One of the most successful examples of combining social media and eCommerce is presented to us by Instagram. One of the trending subjects in eCommerce terminology is the Instagram Shopping feature that genuinely brings a retail experience to a social media platform, reaching out to more than a billion users each month. With this number of users, it would be pretty thoughtless not to use the advantages of Instagram in promoting your eCommerce business. This notable feature has been around for a while, but if you still haven’t set up your Instagram Shop, let us assure you that now is a perfect time.
Since people were (or still are) disabled to shop anywhere other than online, the criteria for eCommerce stores is set up pretty high. We’ve all become somewhat spoiled because of the convenience of shopping from the comfort of our homes. Therefore, business owners need to remove the friction and make shopping online more effortless for the customers. Using the Instagram feature is a fantastic way to achieve this goal and increase eCommerce revenue, which is why we decided to explain how to set up your Instagram shop in detail.
What is an Instagram Shop?
Instagram Shop is essentially a feature that allows businesses to exhibit their product catalog and reach a significant number of Instagram users. You can promote your products using:
- Posts - You can tag your products the same way you would tag a friend,
- Stories - You can add a product sticker that allows customers to find more information about the product
- Explore tab - By using the right hashtags, users will be able to see your products in the Shopping category, and
- Shop tab - It is placed on your profile, allowing people to see all your products.
Key benefits of Instagram Shopping
For instance, we mentioned how Instagram Shop removes friction from the purchasing process. This means that customers don’t need to leave their social media app to visit your web store. Instead, you’ll bring your store to the customers. Users will be able to see your products, read product details and check the prices. Next up is the ability to present your products to users with high purchase intent. Each time you tag a product in your post, the post will show up in the Shopping Explore tab. People who enter this tab are usually a step away from making a purchase, which means they have high purchase intent, and you’re able to expose your product and attract their attention. Lastly, Instagram Shop allows you to promote your products directly. Besides being able to deepen customer relations and connect with your target audience, you can also promote individual products. Instead of placing a single link to your website in your Bio, you can now promote every single product that comes out.
How to set up your shop on Instagram
Now we’ve come to the technical part, but just because it’s technical doesn’t mean it’s challenging to do. Learn how to set up your shop on Instagram in the following steps:
- Check your eligibility. Your business needs to meet some eligibility requirements. These include: Your business must be located in a supported market. It should have an eligible product. Your business needs to consent to Instagram’s commerce policies and merchant agreement. It should own a website domain from which you plan to sell.
- Convert to a Business Account. If you still haven’t switched to a Business Account, at this point, you’ll have to. Having a Business Account brings many benefits, including free analytics.
- Connect to your Facebook page. Your next step should be linking your Instagram Business Account to your Facebook page (If you don’t have one, make sure to create it.). You do this by clicking the “Edit profile” option on your Instagram account. Then, under the “Public Business Information,” click on the “Page” option, and select your Facebook page.
- Upload your product catalog. You can’t have an Instagram Shop without your product catalog (a list of all your inventory, products, and descriptions). You can connect a catalog to your account manually (using a Facebook Business Manager) or by integrating it through an eCommerce platform.
Tip: Platforms based on blockchain eCommerce technology are an excellent option since they enable you to store and share your digital assets securely.
- Account review. Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you need to submit your account for review. On your Instagram Business Account, select “Settings” and sign up for shopping, and follow their steps to submit your account. Account reviews usually last for a few days but can sometimes last longer. You can check your status at any given point.
- Turn on Shopping. Lastly, after your account has been approved, you can go to your “Settings,” tap “Business,” and then tap “Shopping.” Next up, select the product catalog you want to connect with, and press “Done.” Instagram Shopping features will then be available to you.
How to promote your shop on Instagram
If you had followed our guidelines on how to set up shop on Instagram and did so successfully, you could start promoting your Instagram Shop. We’ll now briefly go through several tips that will place your store in front of a relevant audience and make people aware of your products:
- Add smart hashtags. Optimizing your hashtags plays a significant role in your Instagram Shop’s discoverability; just like you optimize your website and choose the keywords wisely, you should implement the same strategy when it comes to hashtags in your Instagram posts. Hashtags make your posts visible in the Search & Explore tab, a feature used by more than half of Instagrammers each month. Using niche hashtags is advisable as well.
- Create Instagram Shopping Ads. Instagram allows you to run organic shopping posts as ads. Users who tap on the ads are then taken to the item description page on Instagram, so they can proceed to buy the product from your mobile shop. You can also choose the audience you wish to target during the process. We advise you to use high-quality images, accurate tags, and descriptive hashtags in the posts you run as ads.
- Utilize the product sticker feature in your stories. We’ve mentioned the Product sticker that you can use to tag products in your Instagram stories. You can choose from the following sticker styles: a shopping bag icon (the most popular choice) or a sticker with the product name in a rainbow, grey, or translucent text. You can also edit the sticker’s color and match it with your product photo. It’s important to mention that you can also tag products in existing posts, apart from the new ones. However, Stories that have already been published can’t be edited. Instead, you can delete the Story and then publish it again - but this time with the sticker.
- Create a live shopping stream. Instagram Live Shopping is indeed a powerful tool, as it enables brands and creators to sell their products during a live broadcast. With a convenient CTA button that’s clearly visible, users can order your products during your live stream.
If setting up an Instagram Shop seems like a lot of effort to you, let us assure you it’s easier than it looks and totally worth the effort. Moreover, Instagram continues upgrading this feature and making it accessible worldwide. It’s safe to say that Instagram Shopping will grow in popularity, so it’s about time you get down to business and enjoy all its benefits while watching your business grow. However, if you think your eCommerce niche will be crowded on Instagram, start thinking about expanding and taking an opportunity blockchain eCommerce technology is offering!