Your Instagram feed is a great space to engage with your users and get them to be interested in your product. Wouldn’t it be great if your customers could buy what they see directly on Instagram?
Before, businesses would use Instagram to engage their customers, get them interested in the product, and redirect them to their website to make a purchase. With Instagram shopping posts, people can buy products by tapping on your photos and videos.
70% of people who love shopping look at Instagram to discover new products and an average of 100 million people tap on a shopping post every month.
If you are already selling your products online, there is no reason why you shouldn’t list on Instagram. If you only have an offline presence, an Instagram storefront is a great place for you to begin.
Wondering how to sell on Instagram? It is very easy to set up an Instagram storefront and provide your audience with a see-tap-buy shopping experience.
Let’s get down to it.
Plan of action:
- Setting up an Instagram storefront
- Create your first shoppable post on Instagram
- How to sell on Instagram using stories
- Checkout directly on Instagram
- Promote your shoppable posts using Instagram ads
- 5 must-dos for selling on Instagram
1. Setting up an Instagram storefront
It takes a little bit of legwork to set up your Instagram Marketplace but you should be out there for business in a few days. Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to set up Instagram shopping posts.
Step 1: Make sure that you meet the requirements
Your business must meet these three criteria:
(i) Is Instagram shopping available in your country?
Check this list to find out.
Note: Only physical products can be sold on Instagram.
(ii) You have a business profile set up on Instagram.
If not, don’t worry. You can make the switch in only a few simple steps.
Follow this step-by-step guide that will also help you optimise your profile for Instagram business.
(iii) Your Instagram profile is connected to a Facebook page.
To start selling on Instagram you need to set up your product catalogue on Facebook. Most business profiles on Instagram will be connected to a Facebook page, if not, go to ‘Edit profile’ and click on ‘Public Business Information’ and select page. It will let you either add a page that you are an admin of or it will give you the option to create a new one.
Step 2: Create a product catalogue on Facebook
You need to add products to your catalogue on Facebook to start tagging them on your shopping posts and stories.
If you want to set up your catalogue and start selling on Instagram, you need to ensure that:
(i) You are a Business Manager admin
(ii) You own your Instagram business account, Facebook Page, and catalogue in the same Business Manager.
(iii) You are the admin and have Manage Page permissions for the Facebook Page connected to the Instagram business account.
(iv) You have ‘Manage catalogue permissions’ for the catalogue.
Follow these steps to create a catalogue on Facebook:
(i) Go to www.facebook.com/products.
(ii) Select Create catalogue, select your inventory type, and press Next.
(iii) If you have selected e-commerce, you can choose to add items to your catalogue in either of two ways. You can select Upload product info and add items manually, or you can select Connect e-commerce platform. You may not need to create a Facebook catalogue if your platform has an integration with Facebook to import products.
(iv) Next, you will select the Business Manager account or personal account that your catalogue belongs to. You’ll need to select a business account to unlock Instagram shopping posts to use your catalogue and you can also assign other people with permissions to work on the catalogue.
(v) Enter a name for your catalogue and select Create.
Pro-tip: When you’re adding product names, make sure they’re descriptive so your customers know what item the photo has been tagged for. For example, don’t simply write ‘Mattemoiselle’ because it doesn’t tell the customer what product is actually for sale. Instead, you should write ‘Mattemoiselle Up To No Good Lipstick’ so the customer immediately knows the product and the colour they can buy from the post.
Step 3: Get approved for selling on Instagram
Once you have got your product catalogue set, you should submit your Instagram business account for review. This should typically take a couple of days.
To do this, go to Settings on your Instagram business account, tap Business, and then click on Sign Up for Instagram Shopping. You will then have to follow simple steps that will connect your account to your Facebook page and catalogue.
Step 4: Turn on Shopping on your Instagram app
Once your account is approved for Instagram shopping, you will have to manually turn on the feature. Go into your Settings and click on Business. You will find a new option under it called shopping. Tap on the toggle to turn shopping on for Instagram.
2. Create your first shoppable post on Instagram
You’re ready to make your first sale!
Creating a shopping post is very similar to creating a regular post on Instagram – which makes it super simple for business owners to use.
First, upload a photo like you usually would. Make sure it is a well-shot and clear image of your product. You can write a description and add hashtags just like you do.
After this, click on the image to tag the product. You should type in the name of the product as written in your catalogue for the search to find it. You can tag up to 5 products per post – for both videos and images.
There you go – click upload to publish your first Instagram shopping post.
3. How to sell on Instagram using stories
Instagram stories get more eyeballs than the post feeds because of how fresh, interactive, and easy to consume they are. Wouldn’t it be great to tap into an audience that is regularly engaging with your Instagram stories?
All you have to do is simply upload an image to your Story and then tap on the sticker icon on the top-right corner. You will see an option called Product. Click on it and type in the name of your product (as in the catalogue) and then select the right one. Viola, your customers can now also purchase directly from your Instagram story.
4. Checkout directly on Instagram
Instagram’s latest feature lets your customer buy from your business without leaving Instagram. In the words of Instagram, “Checkout enhances the shopping experience by making the purchase simple, convenient, and secure. People no longer have to navigate to the browser when they want to buy (from you).
They have also added features to safely save payment information for people to directly checkout multiple purchases without having to type in their credentials every time.
These features, however, have not yet been rolled out globally for everyone to use and are being beta tested in the United States with brands like Nike, MAC, Zara, etc.
5. Promote your shoppable posts using Instagram Ads
Did you know that combining a shoppable post with Instagram ads can give you better returns on your ad spends?
Think about it: You can use Instagram ads to reach a wider audience who is interested in your products and give them an opportunity to immediately buy from you. Not only this, but you can retarget people who have shown an interest in your product or business but have not converted into a paying customer. A shoppable post could be the push they need to make their next move.
Find new audiences or shoppers in this case by leveraging the data you have about your current customers by creating lookalike audiences. These new audiences will have similar characteristics and interests as your customers, making them ideal target audiences.
For example, the Korean brand Dear Klairs wanted to create new ways of engaging their audience and driving sales through Instagram. So, they ran a campaign that combined both Instagram ads with branded content and shoppable posts, with product tags. They saw a 1.8x higher return on ad spends and a 45% decrease in cost per purchase. There was also a 41% increase in the number of people they reached.
You can either run existing shoppable posts as ads or you can create new ads with product tags on Ads Manager. You could also use ads with product tags only to retarget audiences who have shown an interest in your product – allowing them to convert to a paying customer.
6. 5 must-dos for selling on Instagram
(I) Add a CTA to your Instagram bio
When you start selling on Instagram, you want your existing and new customers to know. Make sure that you add a call-to-action on your bio that lets them know they can buy your products directly from the Instagram feed.
The CTA will encourage people to actively look at your profile to find products they may be interested in – increasing sales and traffic.
(II) Show as much of your product as you can
We’re talking BTS, how-to videos, use cases, and more. The more your product is visible on your feed, the more your customer is going to engage with it, and an engaged customer is more likely to buy from you.
For example, ever since Fenty Beauty launched worldwide, their Instagram page is flooded with posts showcasing their product range, how it can be used (influencer and customer posts), BTS videos from events, and how-to tutorials. Their audience is always engaging with their content and has built a relationship with the brand.
(III) Share user-generated content
What better than word of mouth to attract new customers to buy from your business. Get your users to tag you in their posts with your products so you can share them to your feed and stories. User-generated content helps people trust the brand more and relate to it because they see regular people like them (unlike well-posed models) with the product.
(Iv) Be consistent
Don’t just put out one shopping post and then be gone for the weekend. You need to be consistent and regular with posting shopping content on Instagram so as to constantly motivate your audience to make the purchase.
(v) Pay attention to the visuals
It is of utmost importance that your shopping posts have striking and clear visuals of your product. A great visual will grab your audience’s attention and stop him from scrolling to the next post. Make your product images exciting by adding more elements and telling a story – a simple t-shirt on a hanger is not going to cut it.
It is also a good practice to establish a signature style that will improve your brand recall value. Make sure that your signature style on Instagram matches your brand visuals on your other platforms – like your website, product, packaging, etc.
Take Everlane for example, their Instagram page and website complement each other so well that when people move from one platform to another, they find it familiar.
You know everything you need to do to set up your storefront and start selling on Instagram. If you want to know more about how you can grow your business on Instagram, we have the only guide you will ever need. It covers everything – from optimising your business profile, creating content, and executing a successful strategy. Don’t forget to check it out.
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