Did you know that every month 130 million people tap on an Instagram Shopping post to learn more?
Your products could be in front of some of those people… but you need to do it the right way.
So in this post, let us teach you how we used Instagram Shops to triple conversions for an online business.
Being digital marketing professionals that’s been helping small businesses sell products online for nearly 10 years…
…we know that a lot has changed in that time, and most of those changes have made it easier to find and sell to your customers.
One of our favorite ways to increase online sales is by using Instagram Shops.
We saw the difference when we were running social media in-house for a medium-sized craft business.
When Instagram Shops first allowed us to tag products in our posts, our sales almost tripled.
So let’s get into using Instagram Shops and upcoming changes.
Why Instagram Shops?
Remember how we said that our sales tripled when we could start tagging products directly?
It was an exciting increase, but not something that was a surprise. We expected sales to go up when we used tagging, for a few reasons:
- Limits barriers to purchase – Instead of someone seeing your product in their feed, reading your caption, clicking your username…
…clicking the link in your bio, waiting for the page to load, shopping on their phone, and *hopefully,* completing checkout…
…the user can tap the image, add to cart, and check out directly in the app.
There are fewer steps to follow, which means your customer is more likely to complete that purchase.
- Purchase feels more secure – Instagram is a trusted app that offers some protection to the users shopping on the platform.
This can make users feel more secure and more comfortable with making a purchase from a new brand.
This can help speed up the time between a user’s first introduction to the brand and their first purchase.
- Easier to get an impulse purchase – When there are fewer barriers to make that purchase; fewer buttons to click, less hoops to jump through…
…being able to check out on Instagram Shops can make it easier for folks to say yes to your product.
- Product launches are easy – If you use Checkout on Instagram, you’ll have access to Launches.
This creates a countdown, some buzz, and announcements for exclusive product launches for your IG Shop customers only.
Before we get into best practices, let us quickly show you how to set up Instagram Shops.
How To Set Up Instagram Shops
We’re going to show you how to set up and manage this in the Facebook Commerce Manager. We’ll assume you’re going to make a brand new shop.
Here are the steps (and some things to pay extra attention to):
- Go to facebook.com/business/tools/commerce-manager. You can also navigate it from the hamburger menu on the left.
- Click Add Shop.
- Read through this information and make your selections. If you have a Shopify store, you can find info for connecting that on the right.
- Choose Instagram and click Next.
- You’re on the Shop Overview page. Verify the information here and make edits as necessary.
- Connect your Catalog or create a new one.
- Choose shipping details (required). Click Next.
- Complete your review of the Overview page.
- Select the checkbox that says you agree with the Seller Agreement.
- Click Finish Setup.
You’ll also need to set up your payment information.
You’ll see a setup flow like this. Follow all the prompts on the screen.
Instagram Shops Best Practices
We think IG Shops are a great idea for eCommerce brands.
If you want to use IG Shops, there are best practices you’ll want to follow so you have the best chance at success.
But before we get into best practices, here’s a quick reminder to check out our new social media ads training course that’s out now.
So, let’s get started!
1. Make sure your Catalog is up-to-date and connected properly.
You can advertise and post on Instagram without a Catalog, but why would you?
A properly set up Catalog that is on a schedule to update is a must-have for any business that sells products online.
A Catalog is essential to:
- Tag products in your posts.
- Allow users to shop in the app.
- Run dynamic retargeting ads.
- Plus, you can also use your Catalog on both Facebook and Instagram.
When we have a new client, we prioritize making sure the Pixel is installed and collecting data.
We spend our first ads driving traffic to the website to drive valuable actions like page views and add to cart.
And then, we start our favorite ads; dynamic retargeting (showing personalized ads to each viewer).
If you need help getting your Facebook Product Catalog set up, refer to this post.
2. Fill out product details
Use your product cards to give shoppers more information and encourage them to make a purchase.
Here’s an example from a small soap store.
The quality photography, the detailed description, and the invitation to massage them with more information make this purchase feel safer.
Instagram Shops recommend you include at least:
- 4 images
- 3 attributes (color, size, etc)
- Description of the product
We recommend you make these as good as you can with the resources available to you.
Most of you have an excellent camera in your hand, if you think about it.
We have a tutorial on how to take quality product shots using your mobile phones, so be sure to check it out next.
3. Tag products in your posts (and use hashtags for discoverability)
Sure, you could use the old school method we cut our teeth on – the one where you answer a “where can I buy it” comment…
…with a list of instructions rivaling the length of Google maps printouts before data plans were a thing.
Or, you could just tag the product and make it easy for everyone.
You can tag products in:
- Feed (up to 5 products)
- Stories (use 1 product sticker)
- Instagram Reels (up to 30 products)
- IGTV (up to 30 products)
- IG Live (up to 30 products; must be in the U.S and use the Checkout on IG)
And, what would have been super helpful to us during those in-house days when we were helping customers in the comments….
…you can tag products in mentions to users (up to 5 products). This will make customer service so much easier.
4. Create Instagram Guides
Tell people what to buy. Instagram Guides are the perfect way to recommend gifts for the holidays, coordinate products, must-try crafts, and more.
Think of it as a way to categorize posts (either your posts or saved posts).
You can create a Guide using posts, products, and places,
Here’s how to create a Guide:
- Click the plus symbol from your profile.
- Choose Guide.
- Tap Products.
- Use one of your products or a saved product.
- Select the product and tap Next. If you choose multiple posts, the images will display like a carousel post.
- Add a Guide title and description. You can change the cover photo here.
- Double-check the place name and edit as needed. Add a description.
- Repeat steps 4 to 8 until your Guide is complete.
- In the upper right corner, tap Next.
- Tap Share to publish to your profile.
And if you’ll read our Instagram updates post, you’ll learn more about this new Instagram Guide feature.
Here are 5 ways your small business can use Guides:
- Gift Guides by target audience / ideal customer
- Organize post by category (DIY, cooking, blue)
- Tutorial or step-by-step instructions
- Collab with other small businesses (not direct competitors of course) to spread the love
- Share a travel guide to local businesses for folks who will be visiting (include yours!)
5. Offer coupons and discounts
A lot of small businesses stray from offering coupons and discounts because they don’t want to become another bargain store.
And we understand that. But also… you should at least do some coupons and discounts.
Did you know that 88.6% of U.S. shoppers have made an impulse purchase in their life?
In fact, the average shopper here in the states makes 156 impulse purchases a year with each purchase averaging $81.
You can get an impulse purchase through an ad on social media provided you have the right product at the right price.
A coupon or discount can help tip the scales in your favor if your customer is on the fence about making a purchase.
Now let’s look at some upcoming changes on Instagram Shops and how they’ll affect you.
Upcoming IG Shop Changes/Updates
Facebook has announced some updates and changes coming to the FB and IG platforms.
Instagram is testing a feature called Partnerships
This is supposed to make it easier for content creators and brands to work together.
If this goes well, we may see this feature rolled out and available to everyone by next year.
Instagram rolls out Map Search
This is a feature that makes it easy to find local businesses near you while you’re out and about.
This is great if you have a brick-and-mortar store that you want to drive traffic to.
To find the new feature:
- Click on the Explore button.
- In the upper right corner click on the Map icon.
Swipe Up for link is out, sticker Link is in
If you want to send Stories viewers to your website or shop, you’ll use a Link sticker instead of the Swipe Up option.
Don’t forget that you can also tag a product in your Story.
Instagram is also updating the data analytics
This is to help us learn more about the people interacting with your business profile.
We hope you found this post helpful, and that you’re going to start selling on Instagram Shops, if haven’t already.
If you want help setting up and monitoring your Instagram ads, give our Instagram advertising agency a call today.
We’ll be able to help you figure out the best direction to grow your business.