It’s been a while since Instagram Shopping was officially launched. The first tests were carried out in November 2016, and since then, we have had many questions about how to set up and activate Instagram Shopping. A lot has happened in the two years, and several extensions for Instagram shopping have been introduced.
130 million people around the world interact with the feature every month—time to deal with the function.
In addition to the Instagram Feed, Instagram Shopping is also available for Instagram Stories and Instagram Explore (“Discover” area).
If you have activated the feature, you have a wide range of options and different formats available to communicate your products on Instagram effectively. Shopping for stories, in particular, is exciting, as many people expect product announcements and information from companies here.
We explain step by step what you need for Instagram shopping and what requirements you have to meet to use the feature.
Requirements for Instagram Shopping
All companies that have converted their accounts into an Instagram company profile can now use shopping. The term company can be used more broadly here. For example, influencers and bloggers can also use shopping for their merchandise.
A link to a Facebook shop or a Facebook product catalogue is required for shopping on Instagram. How many products there are and how big the company does not matter. All profiles should be able to use shopping.
This is how you activate Instagram shopping.
Activate Instagram shopping in just a few steps
1. Instagram shopping only works for physical products.
The first requirement (or limitation) for Instagram shopping is that the products must be physical. So if you want to sell software, mobile apps, or seminars via Instagram Shopping, that is not possible. If you have physical items, continue with the following steps.
2. Activate Instagram company profile
In order to use Instagram Shopping, you need an Instagram company profile. If you don’t have a company profile yet, you can convert it quickly.
3. Link a Facebook shop or product catalogue
If you have an Instagram company profile, you now have to connect it to your Facebook product catalogue. At Facebook.com/products you can check whether there is already a product catalogue. You can create a new product catalogue directly on Facebook.
4. Link the Instagram company profile with the Business Manager
To completely establish the connection between your Instagram company profile and Facebook, you have to put the Instagram account in the Business Manager and connect to the Facebook page on Instagram. So you have set all the settings and can start shopping on Instagram.
5. Publish nine posts with Instagram Shopping
You have to tag nine Instagram posts with products once to activate shopping for your followers. You will receive a hint on Instagram, and you will be guided through the creation of the first nine posts. If you use different product catalogues, you can select the right product catalogue in your Instagram company settings under “Shopping”.
6. You have activated Instagram Shopping.
You did it and activated Instagram Shopping. Remember that shopping only works for organic posts and cannot be advertised yet.
So it is also crucial how your products are created and that all information is available and up-to-date. Many will certainly be active again here and have to check their product catalogues or Shopify Facebook shops.
Since products and their presentation on Instagram play a central role, we will relatively quickly see many companies that will rely on Instagram shopping. But that doesn’t mean that every post has to be a shopping post. The mix of content will continue to matter.
Shopping on Instagram offers companies an exciting opportunity to inform their own followers and target groups about products directly on Instagram, without relying on third-party providers or references to the Instagram bio. Of course, Instagram shopping posts can also be advertised. Especially at the beginning, you should get good results here, as the posts attract more attention in the Instagram feed.
Feed, stories, collections & shop tabs: More Instagram shopping formats and placements
First, shopping was introduced in the feed. As mentioned, shopping is also available in Instagram Stories. But that wasn’t it yet. In November 2018, more options for Instagram shopping were presented.
Shopping in videos: Brands and companies are given the opportunity to mark products in videos. This again opens up new possibilities for product communication. What is exciting here is the ever-greater significance of moving images on Instagram. The combination of videos and products should give shopping the next boost.
Shopping collection: Shopping content can be saved on Instagram like all other posts. With its own shopping collection, the area is given even more weight and its own separate area. For this purpose, each product receives a storage function that is directly linked to the shopping collection.
“Shop” tab for company profiles: Instagram company profiles have the option to display their own shop tab. All posts that are linked to Instagram Shopping are displayed in the tab and can be called up even faster. Furthermore, product information is displayed directly in the overview. This includes, for example, the price.
As you can see, shopping is gradually being expanded and provided with better and better functions for companies.
If you want to start shopping on Instagram, Instagram has put together five tips for you.
Instagram Shopping Tips:
- You should publish at least nine shopping posts in your Instagram company profile. This activates the shopping button and your followers, and the community can see that your company profile is using Instagram Shopping.
- Always mark several products in an Instagram shopping post so that the followers can deal more intensively with your products.
- Communicate your shopping posts via Instagram Stories. In this way, you generate attention, and at the same time, you can explain to your followers what Instagram shopping is all about.
- Use shopping in your stories
- Uses different formats for shopping and tests whether individual images or carousel posts work better.
- Always checks whether all products are correctly linked and provided with the correct information.