How does Instagram Shopping work? 5 minutes quick tutorial

shopping cart

Instagram is the fourth most used app in the world, but that’s not by chance. Instagram is constantly evolving. This growth has brought new functionality to the photo-sharing app, and today it is an amazing sales tool.

One of these new developments was the launch of Instagram Shopping, which allows businesses and brands to identify products in their posts and connect these products through a virtual store on Instagram.

What is it about?

Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows you to identify multiple products in photographs on Instagram and associate links to these products with detailed pages of information about those same products, leading the user to checkout on the brand’s website, thus purchasing the product in question.

How does Instagram Shopping work?

Instagram Shopping works in a very simple way:

  1. Whenever a product is tagged on a photo, Instagram automatically identifies that photo with a shopping bag. Thus, it is easier for the user to understand that that content has tagged and easy-to-find products.
  2. When the post has no tagged products, Instagram simply doesn’t show the shopping icon on the post.
  3. As an account manager, you can choose in which publications you want to identify the products. As an author, you have all the control.

How to tag the products?

Typically, tagging is performed manually on top of the photograph, using exactly the same process as identifying people in photographs. Even so, IG Shopping has some special features:

  • When tagging a product in a post, when the user clicks on the image, (s)he can automatically see the label with the product name and price.
  • When a post has more than one marked product, clicking on the photo will display the various labels corresponding to the products identified in the photo.
  • In the lower-left corner, the user can also click on “view products” to be immediately directed to the brand’s Instagram store and view the products that are being identified in the publication. This also happens when the user clicks on a particular product.
  • It is possible to scroll down on this screen: Instagram loads the entire product catalog of the brand. The user can even mark the products as favorites and easily add them to their collections of favorite items on Instagram.
  • In the center and in great prominence, the user finds a button “See on the Site” so that he can view the same product in the E-Commerce of the brand in question and buy if interested. (Find out how to create a successful Sales Funnel for eCommerce)

Payment process in my store or on Instagram?

In the last step, you can make the payment or checkout process in two different ways:

1) Send the users to your E-Commerce, where they can see displayed all the details and a button to add the product to the shopping cart;

2) Send the users directly to the shopping cart with the product already added, only to close the purchase and receive the order comfortably at home.

Both strategies are valid, and it is essential to a/b test to understand which approach generates the best return for your business/brand, taking into account the user experience as well.

3 requirements to activate Instagram Shopping

1) Sale of physical products

First, you have to ensure that your business sells physical products. Unfortunately, Instagram Shopping is not available for selling digital products or services, so if your business’s core is not physical products, you can finish your reading here.

2) Banned products

Second, you need to ensure that the type of product you sell complies with Facebook’s business policies. In this case, the store functionality on Instagram does not allow you to market these specific products, such as:

  • Cars and Fuels;
  • Dangerous machines;
  • Services;
  • Sexual products;
  • Alcohol;
  • Animals;
  • Weapons, ammunition, or explosives;
  • Supplements;
  • Among others.

3) Business profile on Instagram and associated Facebook account

The Instagram Shopping feature is not available for personal accounts, so it is essential that you migrate to a professional account in order to start using it.

How to switch to a professional account?

Super easy! You should open the Instagram app and follow these steps: Settings > Account > Switch to a professional account.

It is impossible to use Instagram Shopping if your account is not associated with a Facebook page of the business or brand in question. If you no longer use Facebook, it is recommended that you create a page to be able to take advantage of this tool.

Creating your sales catalog in 3 steps

Outro requisito é criar um catálogo de produtos para a tua marca. Este processo é realizado no Gestor de anúncios do Facebook ou no Facebook Business Manager, dependendo de qual estás utilizando para gerenciar as tuas páginas e contas de anúncios.

Another requirement is to create a sales catalog for your brand. This process is carried out in Facebook Ads Manager or Facebook Business Manager, depending on which one you are using to manage your Ad Accounts and Pages.

  1. Start by logging into your ad manager and looking for the “Catalogs” tab that is in the assets column.
  2. Click on the blue button “Create Catalog
  3. Select the “E-commerce” option. Otherwise, Instagram Shopping will not work correctly or will not be enabled on your account.

Adding products to the catalog

There are several ways to add products to your catalog. The first one is manually adding each of the products that your company sells. If your company sells just a few products, this option is ok. However, if you sell thousands of products, this option becomes totally unfeasible. Then the best thing is to import this information from an XML Feed or from the Facebook pixel itself. With this option, images of your products, stock quantities, prices, etc. are automatically updated.

If you prefer to add manually, you must add images or videos of each product, along with the name, description, price, SKU, and the product link in your E-Commerce.

Activating your Instagram Shopping

After setting up all the steps described above, you only need to activate in-app purchases on Instagram, connecting your business with the created product catalog, so that everything works perfectly. Then, you can finally start using this feature in your Instagram publications.

To start the setup process, you must follow the following steps from your Instagram app: Settings > Business > Shopping

Click on the blue “Start” button. Then select the product catalog (you can select the catalog from your Facebook page or your Business Manager).

Finally, click on “Submit for Review” and that’s it. Instagram will review your request and approve or disapprove it if it doesn’t comply with the established rules.

Ready to sell on Instagram?

You can tag up to 5 products per single feed post and/or up to 20 products in carousel-style publications.

In your stories, the limit is just one tag. You can use this feature to also tag your products in videos, which is super nice and can help boost your engagement.

Setting up Instagram Shopping is not that simple to do, but after setting everything up, it’s just about starting selling the products in your posts.

If you think the process is too complicated, ask for help! 👇

You still didn’t build an E-Commerce? Read these 10 reasons to have e-commerce on your website