Guest post by our friends at Digital Allies.
In 2017 Instagram launched Shoppable organic posts for businesses in the United States, giving brands the ability to add e-commerce links within their Instagram organic posts. Following success in the United States, the Facebook-owned photo and video application expanded its Shoppable experience last month for brands in eight more countries: United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Spain.
It is not surprising that Instagram has added an e-commerce platform to its software, according to the brand, 80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app, with 60% hearing about a product or service for the first time through the platform. As of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, called a business, emailed or direct messaged a business as a direct result of seeing an Instagram post.
This level of engagement and interest in products and services is effectively creating leads for brands through the Instagram platform and at least 30% of Instagram users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.
How customers shop with Instagram Shoppable posts
Shoppable posts on Instagram are clearly visible with a small shopping bag icon. When users scroll through their feed, they will see a ‘Tap to View Products’ pop up appear in the bottom-left corner.
On an account profile, when Instagram users see your Shoppable post, they can tap the image to view the product details. Pop-ups then appear with the product description and price details, as shown below. There can be multiple products displayed in one image. When users tap the product details tag, Instagram will open a new page in the app displaying more information and a large image of the product selected.
If a user taps the ‘Shop Now’ button, it will take them directly to the company website for the corresponding product, where they can add the item in to a shopping cart and then proceed to check out. The entire process of viewing a product within Instagram to making a purchase is seamless for the customer. The transaction, however, is completed outside the Instagram app directly on the company’s website.
How businesses sell with Shoppable Posts on Instagram
Merchants can sell on Instagram using the online commerce giant Shopify. The one-stop shop platform provider is opening up its Instagram integration to millions of merchants as it notes that the platform is already a “significant” driver of Shopify merchant store traffic, so being able to convert this traffic within the platform instead of directing them away from Instagram could result in a boost in sales.
How to prepare your business Instagram account for Shoppable posts
- Ensure your Instagram account is configured as a business account.
Once your Instagram account is set up as a business account, it must be linked to your business’s corresponding Facebook page.
- Set up a Shopify account.
Shopify offer a paid plan. All of the plan options from Basic upwards qualify for the Instagram Shoppable post feature.
- Connect your Shopify account to your Facebook page product catalogue.
To integrate the shopping feature on Instagram, you must have a product catalogue set up on your Facebook page. You can integrate your catalogue by connecting your Facebook page to your Shopify account.
- Add products to your Facebook catalogue.
To sell on Instagram, you need to have your products in your Facebook catalogue. These must be physical products, they cannot be services or digital products. You can also choose from a variety of applicable categories that qualify for the shopping feature.
How to make an Instagram post Shoppable
First upload your image as you normally would, edit it and add filters if required. Once you have the product feature enabled on your account, you will find the option to tag products on the screen where you would normally add your caption and other information. You cannot tag Instagram accounts in a post that has products tagged.
The process is very similar to adding a tag to an account on your image, however, instead of adding an account you can add a product. Your post will appear as shoppable with the shopping bag icon.
Instagram Shoppable is an exciting opportunity that many e-commerce businesses can utilise. This simple approach to selling and buying could result in more sales and less abandoned carts!