On July 16, 2020, Instagram introduced Instagram Shop, a new way for businesses to sell their products online and drive product discovery. This came just as businesses were struggling with the challenges brought about by COVID-19 and there was a need to make it easier for people to shop the things they love.
Shops on Instagram provide an immersive storefront that enables users to browse products and explore collections, and make purchases through an in-app browser. For businesses, this creates a unique opportunity to build a brand story and curate products into themes to provide a tailored shopping experience.
The trick is to create an IG shop that makes people want to use your Instagram shopping feature.
4 Steps To Set Up Your Instagram Store
Instagram Shop is a relatively new feature so it’s only available to businesses in some select markets. The first thing you need to do is make sure your Instagram account is in a supported market.
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
This means going down the list of eligible markets, which is available and kept updated here. Your business also needs to sell a physical product and have a business account that’s also connected to a Facebook Page and complies with all the Commerce Policies of both platforms.
For example, services and downloadable digital content and subscriptions can’t be listed. The same is true for medical and healthcare products, and alcohol.
Step 2: Build A Product Catalogue
You can do this by using Facebook’s Catalogue Manager, which basically creates a home for your inventory on Facebook and you can then tag them in your Instagram posts and stories.
The second option is to add a shop on Facebook through Shopify or BigCommerce, and after you set up your shop, it can be connected to your Instagram account.
Step 3: Sign Up For The Instagram Shopping Feature
The next step to use the new Instagram feature is to turn on Shopping in the App. This means going to your profile settings and tapping on Business then Shopping. The option to tap on Shopping will only be available if your account is eligible.
After that, it’s a matter of following the steps on your screen and submitting your account for review. Usually, it takes a few days to hear back from the team and once you’re approved, you’ll receive a notification with instructions to complete the setup.
Step 4: Create Your First Post Or Story
Once your IG shop is set up, it’s time to add product tags to your Instagram posts and product stickers to your Instagram stories. To do this, for an Instagram post,
- Select a photo or video and add a caption, effect or filter like you normally would
- Tap on the products you want to tag; You can select up to 5
- Enter the names of the products as they appear in your product catalog and select them in the search box
- Click on Done, and Share
For an Instagram story,
- Choose a photo or video to share and select the product sticker
- This allows you to select the product you want to feature from your catalog
- Move the product sticker to where you want it to be
- Click on Share
Note that you can also tag products in your existing posts on Instagram, with 5 tags per single-image and video posts, and up to 2 tags for multi-image posts.
The new Instagram update also comes with an Insights tab that allows you to learn more about your followers and their engagement with specific posts and stories so you can work out what they want and offer more relevant products. The insights come in the form of a summary page with tappable metrics for more details. Like
- Recent Highlights, for any significant change in account performance in the last week
- Accounts Reached, for the number of profile and website visits
- Content Interactions, for a detailed breakdown of the likes, comments, shares and other actions on your posts and stories
The Best IG Shops To Follow
With the COVID-19 crisis, using Instagram for shopping is here to stay, just like all the other expansions to online shopping, and some brands are already getting their product tagging and discovery right. Like
1. Wolf Circus, for its use of striking visuals. The brand highlights how product images and videos should be exciting and editorial, with details that make users want to look closer.
2. Natori, for its Instagram Shopping promotion on Twitter and Facebook. Since the feature is very new, the brand announced its availability in a cross-promotion move that also provided instructions on how to shop their items.
3. oVertone, for its clever use of relevant Instagram hashtags. When done right, hashtags can increase the discoverability of your content, sure, but they can also land you on the Explore page and its special “Shop” tab, visited by more than half a billion people every month.
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4. Glossier, for being inclusive and its products shown in action including educational beauty tutorials with the featured products tagged for purchase.
So there you have it. A guide – and checklist – to setting up an IG shop for your brand. Stay tuned to this space for a lot more tips, tricks, guides and tutorials for all things social.