With everything going on in the world right now, retail shopping has rapidly declined this year.
In fact, according to CNBC, Black Friday shopping in stores cratered 52%, while e-commerce sales surged.
And over the years, we’ve noticed that e-commerce businesses have grown year after year.
But in 2020, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth taking place in the amount of people shopping online.
And we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.
More people are looking for more ways to shop online. Thus, businesses have to make online shopping more accessible and convenient for their customers.
Even when it comes to social media platforms such as Instagram, we can tell that they believe strongly in this trend as well.
That is why we are going to cover the new Instagram shopping feature.
And of course, we love Instagram because we’ve been able to help our clients generate hundreds of thousands of sales,
…hundreds of thousands of leads,
…and hundreds of thousands of followers.
And with the new Instagram shopping feature, we plan to generate even more results for our clients going into 2021.
So for those of you who want to get a head start with Instagram shopping, then make sure you read this entire blog because we’re going to share with you some key things that you need to know.
Let’s get into it.
What Is This New Instagram Feature?
You’ve probably seen Instagram make new updates to their app recently and wondered why.
They have invested into a new Instagram shopping feature where their users can shop and in some cases, buy products that they see in Instagram posts.
They share that 85% of people globally are now shopping online. And this is a great way to take advantage of this trend for your business.
Setting up a shop on Instagram can help your business prosper online and through the busy months to come, while allowing you to share your passions with the world.
So in this blog, we want to give you five steps that you can take to set up an Instagram shop.
As a side note, in our blogs, we talk about marketing, sales, psychology, and business overall because we think these are some of the best skills that you can have in your career, that will catapult you to success.
So if you’re interested in any of that, then please make sure to check out some of our other blogs. For example, if you want to learn more about running ads on Instagram, we have a detailed blog all about how you can run Instagram ads.
Or even if you want to know more about what to post on Instagram to get the best results, we’ve got a blog for that too!
Alright now that that is out the way, let’s go ahead and dive in.
What Are Instagram Shops?
Now we’re going to start with some basic information and then later in this blog, we’re going to get into some more advanced steps and tips.
So let’s start with “what are Instagram shops?”
Basically, an Instagram shop is a more streamlined way for IG users to discover products through Instagram.
Recently, Instagram rolled out placing the shopping feature on their main navigation menu. You may have seen it on the bottom right side where the notification tab used to be.
In our opinion, this completely changes the dynamics of the way that users interact with Instagram. It also displays their huge pivot into e-commerce going forward.
The new shopping destinations allow users to browse shops, Explore guides, see editors’ picks, and shop collections.
Now, for example, instead of users having to wonder where someone bought their nice necklace or pair of socks, they can click on the image or browse shops to find items that they are most interested in based on previous engagement and the brands that they follow.
There’s even a nice wishlist collections feature where you can save items that you may want to purchase later.
And of course, Instagram keeps this all streamlined by allowing advertisers to sell directly on Instagram.
Now that we’ve looked at the basics of what Instagram shops are, let’s talk about why they are so interesting.
What Makes Instagram Shops So Interesting?
The thing that makes the Instagram Shops feature so special is Instagram’s unique user algorithm. The algorithm helps keep users engaged on their platform by prioritizing what type of content to show them.
For example, if you are really into sports, then you will likely see more sport related content showing up in your feed. Or if you’re really into cars, then you’ll likely see a lot of car content showing up on your feed.
This is why after people download Instagram, they are very likely to return and stay for a relatively long time.
So you might be thinking, “OK, big deal. So Instagram knows what I like…what’s this got to do with the shop?”
Well, we predict with this new Instagram shopping ability, Instagram will also know WHAT you buy.
Which means that it won’t only get smart about showing you what type of content you want, but the algorithm will start to know what PRODUCTS you want.
This intuitiveness is an advertiser’s dream.
Imagine walking into a clothing store and they immediately know you’re looking for: a specific pair of blue shorts with that yellow accent color. Or whatever it is that you may be in search for.
As you might expect, you can rapidly increase your results if you know exactly what products you need to advertise and the specific people to show it to.
In addition, knowing exactly what products your customers want will make your supply and demand a lot more consistent.
All right, so we know what Instagram shops are and we know why they are important to businesses online today.
Now, let’s go over five steps you must take in order to successfully launch your Instagram shop!
5 Steps to Set Up Instagram Shops
Step #1: You must make sure you’re eligible for Instagram shopping
Just because you have a business page set up on Instagram doesn’t mean you automatically have an Instagram shop.
To make sure you are eligible, you must answer “yes” to these 5 questions.
Question 1) Is your business located in a supported market?
Question 2) Does your business sell physical goods?
In other words, can someone actually hold your product in their hands? If yes, then move to the next question.
Question 3) Does your business comply with Instagram commerce policies?
Facebook and Instagram have policies that prohibit certain types of content.
For example, they are sensitive to you as an advertiser displaying certain body parts, adult type of products, gambling, the sale of animals, and more.
We highly recommend you at least glance over some of the prohibited and restricted content before you try setting up your shop so you don’t run into any problems in the future.
If you’re good there, then you can move on to…
Question 4) Is your Instagram account a business account?
If not, all you have to do is go to your Instagram account settings and switch it to a business account. And lastly…
Question 5) Is your account connected to a Facebook page?
As you may know, Facebook owns Instagram, so you will use Facebook to help set up your Instagram shop.
If you answer yes to all the above questions, then you’re all good to move on to step number #2.
Step #2: Connect your Instagram business profile to a Facebook catalog
As we mentioned before, Facebook owns Instagram, so you have to go through Facebook and set up your catalog there before it can translate to Instagram.
Facebook recommends two ways to get this done. You can either use catalog manager and do it yourself.
Or hire a Facebook partner or a company that provides Instagram marketing services like ours to help you get set up!
If you choose to do it yourself, then go to facebook.com/commerce_manager and click on “Create a shop.”
(Side note: you may need a business manager account if you do not see their Create A Shop button).
Once you get here, you can decide things like, if you want to sell the products through your site or sell directly on Facebook or Instagram.
However, this is a custom decision for you which likely will depend on how your inventory and shipping are managed.
In the commerce manager, you can also choose your sales channels, air products, choose your checkout methods and design your overall shopping experience.
NOTE: If you want to use product tags and stickers in your posts, which you probably do, then make sure you choose an e-commerce catalog.
Once you have set up your store on Facebook, then go to your Instagram app. Then go to your profile settings and tap business, and tap Instagram shopping.
Now it is time to move to step number three where you will connect your store to the Instagram app.
Step #3: Connect your store to the Instagram app
Next, just follow the steps to make sure everything is all good to go and submit your account for review.
The review process usually takes a few days to process, but sometimes it can take longer.
At any time if you are wondering where you are in the process, you can check your review status any time by going back to the shopping tab and your profile settings.
Once your shop has been approved, then CONGRATULATIONS! You can now move on to step #4.
Step #4: Start creating shopping content on Instagram post and stories
You can start creating a post as usual, and then tap “Tag Products” to add a product from your catalog. You can feature up to five products per image or video, and up to 20 products on multi image posts.
We would also recommend that you go back and add shopping tags to older post on your business profile.
Now, you’re all set up to begin selling during this explosive e-commerce holiday season and prepare for the future!
If you need more tips on how to market your business on Instagram, make sure you check out our guide on Instagram marketing strategy.
Finally, let’s move on to the last step to setting up your Instagram shop.
Step #5: Check out your shopping insights
You can visit the insights tab in your profile to see how your shopping post and stories are performing.
And of course, if you’re running ads, then you should review the performance in the Facebook ads manager.
These valuable insights can tell you more about what your customers might want, so you can continue to offer more relevant products.
Knowing this information will be extremely beneficial to your business in the future. More insight like this will help you know how to make your ads more efficient, in turn, increasing the amount of results you can receive.
In summary, shopping on Instagram is likely here to stay. In our opinion, it is a very smart business move for them as it will bring value to both their users and their advertisers.
So please, try not to fight against this new feature by not investing in it. Instead try to be one of the first companies in your space to take advantage of it!
Because as we like to note, the people who get in early usually experience more attention and lower costs.
That’s because everyone is still trying to figure it out, to a certain extent is not proven yet, and that means overall less competition.
Putting your business in this advantage will help set your brand a part from the rest of your competitors. When you do this, you have a greater chance of receiving more of the traffic from your audience.
As a small business or any business looking to grow, this is exactly what you need and where you need to be. What’s even better is, Instagram shops is just a start of what you can do online.
If you want to know more about what tools you can invest in to help your business become successful online, contact us to schedule a free consultation!