has become a valuable channel for marketers to promote their business. It has a highly engaged audience whom you can connect with and influence through visual content. This is perhaps why 60% of users discover new products through the platform and 75% of users take action because they were inspired by a post. Now retailers are going to have it even better on Instagram with the launch of Instagram Shopping.
What is Instagram Shopping?
Instagram announced in November 2016 that they will be introducing Instagram Shopping. The idea came about after they learned that it takes at least a day for a majority of purchases to be completed. And only 21% of purchases were completed within a day. They wanted to reduce the number of steps required for Instagram users to complete their purchases after discovering products through the platform.
This feature would allow retailers to add product tags to their Instagram posts so users can easily learn more about their products through the platform. All users would have to do is tap on a button that reads, “Tap to View Products.”
This action will display tags for all the products that have been tagged. This tag will display the product name and the price.
Users can then select the tag that they like to get more information about the product without even leaving Instagram. If they want to buy the product, they just need to tap on the “Shop Now” link that will take them to the relevant product page to complete their purchase.
In short, Instagram users will be able to use the platform to discover new products and learn more about them. If anything attracts them, they can instantly find the information that they need without ever leaving the platform. And if they do decide to purchase something, they will be directly taken to a relevant page where they can complete the purchase.
What You Should Know about Instagram Shopping
Instagram Shopping is now available for qualified retailers. Since shopping from the platform is going to get much easier, it’s likely that businesses can experience a growth in their traffic and revenue. In fact, retailers like Native Union have been able to increase their Instagram traffic by 2662% a month on month traffic. There was also a 100% increase in revenue from Instagram after using the new feature.
These numbers are impressive. And it’s only natural if you want to jump in on the bandwagon right away. But before you can get started with Instagram Shopping, you should first try to understand it a bit better.
The first thing you should know is that Instagram will not be taking a cut of the sales made through the Shopping feature. Instead, they will provide brands with the option to pay a fee so that their shoppable photos are displayed even to people who aren’t following them.
Here are some more important facts you should know about shoppable posts on Instagram:
- You can only add product tags in organic posts at the moment. As mentioned earlier, Instagram is planning to monetize the feature by allowing advertisers to pay and promote the posts. But as of writing this post, you can’t yet promote these Shopping posts.
- Instagram Shopping is currently only available to approved U.S. Instagram business profiles using U.S.-English language settings.
- You can add up to five product tags in each photo. In multi-image posts, however, you can add up to 20 product tags.
- You can add tags to products even in your old posts.
- You can’t add product tags to videos, boomerangs, and animated GIFs.
- You need to have a business profile to qualify for this feature.
- It’s only available for retailers selling physical goods.
- You need to have a product catalog that’s connected with a Business Manager or a shop on Facebook. Retailers who are using either BigCommerce or Shopify can use the platform to set up a shop on Facebook.
Setting Up Instagram Shopping for Your Brand
If you want to start driving more sales using Instagram, you should try to create more shoppable posts on the platform. Here’s how you can get started:
Before you can start tagging products on your Instagram posts, you should complete these basic steps first:
- Update Your App – First, you need to have an updated version of the Instagram app to be able to create shoppable posts. So make sure to update it before you can proceed with the rest of the steps.
- Sync Your Product Catalog with Facebook Shop – You need to sync your product catalog with Facebook shop so Instagram can gain access to your Facebook product feed. If you’re a BigCommerce user, you can use the Channel Manager to connect Facebook with your store. For Shopify users, the option is available under the “Add Sales Channel” option.
- Complete Instagram Business Account Authentication – Once this is done, go to your Instagram business profile and click on the “Options” tab. The app will introduce you to the product and immediately take you to the next step of authenticating your Instagram business account. You will then have the option to choose the product catalog that you wish to connect with Instagram for creating shoppable posts.
How to Tag Products on Instagram
Now that you’ve set up everything you can start tagging products with shoppable tags. Here’s what you need to do:
- Upload a photo just like you would before and add captions and filters as needed
- The Share screen will give you the option to “Tag Products”, which you should tap on
- Tap on the product that you want to tag in the photo
- Type in the name of the product in the search bar and select it once it appears
- Repeat the steps for the other products that you want to tag
- Once you’re finished, tap “Done” and then share the photo.
How to Make the Most of Instagram Shopping
You now have all the information you need to start setting up your Instagram business account for the shopping feature. It’s important to note that many other retailers (even your competitors) are going to start implementing this new feature. So if you really want your shoppable posts to stand out, you can use the following tips:
- Curate and Tag User-Generated Photos – By now you are likely familiar with user-generated content. And you probably already know how beneficial they can be for a business. Olapic even found that seeing a relatable or positive user-generated photo about a certain product would increase the likelihood of buying said product for 56% of consumers.
So you can optimize your strategy by collecting high-quality photos of your products shared by your customers. With their permission, share these images on your Instagram and tag the relevant products so other customers can instantly make a purchase.
- Curate and Tag Influencer-Created Content – You can also take your influencer marketing campaign further by collecting the photos generated by influencers for your brand. You can then add relevant product tags to compel your followers to buy the products. Make sure you do this only when you’ve had an agreement with the influencer to use their photos.
Over to You
From the basic requirements of setting up an Instagram shop to optimizing your shoppable posts to stand out, you have all the information you need to start using this new feature. Are you going to start using Instagram shopping right away? If so, what’s your first move? Let us know in the comments.
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By Shane Barker
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the co-founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.