4 Simple Steps to Make your Instagram Shoppable & Start Selling
Who knew… a photo sharing social app would turn into an e-commerce website’s best friend. Over the years, Instagram has evolved into one of the most powerful social media channels and most importantly for brands, one of the most impactful marketing and advertising median.
Today, owning and operating an online store without a shop optimized Instagram account is like running a painting company without brushes… it might be possible but not optimal.
The days off sharing a product for sale with the caption “link in bio” is over. Reducing the number of steps required from consumers to make a purchase is directing tied to product sale success. The more steps needed the higher drop off rate from returning and potential customers.
To help brands sell, Instagram has made it possible to link online shop product catalogues, which allows marketers to tag products similar to the way anyone can tag a friend in a post.
When a product is tagged, a shopping bag icon appears in the corner of the image. When the image is single tapped, the product name and price appears on the screen. If the viewer wants more detail or to buy the product, they merely have to click the tag, and they will be directed straight to the shop page for purchase. Almost like magic huh!?
Whether you’re marketing a global brand or a small startup, having a shoppable Instagram account can be integral to the businesses success. Your competition is doing it, and the longer you wait, the more potential clients and customers could be choosing competing brands over yours.
Here are 4 simple steps you must take to optimize your Instagram account to be shoppable:
Step 1: It all starts on Facebook
First things first, to make your Instagram shoppable you must have both a Facebook Business Page and an Instagram Bussiness account.
If you already have a Facebook Business Page for your brand, it will only take a few seconds to convert a standard Instagram account to a business account. A bonus of switching is that an Instagram Business account comes with report metrics about reach, content performance and audience insights. You can also get new contact options and a simplified way to promote content through ads, which is one of the significant perks of an Instagram business account, even if you don’t have a shop.
Okay, amazing, you’re one step closer to making your Instagram shoppable! On to the next step we go.
Step 2: Create Product Catalogues
For this example, we are going to use Shopify to show you how to step up product catalogues on Facebook that tie to your Instagram account.
Now that you have your Instagram Business Account through Facebook you can create product catalogues. On Facebook’s Business Manager, navigate to your dropdown menu and under assets, select catalogues.
From here you will be able to manually create product catalogues or connect your preferred e-commerce platform.
If you’re already selling products on Shopify, a lot of the setup process is already completed for you! Under your shop dashboard, on the left menu, there is a section labelled “Sales Channels”. From here you’ll have the options of adding various sales channels, including Facebook and Instagram.
By clicking here, you’ll be prompt to connect your Facebook Page to Shopify.
Once you’ve connected the two platforms, Facebook will review your account. The review process can take up to 48 hours to be approved. Once approved your products will show up on Facebook. After getting accepted, you must connect the product catalogue with Instagram through Shopify.
Under your Shopify dashboard, click to add a new sales channel. Instagram will show up as a channel option. Once the Instagram sales channel is installed, you can enable the feature by visiting Shopping under Business Settings in the Instagram app. Here you will be able to select your the product catalogue you create on your Facebook Business Page. Voila! You’re free to start tagging products in your posts!
Step 3: Boost Organic Engagement with Tags & Stories
Yay! You’re ready to start selling on Instagram. Congratulations!
Now when you are setting up an image to publish, you’ll have the option to tag it so your audience can see the product name and price by tagging the image. If they click it, they’ll be directed to the product page for purchasing. Be careful not to “over tag” content. If all the content published to your Instagram is about sales you might see a drop off in engagement as your audience may view your account as pure advertising.
As of now, you can not tag products in Instagram stories; however, you can include a link to an item’s purchasing page. To boost the organic engagement of an image post that has a product tag, share a story with a shop link at the same time, so your audience gets more exposure to your brand offerings.
Pro Tips // Linking Your Stories to Product Sales
If you have over 10K followers on your Instagram account, you’ve unlocked the power of link sharing on stories. This is super beneficial to online shop owners who’ve been dreaming of linking to their website and product pages. Here are two ways to use stories to boost engagement:
- Add link driving directly to the website or individual product pages.
- Add a link from a recently published image post with product tags. To do this, click the three dots in the top right corner of the image post and select “copy link.” Now past this link into the story.
Step 4: Amplify your shop with ads
Now that you’ve turned your Instagram into a selling machine, it’s time to get more eyes on your brand and products. The best way to do this through online advertising. Good news is that Facebook & Instagram have a bunch of easy to use ad styles and delivery options.
A few of the most popular Instagram ad formats for online shop owners include:
- Image Ads
- Video Ads
- Collection Ads
- Carousel Ads
- Offer Ads
Fortunately, you don’t need years of experience to run an Instagram ad campaign. But there’s a lot of terms and functions that you’ll need to be familiar with to run a successful campaign. If you’re unclear of your ad objective and audience targets, you have the potential of wasting your ad spend.
To learn more about how to use Facebook & Instagram advertising be sure to visit the Facebook Ad Guide.