This year, Instagram broke the big news: it finally launched Shoppable Instagram Posts, allowing brands to sell stuff (and earn money), and people – to buy stuff (and be happy).
Sounds like a win-win, right?
It is indeed.
As there are more and more businesses on Instagram, people’s consumer demands are naturally increasing. Instagram wants to make it easy to promote products – and easy to buy them, too. So if you’re a small business owner selling goods, it’s time you take advantage of the latest shoppable Instagram feature, which is available in 46 countries now.
Ready to enable shopping on Instagram? Then read this how-to guide now or bookmark it for future reference, where I’ll walk you through the exact steps you need to tag products on Instagram and earn more💲with shoppable posts in your feed, and your Stories.
OK, Olga, so Instagram is shoppable now – why should I care?
The thing is, up until recently, if you wanted to run a business on Instagram and sell products, the only way you could do that was to drive traffic from Instagram Stories (given you’re a lucky account with 10K+ followers) or through putting a URL in your short bio (and having to frequently update it whenever a new offer is out).
In other words, the buyer journey has been very long, and the struggle for small businesses to scale their sales – very, very real.
With shoppable Instagram, however, you can now create a “one-tap” shop, allowing people to buy your products with a single tap of a finger. And what’s more – you don’t even need to be a big account to be able to do that. In fact, even if you’re a small Etsy shop, it’s still possible to enable shoppable Instagram product tagging.
You can also create a “shop” feed right on your Instagram profile, once you’ve created nine posts with tagged products, thus creating a simple display window that showcases all the products you have. You should also keep in mind that Instagram is going to release a native payment system in the future as well, allowing people to buy things without ever leaving Instagram. This is a powerful feature that will probably change the way people shop online.
So in short, the benefits of shoppable Instagram are crystal clear, really:
- You shorten the buyer’s journey
- You can drive sales from Instagram directly
- You can showcase your products and make a little online shop out of your Instagram account
The journey from inspiration to purchase is just a matter of a few taps now! And if you’re ready to get started, here’s what you need to do.
How to get started with Shoppable Instagram
To tag products on Instagram, follow these 5 easy steps:
1. Convert your Instagram to Business
First things first: make sure you have a Business account on Instagram. It is crucial (now more than ever) that you make the conversion. If you don’t have Instagram for Business, you’re not only missing out on important Instagram Analytics that are essential to grow your account, but you’re also missing out on the opportunity to make your Instagram shoppable.
So, I said it before, and I’ll say it again: switch to Business NOW. If you still haven’t done that yet, follow our guide here that will tell you how to do it.
2. Be in the right country
Once you’ve done that, make sure you’re located in a country that’s eligible for Shoppable Instagram. When the feature came out in March, it was limited to 9 countries, but it’s currently being expanded to 46 and going global. Check this post from Instagram itself to check whether your country is eligible.
3. Update the app
Make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app installed on your phone. To see if you need to update yours, go to App Store → Updates → Instagram (iOS) or Play Store → My apps and games → Instagram (Android).
4. Sell something!
Next on the list: make sure your business actually sells physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. It can be clothes, or artworks, or Harry Potter mugs – basically anything tangible.
5. Create a product catalog on Facebook
Then: you must connect your Instagram Business profile to a Facebook catalog. A Facebook catalog is basically a listing of all your products that you want to sell.
There are several ways to do it: either through Facebook Business Manager, or Facebook Page, or Shopify, or BigCommerce.
Don’t complicate your life, and go for the easiest option: setting up a Facebook catalog through a Facebook Page.
To do that, you need to first add a shop section on your Business Facebook Page. To have this enabled, you’ve got to make sure you’re using the right template on your Facebook Page. Click Settings → Edit Page → Template → Shopping Template → Apply Template.
Once you’ve made sure you’re using the Shopping template, a “Shop” tab will automatically appear on your main Page. So go there, and click that tab:
You’ll see this:
Et voila, this is your shop! It’s empty now, so you have to start adding products to fill it up. Later on, you’ll be able to edit or remove any product you’re selling (or not selling anymore, for that matter).
Note: before you start adding products, you’ll need to set up a payment process, indicate where your customers should check out, which currency they should pay in, etc. If you’ve never set up a payment process before, there will be a pop-up window appearing automatically. You’ll have to fill it in, agree to Terms and Conditions, and click next.
Having done this, you can start adding products to your catalog! Whenever you need to do that, just click “Add Product” in the Shop. The process is quite straightforward from there on: you’ll need to add images (or even a video if you want), describe the product, put a price, and insert a link to a page where people can checkout.
You can also discount the product if you’re running a sale: simply click the little slider here and put the new price. Just don’t forget to come back and edit the product once the sale is over!
And also: make sure to apply the discounts not just in your Facebook catalog, but also in your ACTUAL shop as well, be it Etsy, or Shopify, or whichever platform you run your ecommerce store on.
Finally: make sure the products are always in stock! In case they aren’t, you need to edit the product information in Facebook Business Manager. Here’s a Facebook article on how to do this.
When you add the new product to the shop, it should automatically appear on your Facebook Business Manager as well, if you go to Business Manager → Assets → Catalog. Don’t forget, though, that the items don’t appear in your shop immediately, as they need to undergo an approval process first.
6. Wait to be approved
Once you’ve covered steps 1-5, your account should get approved for shopping on Instagram to tag products. Your account will be reviewed by Instagram before your can access the shoppable feature. This can take anywhere from a few hours, to a few days, so be patient! When you’re approved, you’ll see a notification on the top of your Instagram profile:
Once you get that notification, you basically need to add the finishing touch directly on your Instagram.
Go to Instagram Settings → Business Settings → Shopping. There, click continue. You’ll see the catalog – the one you’ve set up on Facebook before – listed. Choose that catalog to continue.
AND THAT’S IT. Now you can go ahead and immediately tag your Instagram posts with your products!
How to add shoppable tags on Instagram
When it comes to shoppifying your Instagram posts, I have two pieces of news: good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good.
The good news is that you don’t need to create new posts to make them shoppable. If you go back to some old ones, all you need to do is click “Edit” and tag the product that’s been screaming to get tagged all this time.
Now, the bad news: You can’t tag other accounts AND your own products at the same time, in the same post. You’ll need to choose between wanting to drive sales from a post – or wanting to get exposure. Some more bad news: you can’t promote or boost shoppable Instagram posts. And finally, you also can’t tag products on Carousel posts – at the moment, at least. It needs to be just one post. You CAN, however, add shoppable Instagram tags to multiple products within one post – so that’s good news again 😉
In a nutshell, product tagging on Instagram is pretty much the same as tagging other users in your posts.
Here’s what you need to do:
Go on to posting an image, as usual. After you’ve written your Instagram caption, and added geolocation, click Tag Products. From there, you’ll be forwarded to a photo, in which you can tap on a specific product (remember you can tag multiple products if you want to) and tag it from a catalog selection you’ve preset before:
Once you click into the right product, you’ll see a price tag appear exactly where you tapped on the photo. If you want, you can tap on the tag and reposition it by dragging it around the photo. It’s a particularly useful feature if you want to assign shoppable tags to several products in one Instagram post, and make sure the picture doesn’t look too cramped.
Before publishing, you’ll be able to preview the post by clicking “Preview Tagged Products”. If everything looks great, click Publish, et voila! Now your Posts are fully Shoppable, and your followers can shop directly from your feed — which leads me to the following, last part of this guide:
How do users shop on Instagram?
Now that you activated shoppable tags on Instagram, it makes sense to ask yourself: how will the shopping journey actually look?
One word: uncomplicated.
When a user sees a shoppable Instagram post, there will always be little white dots on the tags items and a shopping bag on the bottom left corner — that’s how it’s possible to see the post is shoppable.
Once a user taps on the picture, the shoppable tags emerge instantly:
Next: easy, peasy. You click on the tag that interest you, and Instagram redirects you to a Product Page (within Instagram), which pretty much looks like a typical Instagram ad with a CTA on the bottom:
If you scroll down, you should be able to find more information about the product you clicked on (which is why it’s so important to write those compelling product descriptions 😉). But also, on the bottom, you can see the other products tagged in the same post (if there were multiple) that you can click on and review as well.
The blue CTA is where a user clicks to get redirected to a checkout page, where the product can finally be purchased. Once the product’s been added to cart, checkout and purchased, all you need to do is click on that small X button on the top right corner which will bring you back to Instagram. That’s it! 😇
BONUS: Shoppable Instagram Stories
If you want to go shoppable all the way, you have include Instagram Stories.
Shoppable Instagram Stories have been a thing since June 2018, and they’re quickly becoming a popular strategy for e-commerce brands looking to give their products an extra boost, even if you don’t have 10K followers.
As you can see from the example above, essentially, it’s a shoppable product sticker that you can select when you post a Story. As a user clicks on that sticker, s/he will be redirected to the product page.
Once you’ve enabled shoppable tags on your Instagram by following the points above, making your Stories shoppable is the simplest task. All you have to do, really, is to:
- Select content for Story that has product displayed on it
- Click on the “Stickers” icon
- Select the “Product” sticker
- Choose the appropriate product from the product catalogue (which will appear automatically, once you’ve activated your whole account for the shoppablity feature)
So this is it! This is how shoppable works on Instagram. Easy, isn’t it?
With so many accounts using Instagram for business, this new shoppable feature is a true life changer, allowing businesses to drive more sales, and Instagram users – turn their inspiration into purchases.