In recent years, Instagram has gone from a platform some people use to one that almost everyone engages with. With over 1.2 billion users worldwide, Instagram has now become one of the most used social media platforms. Created so users could share photos with their followers – and view, like, and comment on others’ posts – the platform has evolved immensely with the development of new features like Stories and Reels.
As the platform has evolved, brands have taken particular notice of the way Instagram can be used to boost their revenue and consumer engagement efforts – this is especially true during the holiday season. Businesses have essentially taken over the Instagram scene, sharing branded content with their customers and leveraging paid ads to target these audiences with promos to help drive conversions.
But in 2020, Instagram became even more profitable for brands with the platform’s announcement of Shoppable posts. Instagram shopping has really changed the game of paid social advertising. So, what’s all the hype about?
If you’re a little late to the game, that’s alright. We’re here to fill you in on all things Instagram Shopping and why you should get on board with this feature!
What is Instagram Shopping?
Instagram Shopping provides marketers with a set of features that lets followers effortlessly shop for products directly through posts (photos and videos). Once enabled, customers can easily access your products through a quick-click feature that’s built directly into the platform.
The perfect tool for shoppers looking for a more streamlined process (or those who like to browse for gifts while scrolling), Instagram Shopping has several benefits for brands, including:
- Simplifying the online selling process.
- Offering brands the ability to share featured products through organic posts, Stories, and ad campaigns.
- Making products discoverable in Search & Explore.
- Allowing users to purchase at the time of discovery.
Instagram’s Shoppable posts are perhaps one of the easiest ways to turn followers into paying customers on the platform. With Shoppable posts, you can tag and link your collections and seasonal products directly into your feed posts and Stories, giving users instant access to your Instagram Shop catalog. But how do you create a Shop catalog?
First, your business must be among Instagram’s Shoppable accounts to set up this feature. This means your Instagram Shop needs to contain product listings that are available for direct purchase from your brand’s site. Additionally, your Shoppable account has to represent the store or website associated with the domain provided during setup.
Pro tip: Partner with influencers to promote your brand and products, plus draw more users to your Shop! The platform, of course, is known for influencer activity, and Instagram has welcomed creatives to the mix with “Instagram Shopping from Creators.” This feature gives influencers the power to create their own Shoppable Instagram posts by promoting products from brands they partner with. These influencers’ and creators’ followers are then able to tap “view products” and buy the products that are tagged using Instagram Checkout. This is the perfect way to promote products and seasonal sales!
Instagram Shopping Features
Instagram’s Shopping features make it easy for millions of small businesses to turn their digital real estate into selling machines. Everyone from influencers to small Etsy shop owners can sell their products right from their profile pages. Ever since Instagram first introduced Shops, they’ve been growing in popularity, with over 130 million users shopping through Instagram monthly. And now, these features allow companies to have greater control over the layout of their online stores, how they promote their products, how collections are grouped, and how real-time previews appear.
Here’s a closer look at these Instagram Shopping features:
Previously, Instagram users had to redirect followers to their websites to convert leads to customers. Instagram Checkout streamlines the sales process by allowing shoppers to make purchases right in the app. This feature is perfect during the holiday season for those who are a little extra busy hosting gatherings and may not have time for lengthy, complicated checkout processes.
Instagram Live Shopping
Live Shopping lets Instagram users make purchases in real-time as they’re watching live-streamed videos (usually from influencers or brand representatives) with product tags. Live Shopping is a great place to showcase and promote seasonal products to followers through tutorials and product demos, for example.
Shopping Sticker on Instagram Stories
As soon as your Instagram Shop is approved, start pumping out product promotions on Stories and with Shopping stickers! To do this:
- Upload images of your products.
- Choose the Shopping sticker from the library of stickers.
- Add a product tag to the posting.
- Arrange the product tag where it should appear on your photo.
- Insert a “swipe up” arrow.
- Share your Story! Your audience will now have the ability to swipe up and find your Shop so they can buy the tagged product.
Product Tags in Instagram Posts
Adding tags make your products more stoppable, which helps move users down the buyer funnel. Before you begin tagging, ensure that you have the product tagging feature enabled. To do this, go to Settings –> Products –> Enable Product Tagging.
Instagram Shopping Tab
The Shopping tab allows users to browse Instagram Shops and explore featured products from brands they follow. As a marketer, you’re able to showcase your products and featured collections here.
Paid Shoppable Instagram Ads
Social media marketing involves a mix of paid and organic. Instagram Shopping allows you to create Shoppable paid ads that help expand your reach beyond organic followers. To develop your paid social strategy, consult a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media.
How is Instagram Shopping Used By Creators and Influencers?
Creators and influencers are key to a successful social media strategy. They creatively promote products and expand your brand’s reach to their network of trusted followers. In fact, 37% of users trust product recommendations and promotions from influencers over brands. To reach these audiences and boost your seasonal sales, leveraging creators’ influence on Instagram Shopping is a must.
Because Instagram allows shopping tags that make it easier for these influencers’ followers to shop for products with a single tap, the platform has become a game-changer for marketers. Influencer marketing is now largely shaped by consumers’ abilities to make purchases directly from their favorite creators’ or influencers’ pages. For brands, that means they have to step their games up and get noticed by the people who can boost their brand awareness and help drive sales right from their own Instagram accounts.
What Are You Waiting For?
We’ve covered a lot, but as the social media marketing landscape is always changing, there are sure to be more updates and evolutions to come. One thing to remember is the effort to set up an Instagram Shopping account pays off, as it gives users easy access to make purchases from your company without taking them out of the app.
As you begin to set up your product pages, be sure you’re including:
- Product names
- Product images
- Product descriptions
- Product pricing
- Links to view the products on your website
- Related products
This will help people make well-informed decisions with little to no effort.
Need Help Setting Up Your Instagram Shop Account?
Zero Gravity Marketing is here for you! Touch base with our team to develop a tailored social media marketing strategy. We’re here to let you in on Instagram Shopping best practices and guide your brand through the process of setting up and managing your Shop. Let’s boost your followers, leads, and sales together!