In this blog, you will read about the Instagram shop and the best way to make revenue, and at the same time, we will give you the answer on how to set up all the items related to this way of selling.
In 2019, we entered a new era of online shopping through social networks. Economic trends in the world show that social networks like Instagram are becoming the leading platforms not only for socializing but also for good business moves, like selling products.
We spend an average of 116 minutes a day on social media, which puts this activity in second place of the things we do in our free time – right after watching television.
The main feature of Instagram is that it is a fast network and that you have very little time to catch the attention of users.
When the testing of Instagram Checkout ended, more than a billion monthly Instagram users started buying products tagged in posts and stories directly via the social network, without exiting the application.
1. What is Instagram shopping – some of its basic concepts
Instagram shopping is a feature that allows brands to create a digital catalog of their products that they can share on Instagram.
Users can learn more about the products directly in the Instagram shopping app or they can shop directly on Instagram. The users can also click to complete the transaction on the brand’s e-commerce website.
Instagram has strict rules and one of them being that you must be able to sell via Instagram.
One of the basic requirements is that your business is located in one of the 46 countries that have been approved by Instagram to create Instagram Shopping.
They are Canada, the US, Puerto Rico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Poland, Greece, and others, but our recommendation is to make sure you can do business before opening an Instagram shop in your country.
Here are some KEY DETAILS and terms that every Instagram seller should know:
Instagram Shop is a digital showcase of the brand that allows people to shop directly from your Instagram profile.
The product detail pages display all product information, from price to photo and item description.
Collections are a way for stores to present products in selected groups, making it easier for users to find their desired products.
Use the shopping tag to tag products from your catalogs in stories or posts, where customers will be able to click to learn more about the product or buy it.
With Checkout, which is currently only available in select regions, customers can purchase products directly on Instagram, without leaving the application.
The new Shop Discovery tab on Instagram provides a discovery tool for those who are not your followers.
2. How Instagram shopping has made online sales easier
Now when we have explained the basic concepts for people who want to sell via Instagram, we will present six reasons why Instagram shopping will make selling easier for businesses that sell their products online:
Those reasons are:
- Most purchases start online
- The Instagram store will help in savings and cost reduction
- You have the opportunity to sell differently
- The Instagram store covers a larger number of customers than usual
- You get to know your customers
- Instagram store allows you to always be up to date with trends
One more the most important positive aspects of the Instagram shop is the fact that Instagram announced that it will not take a commission from the sold items.
Then, where does Instagram see earnings?
If you want your ad to show to people who don’t follow you, you’ll have to pay extra. There is no commission, but marketing is a must.
Another benefit that the Instagram shop has introduced is the clickable “price tag”. Before we start talking about the benefits of this, we will remember that you could not post links anywhere on this social network.
The only place where a clickable link could stand is a “biography”, and if you had a sales channel you had to send all the people from your profile to click on the link, which took time and disrupted their “scrolling”.
With a clickable price tag icon, there is no need for that anymore. Everything that your customers are interested in, they can read in a redirected window that will open and thus keep their position in the previously viewed feed. So, each user will be able to continue where he left off.
In addition to scrolling, Instagram has the convenience of shopping. People can see transparent images of products, prices, descriptions – everything that an average customer needs to decide to leave the money to you.
So, by inserting the shop option, businesses that avoided Instagram earlier now no longer have to do so.
Clickable links, redirects to sites, banners, and designated stores will provide businesses with more traffic and earnings via Instagram, and that is what everyone wants.
Instagram, on the other hand, is certainly a network that allows potential customers to connect with sellers of their favorite products.
It gets an experience of communicating and interacting in person. And good communication is the most important thing of both purchases and successful sales.
3. Requirements for acquiring the right to sell products on Instagram
Before all the steps you should take to open an Instagram shop, which we will explain in detail below, let’s go through the requirements that you should fulfill in order to sell as a company on Instagram’s trading platform.
To succeed in this you must meet the following conditions:
- Follow Instagram guidelines
- Introduce your company and business domain
- Find your place in the market
- Demonstrate reliability
- Provide accurate information
Failure to comply with the requirements at any time may result in loss of access to trading platforms, functions, or disabling of your account.
Follow Instagram’s guidelines
Your business policy must comply with the Seller Agreement, Commercial Policies, Advertising Policies, and Site, Group, and Event Policies. Failure to do may result in loss of access to trading platforms and features and disabling your account.
Introduce your company and business domain
Your Instagram account must contain products that are available for purchase from your website.
In addition, it is necessary to provide the domain name through which you will do business, and your Instagram shop must be associated with the submitted domain.
Find your place in the market
To do business, your Instagram account must be located in one of the supported markets, which was discussed earlier.
Your Instagram account must show reliability, through authenticity, presence, and maintaining a database with a sufficient number of followers.
Provide accurate information
It is also very important that you give accurate information about the products on your Instagram account about their price and availability, and information about refunds and products is clearly and easily accessible.
4. How to set up Instagram Shopping
Before you start offering your services and products in the Instagram shop, you need to take certain steps for a successful Instagram sale and set up your Instagram Shopping for sales.
These steps are:
- Make sure you are eligible to set up an Instagram Shopping
- Create an account or convert it from a private account to a business one
- Connect with Facebook
- Upload the product catalog
- Account review
- Turn on shopping
- Fill your profile
Make sure you are eligible to set up Instagram Shopping.
To start with Instagram Shopping you need to meet certain conditions.
First, your company needs to be in a supported market.
Second, the product you are selling needs to meet certain conditions.
Third, your business needs to be in accordance with the trade agreement and trade policies.
Last, your business needs to own the domain of the website from which you intend to sell.
Create an account or convert it from a private account to a business one
Alot of people own an Instagram accoutn. But if you’re among the few who don’t, now is the right time to do it. And if you have one, you can easily turn your private profile into a business one.
The business profile on Instagram is an enhanced version of the private profile. Visually there is almost no difference, but if you want to advertise what you do and use all the business features that Instagram offers, then coming from a private to a business profile is a good idea.
The first thing you need to do is log in to your private profile and go to Settings, then go to Account, and finally, go to Switch to a business account.
In order to successfully complete the transfer to a business profile, you need a non-personal Facebook page where you are the Admin.
After that, you will have to choose the category of your business, which you can later change very easily. Then fill in basic information such as an address, email, and phone number.
And that’s it, you’ve successfully switched from a private to a business profile.
Connect with Facebook
You can’t have Instagram Shop if you don’t have a Facebook page, so it would be good to do it when you start with this procedure.
You will connect Instagram Shop and Facebook page very easily. First, go to Edit profile on Instagram. Then, in the Public Business Information, select Page.
Then select the option to connect to your Facebook Business Page. And that’s how you finished this part of the job.
Upload the product catalog
This is the step in which you actually insert all of your products.
You have two different options here.
You can enter products manually in Facebook Business Manager or integrate an existing product database from a certified e-commerce platform (such as Shopify or BigCommerce).
- Log into your Facebook Business account, and then go to Commerce Manager.
- Go to Get Started and select Create a Catalog.
- Select E-commerce (products) and click next.
- You need to select how you’d like to add items to your catalog: in this case, choose Upload Product Info.
- Assign this catalog to your Business Manager account.
- Enter a name for your catalog.
- Then click Create.
- Head back to Commerce Manager and select your catalog.
- Open the Catalog tab and navigate to Items.
- Select Add Items, then Add Manually, and hit next.
- Upload an image of your item — this should be at least 500 x 500 pixels.
- Enter a name, description, and other details.
- In the Item Category section, select your specific category.
- Under Create Variants, add different sizes or colors if desired.
- And finally, when you’re done, click Finish.
- Go to Commerce Manager.
- Open the Catalog tab and go to Data Sources.
- Select Add Items, then Use a Partner Platform, then go to next.
- Select your platform of choice: Shopify, BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CommerceHub, Feedonomics, CedCommerce, adMixt, DataCaciques, Quipt, or Zentail.
- Follow the link to the partner platform website and follow the steps there to connect your account with Facebook.
You are done!
The next step you need to take is to review your account. Once you link the product catalog to Instagram and have the products in your catalog, submit your account for review by following these steps.
Account reviews usually take a few days, but can sometimes take longer. The steps you need to follow are:
- Go to your Instagram profile settings.
- Tap Sign Up for Instagram Shopping.
- Follow the steps to submit your account for review.
- Check the status of your application by visiting Shopping in your Settings
Turn on shopping
Now that you have successfully completed the previous step, it is time to connect your catalog with your Instagram Shop. The easiest way to do this is to follow these four steps:
- First,go to your Instagram profile settings.
- Then,tap Business, then Shopping.
- Select the product catalog you’d like to connect.
- Finally,tap Done.
Fill your profile
Now that you’ve created your own digital shop, it’s time to start making profits and earnings. To be successful at it you need to attract customers.
In order for your Shop to be great and glamorous, you need to do a few things.
First, insert the desired image the way you do otherwise – with the desired effects and filters.
Then, tap on Tag Products and click on the photo where you’d like the tag to appear.
Start typing the name of the products you want to tag. Select your product and click done. Your image is now ready to share!
Your shoppable Instagram posts will feature a shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner. The products your account has tagged will appear on your profile under the Shopping tab.
5. Tactics to help you sell better on Instagram shop
Instagram is a platform that has long since surpassed the notion of a social network and a place where you will only find pictures, it is much more than that.
It has a handful of good options. One of those is definitely Instagram shopping.
What distinguishes Instagram is that it is a fast network, that you have very little time to capture the attention of users, and that it is mostly used by the younger population.
If your target audience is on that network (say under 50), then this is definitely a place where you can sell.
These are the tactics you can try if you want to start selling on Instagram:
- Fabulous images of your products
- Online store on Instagram
- Sales via Instagram stories
- Sales through influencers
- Selling on Instagram via video
- Sales via IGTV
- Use a hashtag
- Apps that facilitate the purchases to the maximum
- Explore and Shop tab
- Sales via direct messaging
Fabulous images of your products
For a fabulous image and for Instagram sales to work through it, you need to be very creative. That is why it is good to show your product in action with a picture.
In addition, it is important that you have a good story about your brand. Whether it will be a mime, a quote, some of your wisdom, a story about how your product is created behind the scenes, a story about the idea of its creation – it is important to induce emotion.
It is also important to stay true to your brand and its visual identity. Be recognizable both with product images, and when you post some fun content.
The image description is also very important and for this, you need copywriting skills. Here you should strive to be special, make what you say unique, and communicate the right thing. It will invoke a desire with people to buy your products.
Another good tactic for selling through pictures can be selling on Instagram using an action offer. There are many of these online tools that can help you paste discount or action information into an image in an interesting, simple, and aesthetically pleasing way.
Online store on Instagram
First of all, it should be said that this is an option that is allowed only in certain countries.
If you are in a country where an online store on Instagram is allowed, it works as follows.
An Instagram account connects to products from the Facebook store where you have a catalog with products and prices.
When you get the approval for the store, then you can post a picture with several products and by clicking on each of these products individually, visitors can see the product name and price.
The prices appear in the bubble next to the product, and by clicking on them, customers can immediately make a purchase, because it leads them to the sales page.
Announcements through which the purchase can be made have a shopping bag icon in the lower-left corner, and by clicking on the product, you get information about the price.
Sales via Instagram stories
Instagram story is a place where you can place a paid advertisement that sells your product, but also post interesting photos in which your product is.
Short videos that immediately go to the core are also a selling option that you can use here. In Instagram stories, you can place a text message on a monochrome background, and an interesting call to action.
How to make the best story for the Instagram shop?
Upload or create your content for your story as usual, then hit the sticker icon in the top-right corner. Find the product sticker, and from there, choose the applicable product from your catalog.
Also, here you have questions and answer option, which allows users to ask questions about your brand.
Use it to answer doubts, present yourself in the best light and sell your products. The questions are anonymous, and you can be creative with the answers and get people to shop.
Instagram stories can last 24 hours, but can also be archived. Keep them concisely and clearly arranged by category.
Sales through influencers
With this form of Instagram sales, you establish cooperation with people who have a lot of followers on Instagram and who are followed by your target group.
Influencers play an important role because people would rather buy a product if it is recommended by a celebrity, than just an ordinary advertisement.
The role of influencers is to advertise your products in cooperation with you so people can hear and know about your brand as much as possible.
In fact, this is the way to do marketing – sales still go through you. But marketing is certainly a key link in sales, wherever it may be.
Selling on Instagram via video
Pictures are not the only way to sell on Instagram. You can also make a video, but keep in mind that it should not be longer than one minute.
Have a clear call to action for visitors to click on a link in the profile description, search for a product online, or something similar.
You can also try live broadcasting!
The downside of this is that users get into the story at different times so they can miss the moment of sale, so sales ques should be constant.
Let’s say the product is next to you or on you all the time. This is a little tricky to do because then it is a very obvious advertisement and sale, and Instagram sales must not be obvious. But this is definitely one direction you can think about.
Sales via IGTV
IGTV is Instagram TV. It works similarly to television – each channel has its own program. So here you have your channel, on it you record recordings in which you incorporate your product in some way.
This content is not in the feed, the video can be longer than one minute or up to an hour. The problem is that users have to intentionally click on the IGTV option. It is good that you can add a call to action “pull up” and a link to your site!
Use a hashtag
Hashtags are words that we follow with a board (#) to mark the photo we upload. By using hashtags people can find your content more easily (which will lead to larger followers, and thus future customers).
Here are some rules for proper use:
- Investigate competition. This way you will have more options to reach your target audience.
- Do not put more than 5 or 10 hashtags.
- In the first position write the ones that are the most important for you (for example, those of your brand). Hashtags you put in second place will be hidden as soon as you leave a comment.
Apps that facilitate the purchases to the maximum
The handicap that Instagram has is that you can only incorporate a link to your website. This makes it very difficult for the user to access the product quickly.
These tools can help you solve this.
Like2Buy: This application allows you to create a special landing page with all your products that you will access from the bio link. From there, customers will be able to buy everything they want.
Liketoknowit: For those who want to sell clothes on Instagram. If you register in this app when users like a photo of your product they will receive an email to buy the item.
Explore and Shop tab
Explore tab – with well-optimized content and post, your products can become visible in the Explore tab, which presents interesting posts to the wider community, according to their interests, regardless of whether someone is following you or not;
Shop tab – this part of Instagram is completely new, on the profile in a special section. It is also possible to publish and promote products there.
Sales via direct messaging
If you come up with good tactics sales via direct messages can be a good way to sell your products. Make such a message that will seem extremely personal and natural.
Although this way of selling is less used today, it should be noted that its advantage is in direct contact, where customers can get answers to all questions about a particular product.
6. Real-life examples of Instagram shop sales tactics
To see all this in action, here are examples of how world brands do it and why they are so successful.
As the first example, we choose Huda one of the biggest beauty shops.
Huda uses the rule that one post has several images and each of these images advertises one specific product. So accordingly, each individual image has one to a maximum of two tags that directly lead to “continue shopping”.
They upload new pictures and videos every day, on average, and if you visit their account you will see that they prefer videos even more than photographs. On videos, you can also find product tags, product information, and continue shopping option.
Be careful with the number of products you tagged. You can use up to five tags with a single image post. The same goes for video.
However, if you use a post with more images, you can use up to 20 tags. It is much more efficient, of course, to present fewer products if that means you have a better-composed story.
The second example we choose is the fashion brand H&M. H&M publishes posts every day, even a few posts a day, mostly pictures.
H&M publishes slightly fewer images with tags that lead directly to the product catalog, but their activity is also based on publishing a marketing image, advertisement, as well as images of celebrities in their wardrobe.
In the posts, you can find one image, which advertises one specific to a maximum of three products. By clicking on the marked product, in addition to specific information about it, you can certainly find information about similar products from their store that you are interested in.
So, even in this case, we can see that less is always more. For good advertising, it is better to highlight fewer images, advertise fewer products and use one to five tags.
Some brands use different tactics. For example, Urbanoutfitters do this by showing a lot of products in one picture or by creating a carousel. Or they combine the two: they put a lot of products on the first picture, and then arrange them on the rest. This helps you attract attention, and then give each product a chance to shine.
By doing so, they show in their posts that different products have different possibilities, whether it is size, color, taste, or any other factor that distinguishes them.
They, therefore, show all their possibilities. This way, you will attract the attention of the audience, even if one style is not for them, they have a better chance of finding something they like.
Primal Kitchen is a brand that mainly advertises its products through its Stories.
Sometimes they do it through video, other times they highlight their customers, and less often they just post stunning photos of recipes.
Each time, they include a store-bought sticker that highlights a particular product they talk about in that Story and never advertises more than two products.
The video can be especially impressive if you show your followers how to use the product because people are more likely to buy if they know what to do with it. Always keep one thing in mind- be sure that you tagged your products!
7. Instagram shop personalization
We all agree that Instagram is one of the most popular social networks precisely because of its visual content.
This social network is more than just pictures and videos. Instagram offers the opportunity to make your wall look more beautiful and impressive.
In this part of the text we will explain how to edit your biography and shoppable pictures and videos.
First of all, you need to use one of the many font generators (IGFonts.io, MetaTags, FontGet, Fonts.Social).
Let’s say you’ve decided to use the MetaTags Font Generator. Here’s how to change the fonts on your biography:
- Open the MetaTags Font Generator
- Type the text on the left side of the screen
- Several font options will be displayed. Choose the one you like
- Copy the text
- Go to the Instagram
- Click on your profile
- Click on the top of the profile to “Edit profile”.
- Paste the text to the biography
- You’re done
Keep in mind the 150-character limit, so be sure to provide all the necessary details for your brand in this section.
Once again, you need to start with an Instagram font generator. This time we choose IGFonts.io.
Here’s what to do:
- Open IGFonts.io
- Enter the text in the text box
- Several font options will be displayed just below
- Choose the one you like
- Copy the text
- Go to the Instagram
- Make a new post on Instagram
- Paste the text
- And finally, share your post
Custom fonts can also help you enhance your Instagram stories. Changing fonts on Instagram Stories can help you build your brand through everyday content.
There are two different ways to use different fonts in your Instagram Stories:
The first option is using Instagram Font Generator – The process would be similar to adding a custom font to your Instagram bio or feed post. Select a font generator, add your text, copy and paste it into your story and the new font is ready.
Let’s look at the second option:
- Go to Instagram Stories
- Take the photo you want to share
- Click the “Aa” button in the upper right corner
- Type the text
- Swipe left and right to select the font you want to select
- Click “Done”
- Your post is ready.
Another option that Instagram offers when it comes to Instagram stories is that when you enter the text you have the option to choose the color you want from the wide range of colors offered.
However, if you want a more specific shade, just keep your finger on the circle of any color for a long time and a “rainbow” will appear in which you can find the desired shade by simply swiping your finger.
Another option is to click on the pipette icon and precisely select the color from the image itself that will best suit your text.
This feature is great if you want to brand Instagram Stories posts which will definitely make you recognizable.
8. What business owners got with the Instagram shop
What all marketers and brands that sell online can agree on is that Instagram shopping works. The question arises as to what exactly lies in its invisible power.
First, this type of shopping makes it much easier for consumers to buy.
With many companies on the market, it is sometimes very difficult to get customers to visit your Instagram store.
So make it easy for them – don’t wait for customers to come but take the store to them.
The Instagram shop allows customers everything that a brick-and-mortar store does – browsing prices, catalogs, storing products to return to the same page later, ordering products from the armchair – all this contributes to better and faster earnings for sellers.
The Instagram shop also enabled sellers to directly promote the product, because Instagram is the best place to connect with the target audience.
It also enabled sellers to posts and stories for all their products and avoid writing redundant information in the biography of their brand account. With better visibility and organized information, sellers have attracted more customers.
By optimizing hashtags, vendors have exposed their products to the target market because these posts are based on user interests and past engagement.
Users who view the Shopping Explore tab tend to be very likely to purchase the product.
So, the Instagram shop greatly facilitated sales to all those who sell products online.
It enabled transparency of product information, enabled that products reach the target audience, made shopping easier for customers, and most importantly, increased earnings for sellers.
9. To conclude
In the time of the global epidemic and adapting to a completely new way of life, it was necessary to adapt the business and move everything to the digital space.
Due to the need of users to rely more and more on online shopping, it seems logical that Instagram introduced the Instagram shop, the possibility of direct shopping through this social network. Now it is finally available in most European countries after the United States.
In the end, we would just say that Instagram can very well serve as a great visual tool for promoting your brand. With a little creativity, skill and effort, it is also possible to gather a community of loyal fans who will spread a good word about your product or service for you.