Instagram has slowly been increasing its features for advertisers and sellers. The new Instagram Shopping experience provides an additional revenue stream for the app itself (as they charge a fee for sales). But it’s also providing a whole channel for brands to gain exposure and drive sales!
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of Instagram Shopping and see what brand value is in store for you.
Whats the new Instagram Shopping experience like?
Instagram Shopping began with the rollout of tagging products within posts and video descriptions. Users were able to click on these products and either save for later or click through to purchase on the brand’s website.
But this month, Instagram began rolling out a whole new shopping experience in test phases.
How do users get there?
Instagram shops are now a tab in the interface, letting users browse products when they’re in the mood to purchase.
How do users browse products?
Products are organized into collections, making it easy to stumble upon appealing items. Product recommendations are based on the brands that Instagram users are following, meaning this shop is completely customized towards an individual’s preferences.
What other features should I know about?
Instagram influencers and creators are also able to tag products in their own posts. This means that affiliate programs are now more useful to sellers than ever before.
Better still, users now have access to a seamless in-app experience. Since all of their information is already stored in Facebook pay, the checkout process is easier than ever before.
How does Instagram Shop benefit eCommerce sellers?
Bypass larger brands – get exposure through targeting your niche.
eCommerce is a growing, competitive space; especially since Covid forced many stores to rely on digital sales.
While you are enjoying the benefits of more people shopping online, you likely noticed that traditional channels are becoming more competitive at the same time:
- Search engines driving organic traffic
- Paid ads targeting through custom audiences and search intent
- Social media exposure through relevant hashtags or the Instagram Explore page
Now, Instagram Shop provides a channel with less barriers to entry. Focus on growing your Instagram following and affiliate partnerships to tap into a ready-to-buy audience, without worrying about search engine bloodbaths or the Instagram Explore page’s ambiguous algorithm.
Tap into an audience that is more likely to purchase.
Not only are Instagram users getting an extremely personalized shopping experience while they’re in the buying mindset, they also have a convenient checkout experience.
Buyers shop with Facebook pay, meaning there is no hassle to input all of their billing information. For you, that means less cart abandonment.
How do I set up my Instagram shop?
If you’re new to social media selling, make sure your domain is verified through Facebook Surfaces and Instagram Shopping. Then, connect to a business Facebook page.
Next, you’ll need to connect a product catalog to your Instagram Business Account. You can either manually upload your products, or you can sync your website if it’s built with a supported platform (like Shopify or BigCommerce).
Heres how you can choose a more manual upload method:
Heres an example of syncing your catalog through Shopify:
Once you’ve configured your catalog, you can submit your Instagram account for review. If your account is approved, you’ll be able to enable shopping in your settings.
What businesses are using it well?
All sorts of retailers are starting to use Instagram Shopping. As long as you have a valid domain, you likely qualify for use.
Check out the lululemon shop:
Users can slide through various product pictures and videos where other people have tagged the product. If you scroll down, you can see recommended products.
If you click to visit the full lululemon store, you’ll get a message like this:
What’s next for Instagram Shopping?
With new features that make Instagram’s shopping experience streamlined and personalized, this is becoming an essential branch of eCommerce strategy.
And it doesn’t stop at setting up your Instagram store. Live shopping is coming soon! That means that influencers using an Instagram Live can tag products within the video.
This is valuable real estate! When someone posts a live, all of their users are notified immediately (jumping to the top of everyone’s feed).
It’s a great time to start setting up influencer marketing programs to take advantage of upcoming features.