Selling On Instagram – The Ultimate Guide

With an active user base of over one billion people, it is of no surprise that businesses are focusing a huge amount of their efforts on Instagram. Not only is this stat impressive, but the engagement rates are monumental too! Did you know that 500 million of those users are engaging with the Instagram app every day? Pretty impressive, right?

There are many different ways that you can use Instagram in order to reach users and engage with your potential consumer base. One option is Instagram Shopping. As of early 2018, Instagram made it possible for users to sell items directly through the app via both Instagram Stories and Posts.

All you need to do is tag products on your Instagram photos and you can direct your followers on Instagram to your product pages, enabling them to quickly and easily buy items.

If you want to know how Instagram Shopping works, we’re going to reveal everything that you need to know in this beginner’s guide. So, let’s get right to it…

Selling On Instagram – The Ultimate Guide

Selling on Instagram the Ultimate Guide

Instagram Shopping Explained

Let’s begin by revealing what Instagram Shopping is. This is a feature that was created so that ecommerce brands were able to create an immersive storefront, so that customers could explore (and buy) their greatest products with just one tap.

The core functionality of this feature enables brands to highlight certain posts from their feeds on Instagram and then tag any of their items that are featured.

Why should you care about Instagram Shopping? What are the benefits of this?

Well, this means that brands, including yours, will find it a lot easier when it comes to selling products via social media.

The best way to understand why Instagram shopping is so beneficial is to go through the typical user journey without this feature.

User journey before Instagram Shopping:

    • A person would need to follow a brand account on Instagram.
    • They would then notice a post from the brand and they may see a product they like.
    • The prospect would then either have to contact the company and wait for a response regarding how they can buy the product, OR
    • They would need to leave the Instagram platform to head to the brand’s website and search through all of the items in order to try and buy it.

This is a long-winded and often frustrating process for the person who wants to buy the product. How many times have you given up trying to buy a product from an Instagram post because the process was too cumbersome?

With Instagram Shopping, all the user needs to do is tap on the content (once they have seen something they like in order) to discover if the product has been tagged. If it has been tagged, they can click on it, go directly to the product page and make the purchase. Simple, right?

It’s worth pointing out that once the user leaves Instagram, the rest is up to you. If your website is slow to load, for example, you may find that the user gives up, so make sure your site is up to par by using a powerful site builder.

Selling on Instagram Posts

Now that you know about the benefits of Instagram Shopping, let’s take a look at the two ways to go about this. Firstly, with Instagram posts. Here are the steps that you need to take in order to sell via Instagram posts.

  1. Make sure your country is eligible for this feature. From the U.S. to France, the UK, and New Zealand; most countries are eligible for selling on Instagram posts, yet there are some areas whereby it is yet to be set-up.
  2. Connect Instagram with your Facebook account.
  3. Set up a Business Account on Instagram.
  4. Head to Shopify and install the Instagram Sales Channel. This will enable you to add links and products to your store with ease.
  5. Upload an image in the manner you usually would on Instagram.
  6. Tag your products. There is a “tag products” option to enable you to do this. Simply tap on the specific area of the photo where the item is, just as you would if you were tagging your friend in a photograph on Facebook.
  7. Input your product’s name in the search bar that appears once you have tapped on the product.

Selling on Instagram Stories

Another option when it comes to Instagram Shopping is to sell via Instagram stories. This enables users to purchase directly from a story that they have interacted with. Here are the steps that you need to take in order to sell via Instagram stories.

  1. Make sure your country is eligible for this feature.
  2. Connect Instagram with your Facebook account.
  3. Set-up a Business Account on Instagram.
  4. Head to Shopify and install the Instagram Sales Channel. This will enable you to add links and products to your store with ease.
  5. Once these boxes have been ticked, you are then going to need to create a story.
  6. Once you have created a story, you will be able to add tags. Tags can highlight any items from your store and drive people to your product pages.

Final Thoughts

You also need to make sure that your entire marketing effort is on point if you’re going to make the most of Instagram selling. After all, digital marketing strategies with an integrated, multi-channel approach are the most successful.

Just as your social media marketing strategy should include optimization for keywords, your SEO strategy should integrate with  your social media efforts. Yes, SEO is related to social media! SEO services today are all about an integrated approach. Any good SEO agency will tell you that everything from your search engine presence, to your website, to your social media needs to be consistent and integrated in order to achieve complete success. If you don’t have the confidence to do this yourself, you should be able to find an SEO agency with ease who can handle this for you.

So there you have it: everything you need to know in order to get started with Instagram Shopping. There is no denying that this is a great platform for ecommerce businesses to make the most of today. Instagram boasts impressive engagement levels, and by making it easy for people to purchase your products, you’re bound to notice an increase in revenue!

Miss Kemya


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About Miss Kemya

Miss Kemya Scott Digital Marketing Strategist and Social Media Manager for Small Business at Marketing Sparkler Kemya L. Scott, Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist, teaches her clients how to build a digital presence, increase revenue and create a more successful business. Known simply as “Miss Kemya”, she uses a results-focused, “how to” approach in implementing simple, customized strategies so clients enjoy tangible results quickly and easily.