An Introduction to Instagram Shopping

An Introduction to Instagram Shopping

28/01/20 | Penny Davis

With 70% of shopping enthusiasts turning to Instagram to discover new products, 130 million accounts tapping on shopping posts every month, and over 1 billion users to reach, can your e-commerce business afford to miss out on Instagram shopping?

What is Instagram Shopping?

The feature that began slowly rolling out in November 2016 has become a ubiquitous sight to active users on the platform.

The tool allows retailers to tag their products when they post images of them. If a user clicks on a tag, they will be taken to a product description page where they will see further information:

  • A link that goes directly to the website they can purchase the product from
  • An image of the product that has been tagged
  • The price of the product
  • A product description

At the moment, only users in the US can check out without leaving Instagram, but this feature is expected to roll out more widely over time.

Who Can Use The Shopping Feature?

Some features on Instagram, such as the swipe up tool on stories, require accounts be either a verified or business account with at least 10,000 followers. Instagram shopping, however, is open to every business account, in an eligible location, so long as they set up a few things first:

  • A website that sells physical products
  • A catalogue of products published to Facebook through Big Commerce or Shopify (these can be visible or hidden to your Facebook followers)
  • Nine posts published to Instagram
  • The latest version of the app

Best Practices

Like any tool on social media, you’ll only get out what you put in. Anyone can have an Instagram account, but it’s how you use it that makes the difference. Whilst it can sometimes be a case of trial and error, various methods may be used to keep your audience engaged with your shop:

Turn on the Shopping Tab

It is not a requirement for e-commerce stores on Instagram to have a shopping tab on their profile, but why miss out on the potential sales through this feature?

The shopping tab sits below the account’s biography and highlights section, but above any images posted to the grid. Clicking the shopping tab will allow users to browse a catalogue of products uploaded by the account, along with their respective prices.

If your account has been approved for Instagram shopping, you will need to head to the settings section of your account to turn on the tab.

Tag Multiple Items

Instagram currently allows accounts to tag up to five products in one image. Whilst you don’t want to overcrowd your image with tags, you’re likely to get higher engagement if you tag more than one item.

Vary Your Posts

There are various ways an account can direct followers to its shop, including through stories, posts and carousels. Varying the types of posts you publish will prevent you from pushing too much of the same content to one place, and make the overall user experience more interactive. When promoting your shop, just be sure not to spam your followers with too many pushy sales posts.

Make Your Product the Centre of Attention

When posting images for shopping, make sure the product users can purchase is the central focus. Smaller items such as jewellery and footwear can become lost in full-body images but look great in close-up shots where attention to detail can be seen.

Success Stories

With major brands and small, independent stores alike using the feature, there are plenty of Instagram shopping success stories out there.

Well established brand, Barbour, state that ‘since we started to use the feature, our sales from Instagram have increased by 42% and traffic to our website from Instagram is up 98%’.

Leading independent retailer, SpearmintLOVE, say they have received ‘8% lift in purchases attributable to Instagram Shopping (month over month)’, whilst designer brand Natori reveal even more impressive statistics, stating, ‘In just a few short weeks of using the new shopping features on Instagram, we’ve seen a 100 percent increase in revenue from the channel and a massive 1,416% increase in Instagram referral traffic to our website.’

Talk to us About Social Media

As a long-standing digital marketing company, we have seen social media grow and evolve over time. With various ways to reach your audience and make more sales online, figuring out the best approach for your business can often become as difficult as it is time-consuming, so why not hand that chore over to someone else? Here at Active Internet Marketing, we specialise in researching and creating bespoke strategies that allow our clients to successfully advertise online.

If you think your business could benefit from online shopping, we welcome you to call our dedicated team today. Can’t talk right now? Drop us a line through our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch shortly.