Before shoppable media, Instagram users drove sales through either the clickable link in bio or clickable Instagram stories. Instagram took the next step and made shoppable Instagram posts a reality. Businesses that sell online, can connect their Instagram business accounts with Instagram-compatible ecommerce platforms to begin selling through this social media channel.
Instagram has made it easy to connect to most big ecommerce platforms so that businesses can avoid having to rebuild a website that is Instagram compatible.
Set up an Instagram business profile
This can be done for either a brand new Instagram account or an existing personal account at no cost. You can convert an existing personal account to a business profile simply by Switching to Professional Account.
A professional account includes Instagram Insights into content, activity, and audiences, more space for business information, and can be optimized for Instagram Shopping.
Optimize the business profile
- Choose a username or “handle” that is easy to find for potential customers.
- Write a clear bio about the business
- Fill out all necessary contact information for the business
- Include a profile picture; logos are generally accepted as a business account profile picture
- Curate a brand description – Business profiles have more space for a description in the bio than personal accounts
- Add a link in bio product to the profile link that connects to the client’s ecommerce site
- Add at least nine posts so that followers have content to browse
- Connect the business profile with its associated Facebook page – this makes it easy to create paid advertising for Instagram
Get approved for Instagram shopping
In order to be approved, a business needs the following:
– Be located in a supported market that includes nearly 100 different countries
– The business must own its ecommerce website
– The business must have an Instagram business profile
Once approved, Shopping features can be turned on through Settings, Business, Shopping, and Product Catalog. Instagram notes that if Shopping isn’t visible in Settings then the account is either under review or hasn’t been approved for Instagram Shopping.
Product links in Stories
Links in Stories can be added as a sticker. Businesses will need to select the product sticker and then the matching product from their catalog. Shopping stickers appear with the small Instagram shopping symbol before the text. Instagram provides prompts for potential customers to click the shopping sticker with a small speech bubble that encourages them to take the next step.
By now, most Instagram users will have seen shopping tags pop up in some posts. Of Instagram’s one billion users, over 130 million people tap to reveal product tags in shopping posts every month.
Instagram Shoppable Reels and IGTV
Instagram has enabled the capability for businesses to add shopping tags directly to their IGTV videos. The process is similar to adding tags to a regular post.
Instagram Explore page
No one can buy their way onto the Instagram Explore Page, but the advantage of being featured is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Businesses may experience spikes in reach and impressions, leading to increased sales. The process is organic and the algorithm evolves constantly, meaning businesses need to stay on top of their accounts with regular posting and use features such as reels to stay relevant.
The Instagram Explore page features a stream of photo and video posts, reels, and stories that are tailored to individual users based on the type of content they interact with and the accounts they follow.
Connect ecommerce shops to Instagram
Instagram requires all accounts using Instagram Shopping features to have a business account, and their online store must be located in a supported market. In the US only, businesses have the option to apply for and enable checkout on Instagram. This makes in-app purchases possible rather than redirecting customers to a separate ecommerce