With shops, collections, stories, direct videos, etc., Instagram has been able to take advantage of the behaviors of Internet users to create a unique shopping experience for different brands. The positive effects are noticeable with 70% of consumers using this platform to get inspired by its content and to discover products before making a purchase. For advertisers, Instagram has become an opportunity to drive traffic to their website and improve their conversion rate, while facilitating the buying experience.
In this article, we take a closer look at Instagram Shopping, as well as the role it plays in helping you to enhance your sales.
Instagram Shopping: what is it?
Instagram Shopping is a set of features that allows consumers to buy products showcased in your Instagram content such as photos and videos that you share in the feed, stories, catalogs, etc.
This gives businesses increased visibility and enables them to sell products attractively and interactively, directly on the platform. It also simplifies the buying process for the visitor, who can easily access the price and features of a product directly on Instagram, without having to switch to the website.
Here are some of the key features that Instagram Shopping offers:
- Shop: This feature allows you to organize your business profile as a customizable storefront that allows app users to make purchases directly on the page.
- Instagram Shop: This is an in-app shopping destination, a marketplace that connects all the businesses represented on Instagram, making it easier for users to discover products and brands.
To access Instagram Shop, you need to tap on the “Shop” tag in the “Explore” section. You will be redirected to a list of collections and brands, as well as products recommended for you, based on your interests and behavior on the app.
- Product Tags: With product tags, you can highlight products from your catalog in stories and the news feed, so customers can learn more about them.
- Product details page: This is a page that highlights all the details about a particular product such as its price, description, available sizes, and other details on the item. Thus, when a user tags a product in their publication, others will be able to access the page that contains all the details about its features.
- Collections: This function allows businesses to customize their store from an editorial aspect. They can organize their products by theme to facilitate navigation in their shop.
- Product Tag Ads: This feature is designed to maximize the reach of your products by allowing you to boost shoppable posts or else create ads from scratch in Facebook Ads Manager. This type of ad also allows you to direct customers to your website to buy the product or else via native payment, meaning it is made directly on Instagram. For now, this payment feature is only available in the US.
- Checkout on Instagram: The “Checkout” feature on Instagram allows eligible businesses and creators in the U.S. to sell their products directly on Instagram. This allows customers to make product purchases without leaving the app, securely and seamlessly through Facebook Pay.
- Shopping from creators: This feature allows customers to purchase products they love directly from their creators without leaving Instagram. Currently available to check out businesses. This feature is intended to facilitate collaboration between businesses and Instagram influencers, who earn a commission in exchange for promoting products to their followers.
- Product Launches: This feature allows businesses to announce an upcoming product launch on Instagram so that users can preview the product details and set reminders to purchase it as soon as it is released. This feature is also only available to businesses that use the “Checkout” feature on Instagram.
- Direct Shopping: This is a new channel that allows businesses that use the “Check Out” feature, to sell their products via Instagram Live and convert viewers into customers, in real-time.
To take advantage of the various features of Instagram Shopping, you need to have:
- Have a professional Instagram account.
- Sell physical products. Note that your products will be verified by Instagram to make sure they comply with the social network’s rules.
- Have at least 9 posts published on the page.
- Have a merchant site to which you can redirect your posts.
- Create a product catalog integrated into Facebook with the Shopify or Bigcommerce applications.
The key advantages of Instagram Shopping for advertisers
Over time, Instagram has become a true source of inspiration for users who have the opportunity, thanks to the platform, to discover new brands and products every day, whether through influencer communications or via their searches on the app. In fact, according to an international influencer marketing survey conducted in 2019, 87% of respondents said they immediately made sure to find and buy a product after seeing it on Instagram. Because of this, having a presence on Instagram is now paramount for brands who wish to influence users’ buying behavior.
To highlight businesses, Instagram Shopping has developed a tab that allows users to find the stores of all the brands they follow and discover new ones related to their interests. However, note that the Instagram audience is difficult to attract given that they are exposed to so much content every day. Therefore, being present on Instagram Shopping or having an online store is not enough to increase your sales. You need to capture your audience’s attention and build on impulse buys to convert visitors into customers, using high-quality, inspiring images and interesting videos that prompt action.
Steps to set up Instagram Shopping
Step 1: Get approved for Instagram Shopping
To use the features of Instagram Shopping, you must meet the following criteria:
- Ensure that your Instagram business profile complies with Instagram’s terms of service and community rules. In other words, you must comply with the rules for sellers, business policies, advertising policies, and policies for pages, groups, and events.
- Manage your business from your validated domain. Your Instagram business account should have product listings that can be purchased directly from your website or the ” Checkout” section on Instagram. If you refer customers from your Instagram store to a website or marketplace, you must provide the unique, unabbreviated domain from which you sell. Instagram may require you to do a domain verification to make sure your Instagram business account is associated with it.
- Verify your location. You must operate your business in one of the countries where Instagram Shopping features are available.
- Demonstrate your trustworthiness. Your business Instagram account must demonstrate an authentic, established presence and maintain a sufficient follower base.
- Provide accurate information and follow the best practices on the platform. Make sure product information on Facebook Commerce sites doesn’t mislead users in terms of price or availability. Post your return and refund policy, and make sure it is easily accessible from your website or Instagram profile.
If you violate or fail to follow these rules, you may lose access to Facebook Commerce features (including Instagram Shopping), and your account may be deactivated.
Step 2: Create a professional Instagram account
To turn your existing Instagram profile into a professional account, you need to do these three steps:
- Edit your profile into a business account. Go to your settings, tap “Switch to a business account,” and then click “Continue.”
- Log in to your Facebook page. Click on “Sign in with Facebook”, choose the page you administer and click “Next”.
- Set up your company profile. Enter your business’ email address, phone number, and physical address to allow users to email, call and get directions to your business from your store buttons and links.
Step 3: Upload your product catalog online
Your product catalog is the driving force behind your Instagram Shop. There are two methods to link a product catalog to your Instagram business account:
- Use Catalog Manager: This is a feature available on Facebook Business Manager that allows you to keep and store information about any products you plan to promote or sell on Instagram and Facebook.
- Use Instagram e-commerce platform partners: You can use Facebook’s integration with certified e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce.
Step 4: Complete your account verification
After connecting your catalog and adding products, send your account for review, which usually takes a few days. Here’s how to review your account:
- Go to your settings
- Sign up for Shopping
- Submit your account for review
Check your status in the Shopping tab of your settings at any time.
Note that Instagram may request additional information to verify your website’s domain ownership. If you receive such a notification, you must confirm your domain.
Step 5: Activate Shopping
If you can’t find “Shopping” in your account settings, this means that your account is still under review.
Once your account is approved, activate Shopping by performing the following actions:
- Go to your settings
- Press “Business”, then “Shopping”
- Choose a product catalog to link to your account
Step 6: Start adding tags
This is essential to making your Instagram content shoppable. With Shopping tags, users will be able to learn more about your products from the photos and videos they discover in their feed and stories.
To learn how to tag a product in a post, follow these steps:
- Tap “Add Photo”
- Add a caption
- Press “Tag products”
- Position your product tag where you want it on the photo
- Choose the corresponding product in your catalog
- Press “Done”, then “Share”
Step 7: Track your buying performance
Tap on the “Insights” tab of your account to analyze the effectiveness of your shoppable posts and stories on Instagram. Insights tell you about your customers’ interests and behavior, allowing you to continually optimize your marketing strategy on the platform.
Top tips for a successful sales strategy on Instagram:
Tip 1: Use high-quality, professional visuals.
The in-app features are constantly evolving on Instagram, but the platform remains focused on visual content. To differentiate yourself from competing businesses and other content creators, we recommend posting high-quality images and videos to capture viewers’ attention and encourage them to buy and share your content. Develop a unique visual identity so people can quickly recognize your brand.
Tip 2: Use relevant hashtags
As with all Instagram posts, using relevant hashtags will increase the visibility and reach of your Shopping posts. This is because using the right hashtags will increase your chances of getting onto the Instagram Explore page, where people may stumble upon your photo or video, and follow you or make a purchase. If you’ve just launched a new product, you can create your own branded hashtag, such as #thenameofyourproduct, and encourage your followers to use it when they order the product, so you create hype around it and even share it on your business account later.
Tip 3: Encourage unplanned and impulse purchases
Adding details about the products on sale or a limited-time-only promo code on Instagram allows you to create a sense of urgency and encourages people to make purchases. You can also add a call-to-action in your captions that invites people to check out the product and encourages them to take action.
Tip 4: Demonstrate your product in action
When you show the effectiveness and usefulness of your products, it speeds up the decision process of your customers. Let’s say you’re a cosmetics brand for example, by posting a video where you show people how to apply your makeup and its results. In this way, you encourage consumers to make purchases by giving them a real and credible image of your product. You can also do live videos that showcase your offers by adding a sticker of the product to enable a purchase directly on Instagram.
So there you have it, our social media experts at Eminence have outlined the key principles of Instagram Shopping. Now you’re all set to use these features to increase your sales and improve your visibility on the platform.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us here: https://eminence.ch/contact-agence-marketing-geneve