How to Use Instagram Shopping To Increase Sales For Your Business

The world of shopping is becoming faster and more accessible before our very eyes. Within a manner of years, we have switched over to a world where hopping online allows us to easily shop for clothes, home furnishings, and even food with a few clicks.

Instagram has taken the next step in mobile shopping by developing Instagram Shopping. Before we know it, we could be doing more and more shopping without even leaving Instagram.

Instagram Shopping is a huge opportunity for e-commerce brands who want to boost sales. Stay on top of the trends by establishing a store right on your Instagram account. Instagram Shopping is the latest feature to revolutionize the way consumers shop for products and make purchases.

When you set up a shop on your account, you will not only boost sales – you will grow your relationship with current customers and create a better user experience for anyone who visits your profile.

What Is Instagram Shopping?

Instagram has had its Shopping feature in the works for a few years, but global Instagram users may have just noticed shopping opportunities on their favorite brands’ profiles. Instagram launched the global Shopping feature in March 2018, giving retailers in over 40 countries the opportunity to sell products right on their Instagram profile.

International businesses who have set up Instagram shopping are already seeing an increase in revenue. Whether your business is an e-commerce giant or still establishing your brand, Instagram Shopping provides a great opportunity for your Instagram followers to become satisfied customers with a few clicks.  

Why Use Instagram Shopping?

It enhances user experience.

Once users click on a tagged product, they are taken to a more in-depth description of the product, its price, and a list of related items. Users can click further to visit the product on the retailer’s website and add the item to a shopping cart.

All of this is done within the Instagram app. If the user wants to click away, they have the option to swipe away and are immediately brought back to their Instagram account/

User experience is consistently a top concern of e-commerce business. The smallest details in user experience (i.e. seconds of loading time) can have a significant impact on conversion rates and overall revenue.

Instagram Shopping streamlines the process from discovering a product to purchasing the product. A majority of the possible obstacles that come with leaving Instagram, visiting a retailer’s website, and making a purchase, are eliminated.

It provides more content opportunities.

If you aren’t on Instagram already, Instagram Shopping should be the final push for you to prioritize this popular social media platform. Instagram is so effective for e-commerce businesses due to its highly visual nature.

Lush Cosmetics is a leader in Instagram Shopping on their international Instagram account.

In addition to posting content on your account, businesses have the opportunity to interact with products and followers through Instagram Stories.

If you have products are for sale on Instagram Shopping, you can use Instagram Stories to show off these products and direct viewers to your account to make a purchase.

Instagram Live (a live feed posted on your Instagram Story) provides even further opportunities for engagement.

We will talk more about setting up Instagram Shopping later in this post, but if you work with influencers who directly sell your products, reach out about Instagram Shopping and the possibility of tagging posts with your products.

Users who post your products can also get involved; offer giveaway prizes for users who post the best photos of your products, and then use the winning products as a way to tag and sell more of that product. 

It captures mobile users.  

Focus on the mobile experience to set your business up for sustainable success. Mobile sales have shaped current trends and the future of e-commerce. In 2017, mobile purchases accounted for 58.9% of all retail e-commerce sales.

We are already making more purchases on mobile than we are on desktops or tablets. The growth may not plateau any time soon; experts predict that 72.9% of e-commerce sales will be made on mobile in 2021.

If you introduce your customers to mobile purchases through Instagram now, they will consistently make mobile purchases a habit in the future.

How to Set Up Instagram Shopping

Even if you don’t start posting immediately, it’s easy to set up Instagram Shopping and have products on hand for when you do want to start selling directly on Instagram.

Before you can set up Instagram Shopping, you have to set up a Facebook catalog. (Before you can set up a Facebook catalog, you will have to connect your Business Manager account to Shopify or a similar platform.)

Even if you are not currently using Facebook to sell your products, your Facebook and Instagram will have to be connected.

First, you need to add products to your Facebook catalog that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. Once you have set up a list of products, you can apply to add Instagram Shopping to your profile.

Your account must be converted to a business profile, which can be done with a simple click in your Instagram account settings.

Instagram typically reviews and makes a decision about shopping profiles within a few days. Once you are approved, you can start tagging your posts with products. Since your products are already set up through the Facebook catalog, tagging products just require a tap and a search.

Approved accounts can tag products on new and existing posts. After your account is approved, look back on posts that you could potentially tag with products in your catalog.

Target displays a variety of products and how they can be used.

Once you have set up your catalog and have started posting items in your shop, readjust your content calendar to include items that you can sell on Instagram. Even just a simple note to remember an extra product or two could make a big difference in that product’s sales once the post is up.

Tips for a Good Instagram Shopping Post

Even if your posts aren’t tagged with products yet, they should be the highlight of your Instagram posts. Studies show that 65% of the best-performing posts on Instagram feature products. Don’t be afraid to show off what you have in your inventory and use the Shopping feature to start selling!

Take high-quality photographs that clearly display your products.

Customers want to know exactly what they are getting when they click and make a purchase. Even if you have good photographs of products on your website, customers will not be drawn to see them if your Instagram posts are blurry or the product is hidden within the post.

Alex and Ani’s post clearly displays the product

Be consistent.

When you set up your Facebook shopping catalog, use similar copy and titles that you would use on your website. If you make too many adjustments for Facebook or Instagram, loyal customers may be confused about what they are purchasing.

Mix it up!

Instagram Shopping is certainly exciting, but it should not take over your Instagram feed. Mix up your content focus. In addition to selling individual products, what other stories can you tell through your Instagram?

How can you establish your brand and help customers get to know what makes you different?

Lush Cosmetics provides a mix of shopping posts and other content.

Apply this idea to different content formats on Instagram. Take advantage of the ability to produce a live stream or post on your Instagram Story.

When you post a story, you give customers more opportunities to not only see your business’ profile but also to engage and interact with your account.

Stick to one or two products per post.

Instagram currently allows retailers to tag five products on posts with a single photo and 20 products on posts with multiple photos. Don’t feel pressured to take advantage of this opportunity on every shopping post.

Clicking on an Instagram photo and seeing five tags can look cluttered and overwhelming, especially if it’s the case with every post.

If you want to display more products on your Instagram, consider publishing more posts throughout the day or the week.

Know when your followers are making purchases.

Instagram optimization isn’t just about what you post. The time that you post is also important for reaching the right customers when they are ready to make a purchase.

Instagram recently reverted back to a more chronological feed, making it more important for businesses to post when their followers are online and ready to engage.

Instagram provides insights for business profiles, including times when followers are active on Instagram and where they are primarily located. Combine this information with analytics from your website to see what times your customers are taking the extra step to make a purchase.

Include a call to action.

Instagram Shopping is still relatively new, especially to international customers. Communicate to your customers so that they can buy products directly from the app.

A simple reminder to tap on your posts or “shop now” can introduce customers to this new form of shopping.

Myer urges users to “tap” on the post to see the tagged products.

Be sure to add a few posts that focus on introducing Instagram Shopping to your customers through social media or email marketing.

Make an announcement about shopping on your Live stream or story. Get creative with the ways that you talk to your followers about this new opportunity, and be sure to encourage users to try it out for themselves.

Instagram Shopping is still new, so this is the best time to play around with posting and see what this new feature can do for your e-commerce sales. Good luck, and happy (Instagram) shopping!