Digital Marketing | 28 Min Read
Posted on: Tuesday January 25, 2022Reading Time: 28 minutes
Marketing is crucial for any form of business today, and viewing the digital scape, Instagram marketing is imperative. Not using Instagram to promote your products will be like you freezing yet not seeking warmth from the fire being set in a harsh winter.
The fact that there are more than 500 Million Instagram users using the platform daily and 50% of them are following one business at the least only amplifies the importance of leveraging Instagram for your business. With social media giants diving aggressively deeper into the E-Commerce pool, be it the Instagram Shop updates or the introduction of the ‘Checkout’ button, it is conclusive that not using these features at their best will risk you being left behind.
If you are someone who wants to make the best while the sun shines and market your business extensively with Instagram, then here is your perfect guide in setting up an Instagram Shop.
Let’s start with the most obvious questions.
What is an Instagram Shop?
The Instagram Shop allows you to integrate your product catalog with your Instagram business profile. It further allows you to promote your products and services directly to Instagram users through posts stories in the Explore tab and the special Shop tab on your profile.
How does the Instagram Shop work?
Let’s take an example of how an Instagram Shop works.
The images below feature the brand Vault, makers of RFID wallets and other premium accessories, showing the Instagram ShopTab in action. It allows users visiting their profile to view all their products without exiting their Instagram application.
One can also tag their Instagram Shop products in their posts like they tag a friend. After that, when the user will tap the photo, they will be able to view the prices of those products featured and tap the product labels to view product pages.
Instagram allows one to tag a maximum of five items per image and twenty items per carousel. Every time one taps the product on the image, it will open up in an exclusive shopping feed on the Instagram business profile.
One can also promote their products in their Instagram Stories.
The image here shows a user viewing a Story of the brand Vault, tapping the product sticker to access more information regarding the product and purchase.
Note: Product stickers are available to businesses exclusively in specific countries. Hence, if you are based in these particular countries, you can only use the sticker with images, videos, highlights, and even swipe-ups.
An Instagram Shop product page features everything a particular user would want to know before the purchase like,
What are the benefits of setting up the Instagram Shop?
(1) Reducing friction and making shopping easier for customers
There is a lot of commotion when it comes to marketing your products and services online, especially when brands have entered the cut-throat competition to garner the attention of customers and the attention span of customers decreasing. Hence, they are not interested in leaving what they are doing on their social media and visiting your website.
Therefore, instead of getting them to you, why don’t you take your store to them?
Instagram Shop removes this friction from the purchasing process. Instead, it makes it easier for shoppers to browse your catalog, check prices and learn more about a particular product or service.
Moreover, when they are ready to purchase, they can visit the product page on your website with a single tap.
They can save the product or service for viewing later by tapping the label icon on the product page. Take an example from Vault here.
Instagram’s new checkout feature enhances the user’s shopping experience. A shopper gets to tap on it to choose from various articles, sizes, and colors and then further proceed to the payment without exiting Instagram.
After placing the first order, the customer’s information like name, email, billing information, and shipping address is saved in Facebook’s database, allowing the merchant to send information regarding order processing and delivery.
(2) Allows the merchant to promote products and services directly
Instagram is an ideal platform for connecting with your target audience and making stronger customer relations.
However, there is one downside to this. It allows businesses to have only one measly link on their profile. One cannot add clickable links to Instagram post descriptions to this day. This further makes it difficult for merchants to promote individual products. For instance, if one features their product in a post, their call-to-action would have pointed viewers to the link in their bio, increasing friction and substantially hurting the conversion rate. It only gets worse because one can put only one link in their bio.
Sure, one can update each time they share a new post, but what about all the older posts that do no have a link now to their store?
Here comes the Instagram Shop for your rescue.
An Instagram Shop allows you seamless integration of all your Instagram content with your store. So basically, you can weave your product promotions in your posts and stories and avoid annoying your followers with the ‘Click the link in our bio.’
(3) Exposing your products to users with higher intent to purchase
Once you tag a particular product in a post, the post gets included in Instagram’s new Shopping Explore tab. When you increase Instagram’s engagement through optimizing your hashtags, you get your products to feature on the Shopping explore tab. You expose your products to your target market as these shopping posts are personalized and based on users’ interests and past engagements. This is lucrative since users viewing the Shopping Explore tab specifically have a higher intent to purchase. Therefore, they are more likely to buy things.
Take it like this, apart from the occasional window shopping; it is fair to say that most people go shopping to, well, shop. Right? The same goes for the Shopping Explore tab.
These users surfing through images of cats and koala bears are there to buy none of those things. Instead, they are actively browsing Instagram Shop posts. This is your opportunity to attract their attention while they are still in ‘buying’ mode. Kudos to you if you can get your products on their wishlist. Thus, Instagram Shop is a sure shot way to boost your sales.
How to start an Instagram Shop for a Store?
You cannot start an Instagram Shop without having a Facebook Shop. Parental rights, you see? On a serious note, Instagram fetches the information of your products from Facebook to create your Instagram Shop.
Though there are a few moving parts that one must integrate, and it can take some time to get your account approved by Instagram, it is worth the wait and hassle.
So let us first create your Facebook Shop, which can be done in two ways.
Creating a Facebook Shop:-
Method 1: Creating a standalone Facebook Shop
You might access your Facebook business page, or you might even be able to manage the orders and take payments on Facebook directly, depending on your country.
However, we do not recommend this.
Primarily because Facebook’s E-Commerce manager is not great, it lacks many of the fantastic features E-Commerce providers dedicate these days.
Next, you might even already have a website for your store. So creating a standalone Facebook Shop will complicate the process of tracking inventories for you as you will have to manage two different stores with two sets of orders.
Therefore, we recommend the other option.
Method 2: Syncing your E-Commerce website with your Facebook page
Using Shopify solves many fixes for you. How? With Shopify, you can sync your entire product catalog with your Facebook. That is to say; you no more need to create product listings manually. Your inventory tracking is automatic, and you can manage all your Facebook Shop orders from your Shopify dashboard only. This keeps things simple, straightforward, and time-efficient for you. Hence, you can channel your energy and attention towards more pressing matters like growing your sales.
Therefore, we finally show you how to create an Instagram Shop that will seamlessly integrate with your Shopify E-Commerce store in this blog.
While setting up your Instagram Shop, you must keep these three things in mind:-
Steps to Setup an Instagram Shop:-
Step 1: Meeting the eligibility requirements and laying the groundwork
Before setting up the shop, you have to meet all the requirements of Instagram.
Note: One cannot use Instagram Shop to sell services, only physical, tangible goods. In addition to that, your business must also comply with Instagram’s commerce policies.
You must be using the latest version of the application; if not, update it immediately and convert your profile to a business profile. You can only access business tools like Action buttons, Instagram Insights, and Instagram ads.
For converting your existing into a business one,
Head to Instagram’s settings and select the ‘Switch to business profile’ tab.
You must also link your Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page; however, you must be a Facebook Page admin.
You can do this in Instagram’s account settings.
Step 2: Adding the product catalog to the Facebook Shop
As earlier mentioned, Instagram Shops fetch information about your products from Facebook Shops. So once your Instagram account is linked to your Facebook page, you must create a Facebook Shop and sync the product catalog in it. This will moreover allow you to promote your products directly on Facebook. For example, here is the Facebook Shop product page of the Vault brand for wallets and accessories.
If you have not already created this, you first need to create a Shopify store. And add some of your products. Then connect your Shopify store with your Facebook page by clicking the plus icon next to the ‘Sales Channel’ in the left-hand sidebar in the Shopify dashboard.
Then, once your accounts are connected, you can add your product catalog to Facebook by heading to the product manager tab in the Shopify dashboard, selecting the products, clicking ‘Make Products Available’ in the dropdown menu, and selecting Facebook.
Step 3: Setting up the Instagram Sales Channel
Now we are all set to set up your Instagram Sales Channel. To do the same, you must similarly set up Instagram as a sales channel in the Shopify dashboard. Again, click on the plus icon to add a sales channel, then add Instagram.
Step 4: Waiting for the account to get approved
Now you wait for Instagram to approve your account. The ball is in their court.
At this point, you must have had;
Converted your Instagram profile into a business one.
Linked your profile on Instagram to your Facebook business page
Linked your Shopify store with the Facebook page
Synced your products with the Facebook Shop created
Linked your Instagram account with your Shopify store.
Are you all done? Then you are all set.
Once you have your Facebook Shop linked with your Instagram profile, Instagram will automatically create an Instagram Shop after reviewing your account.
Be patient. Do not worry.
The review process might take days but once reviewed, Instagram will notify you.
Step 5: Confirming which Facebook Shop to add to Instagram
Now you have to confirm which Facebook Shop you want to add to Instagram.
Congratulations on receiving the approval! You have to confirm which Facebook Shop you wish to connect to your Instagram profile. For doing this, tap on the ‘Get Started’ on the notification or head to Instagram’s business settings and tap ‘Shopping.’
Select the Facebook Shop you wish to use with your Instagram profile. Finally, all your products are synced across Instagram, your Facebook Shop, and your Shopify store.
Hurrah! Your Instagram Shop is ready.
Step 6: Tagging your products in your Instagram Posts and Stories
Now that your setup is complete, you can tag your products in posts and Instagram stories, just like you tag people. Simple right?
Now your posts will include a shopping bad icon and shopping tags for the products your post features. Take an example from the brand, Vault.
Instagram Shop allows you to tag up to five products in your single-image post and a maximum of 20 in multiple-images post.
Note: You must create at least one Instagram Shop post to activate your business profile’s ‘Shop’ tab.
How to promote one’s shop on Instagram?
Using Hashtags to gain exposure
Leveraging the ‘Product Sticker’ feature in Instagram stories
While tagging your products in Instagram stories. It allows you to choose among four different sticker styles: one with the sticker with the product name in grey, one in the rainbow, one in translucent text, and then a shopping bag icon. You may also edit the sticker’s color and text at your discretion.
Furthermore, you can also tag products in both new and existing posts. However, you cannot do that to already published stories, so if you miss adding a sticker to some story, you will have to delete it and then re-publish it.
1. Running Instagram Shopping ads
To set up an Instagram Shopping ad,
Open your Facebook ads manager
Click on ‘+Create’ and select an objective from ‘reach, brand awareness, link clicks, post engagement, or conversions.
2. Choose the proper audience that you wish to target
Select ‘Edit placements’ and choose the ‘Instagram Feed’ as the only place you decide to run your ads.
In ad set customization, choose ‘Use Existing Post.’
3. Select the Shopping Content you wish to publish as an ad
Complete the necessary information needed for your ad and click ‘Continue.’
Ads including high-quality images, descriptive hashtags, and proper tags are more receptive to consumers.
The best part of Instagram Shop is free. Therefore, you can promote your business in the most ideal and viable option as per the current digital trend for free. With Instagram Shop, you take your products to 1.386 billion people across the globe. Need we say more?