Instagram may be mostly known as a photo and video-sharing platform, but that’s not all there is to it. In fact, it’s one of the leading apps for social commerce, inspiring more and more businesses to start their professional accounts. To keep up with the trends, Instagram launched its own shopping feature, now widely used for product promotions.
If your business doesn’t use an Instagram Shop yet, it might be time to start. After all, users claim that Instagram is the number one platform they use to keep up with their favorite brands. So, why wouldn’t you, too, make it easier for your clients to find you?
An Instagram Shop allows businesses to advertise and sell on Instagram by featuring their catalogs and tagging products in their posts, stories, and Reels. Then, the potential customer only has to click on the tag in order to view and buy a certain product.
In addition, once you set up your Shop, the View Shop button will appear on your profile. This option enables your followers to access your collections and browse the products you offer. Once they tap on the product, its description, details, and price will display alongside several photos. Then, they can proceed to the checkout directly on your Instagram page. Or, if your business is based outside of the US, your customers will be redirected to your website to finalize the purchase.
Since Instagram Shopping is quite straightforward and popular among customers, small and large businesses alike have increasingly started using this feature. For a while, Instagram even had a dedicated Shop tab, but it has since decided to replace it with the Reels tab. Still, shopping on Instagram is going as strong as ever.
Before setting up your Instagram Shop, make sure your business meets all the platform’s requirements. If it doesn’t, you won’t be able to open the shop in the first place.
To be eligible, your business needs to:
- Be located in a supported market;
- Have an eligible product catalog;
- Own a website domain through which you sell your products;
- Provide information about your business and products on Instagram;
- Demonstrate trustworthiness through an authentic presence and maintaining an active follower base.
If your account complies with Instagram’s eligibility requirements, you can move on to laying the necessary groundwork and finally setting up your shop. However, keep in mind that you need to follow the above-mentioned requirements even after your shop has been approved. Otherwise, Instagram will disable it.
If you still have a personal profile, you’ll need to switch to a business account to unlock the Instagram Shop feature. This process is fairly straightforward — all you need to do is take the following steps:
- Go to your Instagram profile and tap the three lines in the top right corner;
- Choose Settings from the drop-down menu;
- Tap Account and scroll down until you see the Switch to Professional account option and select it. For some accounts, this option might be listed directly in Settings;
- In the new menu, tap Continue;
- Pick your business category from the list, choose whether you want to display it on your profile, then tap Done;
- When given a choice between a Business and Creator account, choose Business and tap Next;
- Add your email, phone number, and business address, display them on your profile, then tap Next to complete the setup.
Once you’ve switched to a business account, you’ll gain access to new insights and tools for easier promotion. You’ll also be able to connect your professional Instagram account to the corresponding Facebook page and start selling your products.
Commerce Manager is a tool for selling activity on Facebook and Instagram that you’ll need to use to set up your shop. Created by Meta specifically to allow users to grow their businesses on social media, Commerce Manager has all the features necessary for running your shop and advertising your products.
To access Commerce Manager, navigate to Meta Business Manager and log in using your business’s Facebook account. Then, open Business Settings and select Accounts from the left sidebar. You’ll see the Commerce Manager option in the drop-down menu.
If you don’t see it, it’s because you haven’t added any product catalogs to your business account. Of course, you can’t sell anything without a catalog, so navigate to the Data Sources tab in the left sidebar and click Catalogs.
Once the option is selected, you’ll see the Add button, allowing you to create a new catalog. When you click it, a new menu will appear, prompting you to name your catalog and choose your product type. Press Create Catalog when you’re done and set access and management permissions in the following screen.
Now that your new catalog has been created, press the Open in Commerce Manager button in the top right corner of the screen. Once you’re in Commerce Manager, click the Add Items button under the Catalog section of the page. There are several ways to complete this, the simplest ones being manually adding items or uploading them automatically through a partner platform.
Regardless of the method you used to add items, you should double-check whether they are displayed in the catalog. Navigate to the Catalog tab in the left sidebar and select Items. If you can see all your products listed on the screen, you’ve successfully added a catalog to Commerce Manager.
Now that you have a product catalog, it’s time to set up a shop that you’ll use to sell your products on Instagram. Navigate to the Shops tab in the left sidebar and click the Go to Shops button. That will open a new page, allowing you to create your shop. Click Next on the introduction menu to select the checkout method. There are three available options on Commerce Manager, including:
- Checkout on Another Website
- Checkout with Facebook or Instagram
- Checkout with Messaging
Selecting the Checkout with Facebook or Instagram allows customers to purchase products directly on your social media accounts without visiting your website. That makes the sales process particularly seamless, so we highly recommend you choose this option if it’s available. However, do note this option is only available for businesses based in the US.
If you choose Checkout on Another Website, your customers will be redirected to your website when they want to purchase something from your Instagram shop.
Finally, Checkout with Messaging will prompt potential buyers to send you a message via Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to complete the purchase.
Once you select your checkout method, scroll to the bottom of the menu and click Next.
The following menu, Choose Sales Channels, prompts you to add your official website URL and business email, as well as your Instagram and Facebook accounts. Connect the business account you’ve created, confirm your choice, and press Next to continue.
Then, select the catalog you added to Commerce Manager and want to connect to your Instagram Shop. Finally, choose the countries you wish to ship to from a drop-down menu and click Submit.
Now you’ve successfully linked your shop to your Instagram profile, but the account has to be reviewed before you can use its features. That may take a few days, and you’ll be notified once your account has been approved. In the meantime, you can check your status by selecting the Shopping option in your Settings.
Once your Instagram Shop is approved, you can begin tagging the products from the connected catalog in your posts and stories. That makes it easy for your followers to navigate to your shop directly from your posts and purchase the tagged items.
In the past, you needed to connect your business Instagram account to a Facebook page to sell products. That’s no longer a requirement, but many businesses choose to do so, as it streamlines the entire process. Besides, if you’re using both platforms for e-commerce, there’s no reason not to link them.
To connect your professional Instagram account to your Facebook page, follow these simple steps:
- Go to your profile on Instagram;
- Tap Edit Profile;
- Scroll to Public business information;
- Tap the Connect or Create option;
- In the new menu that opens, select Connect an Existing Page. If you don’t have a specific page for your business, choose Create Facebook Page to register;
- Follow the prompts on Facebook to complete the process.
And that’s it! Now your accounts are connected, and your online shops should work smoothly.
Setting up a shop on Instagram may take a while, but the results are certainly worth the trouble. Your customers will have a much easier time finding and purchasing the products they want. What’s more, Instagram Shop allows you to use several new advertising features to reach a wider audience on the platform. Use one of the most popular social media apps to drive traffic to your website and increase your shop’s outreach and sales. Set up Instagram Shopping for your business and take advantage of its shoppable posts and unique advertising options.
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