Did you know that Instagram has over one billion active users? This makes this interesting social media platform one of the most used platforms today. At the same time, this is one of the best places where you can be present if you want to boost the number of sales. In other words, you have to learn how to sell with Instagram if you want to stay on top.
More than half of Instagram users are browsing this platform to find new products. Since 2018, online businesses are allowed to tag their products in their stories and posts and lead potential clients to the product they would like to buy. What’s even better is that since 2019, Instagram users can complete the checkout process directly on this platform. Now let’s see how you can start selling products (and services) with the help of this social media network.
Creating Instagram posts that allow direct shopping
Thousands of Instagram users are tapping Insta photos to unveil product tags found in so-called shopping posts. In case you are not creating posts like this, it’s definitely a good time to start practicing this activity.
Before we explain the procedure, let us say that only businesses are able to sell goods via Instagram. Keep in mind that Instagram allows sales related to physical items that meet the criteria designed by Facebook (Instagram’s owner).
The next step in this process is to create a product catalog. You have to do this on Facebook and you can complete this procedure with the help of BigCommerce or Shopify. Only products found in your catalog can be tagged in Instagram stories and posts. Once you create a product catalog, you will get a chance to activate the Shop section on your Facebook page.
Remember that you won’t get an automated approval by Instagram, it takes a few days for Instagram to review your account and allow you to start sharing shoppable posts. In case your account is approved, you will get a notification. Obviously, after the approval, you will be able to add products from your catalog directly to your posts.
Adding products to posts
This process starts with regular uploading of image/s. Keep in mind that you can add no more than five items in an image. So, in theory, you can share up to 20 items with the help of so-called carousel posts.
When you are done with the caption, you should tap Tag products. You can find this feature right below Tag people. If the feature is missing this means that your account is still not approved. Remember that users can tag only people or products, not both of these things at once.
After that, you will have to type in the product name that you want to tag. Instagram will suggest products from your FB product catalog from the moment it gets the first letters of the product. You are free to add any product from the catalog. Finally, when you are done with these things, you can share the post. Posts that have tagged products on them will show up in the feed of all followers with tiny shopping bag icons located in the top right corner.
Creating Instagram stories that allow direct shopping
In the second half of 2018, Instagram has allowed business users to create stories that let them sell products directly. So, if your business is approved by their management and you can use Instagram shopping features, you will be able to add one product sticker per story. You can use customizable text color for these stories. If a potential client taps the sticker, they will be redirected to the product page in the same way as users that have tapped a shopping post.
The page we’ve mentioned allows users to check additional products images found in the catalog, product descriptions, matching products and a hyperlink to the mobile site where they can complete the purchase. Now let’s check the details.
First and foremost, you should add a story. As you know, these stories can come in the form of pictures or videos. Next, select the sticker icon which is located in the upper left corner and choose the product option. Obviously, you should add the item next. Just like in the case of Instagram posts, you will be able to select any product found in your Facebook product catalog by simply typing the name of that product. Feel free to change the text color on the sticker if you want to. Lastly, the products you’ve tagged in Instagram Stories will be found thanks to the shopping bag icon. Every Instagram user can click on the icon in order to check the product description and info. The tapping will redirect them to a page which allows them to purchase these goods.
Taking advantage of the explore tab to sell products on Instagram
It turns out that businesses can benefit a lot by using the Explore tab found on Instagram. According to the latest statistics, over 200 daily active users are using this option to find interesting content and many of them can be your potential buyers.
What’s interesting is that Instagram has unveiled a topic channel dedicated to shopping back in 2018. This channel is based on the specific shopping interests of every Instagram user. If a user taps on this tab and selects this channel, they will get shopping posts and stories from a wide range of businesses. They don’t have to follow these businesses in order to get suggestions like this.
The checkout feature
Finally, Instagram now has a checkout feature. This feature lets Insta users buy products directly within the app. There’s a guide provided by Instagram that can help you figure out how to use this in-app feature. The only downside, for now, is that this feature is not available in all countries where Instagram is available. So, you have to check this yourself before using this useful feature.