Last year, Instagram launched their shopping experience in the US, allowing business accounts to tag products in their organic posts, and soon rolled out in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The new tool lets consumers pay for products in the Instagram app, and they are using 23 brands such as Nike and Adidas as part of closed beta to trial this new feature.
According to the elves at Instagram, 130 million people tap on posts to see the shopping tags and where products are from – and in order to make this seamless, users will see a “checkout on Instagram” button appear when tapping on those tags (TechCrunch)
The aim is to bring payments in house, so you can either save payment information on the app, entering it during checkout or paying with PayPal. An Instagram spokesperson confirms to TechCrunch, “We will introduce a selling fee to help fund programs and products that help make checkout possible, as well as offset transaction-related expenses.”
Brands are only receiving contact information and shipping addresses, but Instagram is also offering an option for consumers to share their email. Instagram is working with partners like Shopify and BigCommerce to simplify its setup process.
users can store their payment information to easily and efficiently make purchases in the app, while brands and businesses can sell their products directly to their target audience
Making shopping part of Instagram’s strategy
Smart business move, you say? I can only agree. It’s all about meeting the consumers where they are: “We started using product tags to make shopping more convenient for our customers,” agreed Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. “Checkout takes this experience one step further, making it even more intuitive and seamless for people who have discovered products they want to purchase instantaneously.”
With more than 200 million accounts visiting one or more business profiles daily (Instagram Business) shopping was just the next natural step for Instagram: “a multitude of brands have been using the shopping on Instagram feature to connect with customers in a fresh, immersive way – making shopping less transactional and more actionable.”
Check That Your Business and Account Fulfill Instagram’s Requirements
Instagram has strict requirements when it comes to getting set up with their shopping features, so we thought we’d share a few of the key ones (you can find more details on them here):
- Your business must be located in one of Instagram’s 46 approved countries for Instagram Shopping (UK and US are some of them).
- Your Instagram account must be for a business that primarily sells physical goods. You must also have a business profile on Instagram and comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policy.
- Your Facebook Business Page connected to your Instagram account cannot have country or age restrictions.
- Your Instagram business profile must be associated with a Facebook catalogue for your products.
The process to set up your own Instagram shop can be a laborious one, but it would definitely be worth the effort for bigger accounts with a variety of products.
Are you looking to give your profile a refresh? Check out our step by step guide to running an Instagram audit
Set up shop”: literally
You can either add a Shop Section to Your Facebook Page by going to your Facebook Business Page and clicking the Shop tab (if you can’t see the Shop tab straight away, you may need to change your Page template to the Shopping template — just follow these steps to do that).
You can otherwise go to the Business Manager account that owns the Facebook Page linked to your Instagram business profile. From your Business Manager account, create a new catalogue or identify an existing catalogue you’d like to use with shopping on Instagram. If the catalogue you’d like to use is in another Business Manager account, make sure the two accounts are partnered.
Now it’s time to wait…once you’ve set up your Facebook shop or connected a product catalogue on your Business Manager account, Instagram will review your account before granting access to the shopping features.
You are ready to roll, well done!
After you set yourself up, tagging and sharing are pretty straight forward – business accounts can tag a product in a post as well as activate the “Shop” tab on profile, whilst potential customers can easily access all the product information via the Instagram post directly.
It’s still unclear if influencers can use the new feature to promote affiliate products like they would do for Reward Style or ASOS for example. The main point is, the influencer will need to set up the products on Facebook, which may end up being more work than anything. Other third-party platforms for influencers to look into, if keen on using Instagram for products and affiliate products, would be Shop This Feed or Snapppt (both mentioned multiple times by different sources, but we did not have the chance to test them ourselves).
The truth is, whichever platform you may decide to use, setting up a shop on Instagram can still be a lot of work if you are not a brand with a catalogue of products worth sharing. We feel Instagram will soon find a solution for creators as well.
If you are looking for more guidance and actionable steps to improve your Instagram game, why not checking our 4-week Instagram challenge?