As social media becomes an increasingly integral part of digital marketing for every type of business, Instagram has emerged as one of the top platforms. These days promoting a business is nearly unthinkable without social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The latter has one billion active users monthly, and more than 500 million use it every day. This makes it a platform with the potential to engage countless people with your brand. Apart from marketing and branding, there are now Instagram shops. This is an innovative idea for startups to implement, provided you can build a dedicated following you can convert into clients.
What Is an Instagram Shop?
An Instagram shop lets you use your Instagram profile as a catalogue to promote products directly to users through your stories and posts. You can also add a “shop” tab to your profile that tags products and prices on posts. Users can then tap the photo to view the prices, click on the labels to go to the product page, and shop.
These Instagram-shoppable posts are a relatively new feature of the app that makes it easier to sell and promote products and services. There are also numerous personal as well as business profiles that are used to informally buy and sell products, making it a popular option among startups. Having a growing number of followers interested in your products can give new businesses exposure to numerous prospective customers across the world. This gives them a golden opportunity to grow their business with limited capital.
Benefits of Instagram Shop
The following are some of the perks you enjoy when you use an Instagram store:
- It makes shopping easier
With so many brands and products to peruse and entertainment to indulge in on social media, it is difficult to get users to notice your products. With an Instagram shop, it becomes easier to reach potential customers as they are already browsing for things that might interest them. With the right hashtags, your products are more likely to show up in their feed.
- Direct promotion of your products
Instagram is a perfect platform to connect with prospective buyers, but it is very difficult to promote individual products as you cannot add the link in the description box of the post. But in an Instagram shop, the store and content are seamlessly integrated and products can be shopped for by simply clicking on their labels. This eliminates the need to constantly update the latest link in the bio and add “Click the link in the bio!” as part of the product description.
- Get exposed to shoppers
By optimizing hashtags, you increase your Instagram engagement by getting posts featured in the shopping tab of Instagram’s Explore page. Users browsing through this tab are more likely to be looking for things they want to buy, and depending on their past search history and interests, they will only be shown the products they are most likely to want. As a seller, your goal will be to come up with products and content that will attracts shoppers which in turn will help you earn more revenue.
Tips to Set Up an Instagram Shop
To start an Instagram shop, there are certain eligibility criteria you must consider:
- An Instagram shop can only be set up if you are located in Canada, Brazil, the United States, France, Italy, Spain or Australia.
- You need an Instagram business account.
- The latest version of the Instagram app, Android and iOS should be used.
- Physical goods that comply to the merchant agreement of Instagram should be featured.
- The business should be connected to a Facebook catalogue.
The following are steps to successfully create an Instagram shop, if you meet all the criteria mentioned above:
- Facebook catalogue
If you are trying to establish your Instagram shop, a Facebook catalogue is essential. It is a file that consists of all the products you want to sell, created on Facebook Business Manager. You can create a new list or identify an existing one that you want to use for the Instagram shop.
You can also connect your Instagram shop to a Facebook catalogue created through Shopify or BigCommerce. The Facebook sales channel is a part of all paid plans on Shopify. You can also add an Instagram sales channel to your Shopify account that will connect all the products in your Shopify list to your Instagram shop.
- Instagram’s review and approval
Once the Facebook catalogue is linked to your Instagram business account, your request for Instagram shop features will be reviewed. Upon approval you can add Instagram shoppable post features to your account. The approval procedure can take anywhere between a few hours to a few days.
- Tagging products correctly
You should ensure that the product descriptions and details in the Facebook catalogue are accurate for your business to run smoothly through your Instagram account. Similarly, product tagging should be done meticulously, with correct and trending hashtags, so that it shows up on search engines. You can tag up to five products per post and 20 per multi-image post.
The way that Instagram and other social media can boost your startup, it is possible to have a thriving business without a physical store. Keeping in mind the above-mentioned factors will help give your Instagram-based business its required boost. Once you have a growing business, you can more easily concentrate on other aspects, like bookkeeping and accounting, to ensure a smooth and consistent cash flow.