Did you know that more than 1 billion people use Instagram per month? It is the second most used traditional social platform, after Facebook, according to Instagram. It’s not only used for fun, from a business perspective 200 million Instagram users visit, at least, one business profile daily.
Therefore, Instagram Shopping has introduced a fresh approach to online shopping in no time.
“We believe that Instagram is integral to how our audience is inspired to shop. We’re seeing a strong lift in sales conversions whenever we use Instagram Shopping, as tapping to learn about our products has become the norm,” Elisa Kosonen, Senior Manager, Social Media at Aritzia, said.
What is Instagram Shopping?
Instagram Shopping is a relatively new feature concerned with online purchases, brands create digital catalogs with the product name and link. In specific countries, customers don’t need to be directed to a website to complete the purchase as they can check out on Instagram. It’s currently not available in Egypt, but it’s only a matter of time until it’s universal.
It’s a great opportunity for e-commerce brands to jump into the Instagram Shopping trend even without the checkout option. So, before setting up your account, you need to be eligible through creating an e-commerce website if you don’t already have one, creating a Business account on Instagram, and connecting to a Facebook page.
Regardless of the shopping feature, Instagram Business accounts are an excellent aid for businesses as they provide you with visitor analytics and statistics.
Setting up The Account
Do you meet the eligibility criteria?
Congratulations! Now you can set up your account by following 3 basic steps.
There are 2 ways you can upload your products.
The first way is to manually upload your products one by one through Facebook Business Manager. The second way, which is more accessible, is to connect your Instagram Shopping account with your database on Shopify or any similar website. The rest will be automatically done in no time.
In order to get approved, your business should be selling physical products, not services. You also need to conform to Instagram’s merchant agreements and commerce policies.
In a couple of days, Instagram team will evaluate your profile to authorize your shopping account and inform you.
When your account is approved, you can connect your product catalog to your Instagram Shopping account to start your virtual shop by doing the following:
- Go to profile settings.
- Choose Business, then Shopping.
- Select the product catalog.
Done. Your Instagram Shopping account is ready to dive into the business world.
The first stage of building your Instagram Shopping account is adding posts.
Since 130 million Instagram users browse through shopping posts every month you should pay attention to the way you craft your posts.
Drafting a shopping post is similar to regular posts in the framework. You upload a picture, caption it, and may add some filters and effects. Nevertheless, the difference is that you need to add tags to the product, up to 5 posts, that corresponds to its name in the product catalog.
Only posts with tags will show under the shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner. Meanwhile, you can include these tags in any post, not necessarily the product posts, as long as the used tags are relevant to your products and audience interest.
Consequently, your posts will be more about a topic rather than a product, which will attract a more diverse audience.
Instagram Guide, a new feature as well, is an added tab in the account for short blogs. Guides could be a method for promoting products through written pieces.
You can find it from the plus symbol in the upper right corner of your profile. Then, you choose a product, or several products, to feature in your guide with a catchy description and a cover photo.
Instagram stated that 50% of users have purchased from a website when first seeing the product in Instagram Stories.
Stickers are used in Shopping stories to lead the customers to the shopping page. With only 1 sticker per story, you can show pricing information while jazzing up your stories. All products identified with the sticker, display the shopping bag icon that takes the customers to the linked shopping website.
It’s highly recommended for brands to use Instagram stories as they have an 86% completion rate, as per Conviva’s report.
If you’re still unsure how to nail Instagram stories, check 10 Daily Ideas For Instagram Stories That Could Work For Any Business.
Tips for Instagram shopping
Since you now have your shopping account ready, here’re some tips for growing your audience and selling more on Instagram Shopping.
1. Carefully craft your posts
Goes without saying, Instagram is the number 1 visual platform in the whole world. It’s a multi-factorial challenge to produce pictures that are both high quality and authentic.
At the same time, the pictures should be representative of your actual products as no one likes scams. Dozens of people have gone viral for complaining about the quality of the delivered product compared to the posted pictures, which destroys the brand’s reputation.
Oftentimes, shopping posts grab more critics than any other posts on any platform. Hence, be patient, constantly improve your strategy and engage your audience.
Avoid posting low-quality memes or any irrelevant content that doesn’t serve your company’s objective.
More importantly, if your brand is not directed towards a specific gender, ensure your used pictures and language are not gender-biased. Instagram users are quite even, with 51% female and 49% male, as mentioned by Social Media Fact Sheet of Pew Research Centre.
2. Pay Attention to Captions
The Instagram algorithm depends mainly on captions. A well-thought caption will help you attract more customers. Besides, the more descriptive your caption is, the clearer your post will be to visually impaired users.
3. Add Hashtags
Including hashtags in your posts will increase the possibility of getting featured on the Explore page, which approximately 50% of Instagram users visit, according to Instagram Business.
The Instagram explore page is intrinsically vital for brands to be found by new customers.
Learn more about hashtags Understanding Instagram Hashtags Power to get your hands on this topic.
4. Share a Sale
Promotional campaigns are likely to encourage your customers to purchase if they’re hesitant.
Just spread the word in your posts, stories, and other platforms in order to inform as many audiences as possible.
5. Share User-Generated Posts
User-generated content posts are shared by the audience using your products.
Encouraging your clients to post and actually use these posts is a great (and free) way to get content. Having real-life clients referring to your product can play a vital role in a company’s reputation. These posts can add more credibility to your brand.
Moreover, it’s advisable to partner with influencers to try your products and tag you in posts on their personal profiles.
6. Craft CTAs
A call to action is a phrase you add to motivate the online user to take action, such as “Buy Now!” and “Get it before it’s gone”. These phrases have proved to be useful, especially when you give specific instructions on how to order.
Instagram Business revealed that stories that highlight the call to action are 89% better than those that don’t.
As online shopping has flourished over the past couple of years, Instagram Shopping is a great investment for your brand.
Instagram Shopping offers a flawless experience for companies and consumers alike. Fair to say that it’s the greatest journey of an online shop.
So, why waiting? Now is the time to take your brand to a new virtual market with Instagram shopping.
Enjoy the ride!