How does Instagram Shopping work? 5-minute quick guide

digital marketing

Instagram is the fourth most used app in the world, but it’s not by chance. Instagram is constantly evolving. This growth has brought new features to the photo sharing app, and today it is an incredible sales tool.

One such new feature was the launch of Instagram Shopping or Shop on Instagram, which allows businesses and brands to identify products in their Instagram posts and connect those products through a virtual store on Instagram.

What is Instagram Shopping?

Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows multiple products to be identified in photos on Instagram and links to those products with detailed pages of information about those products, leading the user to checkout the brand’s website, thus purchasing the product in question.

How does Instagram Shopping work?

Instagram Shopping works in a fairly simple way:

  1. Whenever any product is tagged in a photo, Instagram automatically identifies that photo with a shopping bag. Thus, it is simpler for the user to realize that that content has products identified and easy to find.
  2. When the post has no products identified, Instagram simply does not put the shopping icon in the top right corner of the post.
  3. As account manager, you can choose in which publications you want to identify products. The control is entirely up to the author.

How to identify the products?

Identification is usually done manually on top of the photo, using exactly the same process as photo identification of people. Even so, IG Shopping has some special features:

  • By identifying a product in a post, when the user clicks on the image, they can automatically see the label with the product name and price.
  • When a publication features more than one tagged product, clicking on the photo will display the various tags corresponding to the products identified in the photo,
  • In the bottom left corner, the user can also click “view products” to be immediately directed to the brand’s Instagram store and view the products being identified in the post. This also happens when the user clicks on a particular product.
  • It is possible to scroll this screen once Instagram loads the brand’s entire product catalog. The user can also mark products as favorites and easily add them to their collections of favorite items on Instagram.
  • In the center, the user will find a button “See on Site” so that he can see the same product in the E-Commerce of the brand in question and buy it if he is interested. (Enter yourself how to create a successful sales funnel for E-commerce)

Payment process in my store or on Instagram?

In the last step, you can do the payment or checkout process in two different ways:

1) Send the user to your E-Commerce, where all the details and a button to add the product to the shopping cart are displayed;

2) Sending the user directly to the shopping cart with the product already added, just missing to complete the purchase to finalize the order and receive the order at home comfortably.

Both strategies are valid, and it is critical to conduct tests to understand which approach generates a better return for your business/brand, taking into account the user experience as well.

3 requirements for activating Instagram Shopping

1) Sale of physical products

First, you have to make sure that your business sells physical products. Unfortunately, Instagram Shopping is not available for selling digital products or services, so if you If the core business of your business is not physical products, you can end your reading here.

2) Prohibited products

Second, you have to make sure that the type of product you market complies with Facebook’s commerce policies. In the case, the store feature on Instagram does not allow you to market several types of products, such as:

  • Automobiles and fuels;
  • Dangerous machinery;
  • Services;
  • Sex products;
  • Alcohol;
  • Animals;
  • Weapons, ammunition or explosives;
  • Supplements;
  • Among others.

3) Business profile on Instagram and associated Facebook account

The Instagram Shopping feature is not available for personal accounts, so it is critical that you migrate to a professional account so that you can use this feature.

How do I switch to a professional account?

Simple! You should open the Instagram app and follow the steps:

Settings > Account >Switch to a professional account.

It is impossible to use Instagram Shopping if your account is not associated with a Facebook page of the business or brand in question. If you no longer use Facebook, it is recommended that you create a page again in order to take advantage of this tool.

Creation of the product catalog in 3 steps

Another requirement is to create a product catalog for your brand. This process is performed in the ,Facebook Ad Manager or Facebook Business Manager depending on which you are using to manage your pages and ad accounts.

  1. Start by going into your ad manager and look for the “Catalogs” tab that is in the assets column.
  2. Click the blue “Create Catalog” button
  3. Select the “Electronic Commerce” option. Otherwise, Instagram Shopping will not work properly or will not be enabled on your account.

Add products to the catalog

There are several ways to add products to a catalog. The first is by manually adding each of the products that your company sells. In the case of a company that sells few products, it is quite easy. However, if you sell thousands of products, this option becomes totally unfeasible. Then it is best to import this information from an XML feed or from the Facebook pixel itself. With this option, your product images, stock quantities, prices, etc. are automatically updated.

If you prefer to add manually, you should add images or videos of each product, along with the name, description, price, SKU, and the product link in your E-Commerce.

Instagram Shopping Activation

After setting up all the steps described above, you just need to activate shopping in the Instagram app, linking your business with the product catalog created, so that everything works perfectly and you can finally start using this feature in your Instagram posts.

To start the setup process, you should follow these steps from your Instagram app:

Definitions > Business > Purchasing

Click the blue “Start” button to start the process. Then, select the product catalog (you can select the catalog from your Facebook page or your Business Manager).

Finally, click on “Send for Review” and that’s it. Instagram will review your request and manually approve or disapprove it if it does not conform to the rules set forth.

Ready to sell on Instagram?

You can identify up to 5 products per single post in the feed and/or up to 20 products in carousel-style posts.

In Stories, the limit is only an ID. You can use this feature to identify your products in videos too, which is super cute can help take your engagement further!

Setting up Instagram Shopping is not something that simple to accomplish, but once you’ve set everything up, just start selling the products in your posts.

If you find the process too complicated, talk to us, we will be happy to help. 👇

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