Online shopping has made a major jump in recent years, and I’m not just talking about Amazon.
Instagram Shopping has made it extremely easy for consumers to make purchases (really, it only takes three clicks). So easy that 130 million clicks happen on Instagram Shopping posts each month!
As a business owner, using the Shopping feature on Instagram may be a little confusing, so we’re going to answer some of the most common questions in this blog!
But first, let me note that Instagram is owned by Facebook. This means you must have a Facebook Business page, as well as a Business Instagram account, to create Instagram Shopping posts.
I’ll lay out the steps for you on how to set up Instagram Shopping a little later in this blog, so let’s get started!
Q: What Is Instagram Shopping?
Sometimes referred to as “Shopping on Instagram,” this feature allows businesses and e-commerce brands to create an online storefront through Instagram. Businesses can tag products within posts so users can easily explore what the business has to offer.
Once a user clicks on a product from a post, a pop-up will appear with details about the product from the brand’s website. Users can then add the product into their cart, click checkout and then continue browsing Instagram.
Visual search shopping is one of the latest trends in digital marketing, and Instagram Shopping is just one of the platforms you can utilize.
Q: How Do I Know My Business Is Eligible for Instagram Shopping?
If you answer yes to each of the following questions, then your business is eligible to use the Instagram Shopping feature:
- Is your business located in a supported market? Click here to view the requirements.
- Does your business sell physical goods?
- Does your business comply with the commerce policies? View the policy here.
- Is your Instagram account set up as a business account and not a personal account?
- Is your Instagram account connected to your Facebook Business page?
Q: What Products are Prohibited for Instagram Shopping?
If you want to utilize Instagram Shopping, you must follow the Community Standards and the commerce policies set up by Facebook and Instagram.
Here are just a handful of products or content that is prohibited:
- Tobacco products
- Weapons, ammunition or explosives
- Healthcare products
You can view the entire list of prohibited items here. If you aren’t sure if your products fall into the prohibited category, you can reach out to Facebook Support or work with a digital marketing agency to help you.
Q: How Do I Set Up Instagram Shopping?
There are quite a few steps you’ll need to take to set up your Instagram Shopping account, so make sure you pay attention or bookmark this blog to refer to in the future.
If you’ve determined your business is eligible for Instagram Shopping, the next step is to connect your Instagram Business profile to a Facebook catalog, and there are two options to choose from:
- Use a catalog manager – This is a DIY method. You will manually create a catalog for your products or connect a catalog that has already been created. For example, if you use Shopify for your business, you can connect that catalog.
- Use a Facebook Partner – If you take a stab at manually creating a catalog and it’s just too daunting for you, there are Facebook Partners at your disposal to help.
Next, you’ll need to sign up for Instagram Shopping in the app. Follow these steps:
- Profile Settings > Business > Instagram Shopping
After you fill out the information needed, you’ll submit your account for review. On average, it takes a few days to hear back about approval/disapproval. However, you can check the status of your account at any time by visiting the Shopping section in the settings.
If your Instagram Shopping account has been approved, you’ll receive a notification from Instagram to finish setting up your account, which includes tagging products in your posts and stories.
Strategist Note: From experience, our strategists have not received an actual notification if the account has been approved/disapproved — typically, they have to check the status of their account in the Shopping section.
To create your first Shopping post or Story, you’ll start by making an Instagram post as normal. Next, you’ll tap Tag Products to add a product from your catalog to your post or Story.
Keep in mind that you can only have five products featured in a single image or video post, but you can feature up to 20 products in posts with multiple images or videos. You can even go back to old posts and tag products from your catalog!
Q: What Can I Do If a Product I Want to Feature Isn’t Appearing?
As I mentioned earlier, products must follow the commerce policies. Every product is reviewed to make sure it follows those policies. If a product isn’t appearing as an option, it most likely wasn’t approved.
Head over to Facebook’s Advertiser Help Center if you’re having problems with items not appearing.
Q: How Can I Tell How My Posts and Stories are Performing?
The Insights Tab is your go-to place to see this information! This information will allow you to adjust your product strategy based on what people are interacting with, clicking on and what’s selling.
If you need help with creating a strategy for Instagram, check out this blog!
Q: Why Should I Use Instagram Shopping?
There are over 500 million people who use Instagram daily, which gives you the opportunity to get in front of them with your products! And guess what? At least 80 percent of active users follow at least one business account (let’s be honest, it’s probably more than that).
By reaching your audience at every point of the customer buying journey, it’s more likely they’ll remember your business and choose you over the competition. I think that’s a pretty good reason to use Instagram Shopping!
We know that setting up Instagram Shopping can be confusing, but we hope that our Q&A can guide you through the process!
Whether you're a jeweler, bridal shop or any type of retail store, Instagram Shopping is another strategy you can utilize for your business.
If you have further questions, reach out to your dedicated digital marketing strategist or leave us a comment below.
This post was created in collaboration with Sara McCarville and Sabrina Morrison, two of RevLocal's team managers.