Instagram Shopping: How to Open an Online Store on Instagram in 2022

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Instagram shopping provides a profitable opportunity for anyone who wants to start an online business. Features such as Instagram Stories, Live, and Reels allow Instagram Shop owners to market their products and interact with customers in a fun and creative way. According to stats, 44% of surveyed respondents shop weekly on Instagram.

Instagram Shop also provides a quicker shopping experience. It eliminates a buyer’s journey to click numerous links to purchase their desired products. They can simply go through catalogs or shoppable posts and see the products’ prices right from the Instagram app. 

If you consider selling online using Instagram Shop, you’ve come to the right place. We will cover all the steps to set up your Instagram shopping account. First, we’ll explain what Instagram shopping is and its benefits. 

What Is Instagram Shopping?

Instagram Shopping is an eCommerce feature within Instagram where users can sell their products through a series of photos or videos. As it is free and simple to set up, Instagram Shopping is an excellent platform for anyone looking to make money online

Instagram users can discover all Instagram Shopping accounts through the Instagram Shop tab. They can find brands, browse all the Instagram shoppable posts, and purchase directly from the app or another website. 

To check if it is an Instagram Shoppable post, simply look for a shopping bag icon and a link to the product details.

Let’s look at some of the main Instagram shopping features:  

  • Product tags. With product tags, customers can learn more about items from your catalog. 
  • Product detail page. This page uses information from your catalog to display an item’s price, images, variations, and detailed descriptions. 
  • Collections. Enhance the user experience by organizing your products into categories. Make it easy for customers to discover the best-selling or latest products without having to scroll around your entire Instagram page. 
  • Live Shopping. Instagram live shopping lets you sell your products and interact with your followers in real-time. 

Due to the Instagram algorithm, your Instagram shop can also appear on users’ Homes or Explore feeds based on their most recent activity, such as liking relevant posts or following certain brands.

Why Sell on Instagram? 

Let’s discuss several reasons it might be worth marketing your products through Instagram Shop.  

Better Exposure

Promoting your products with Instagram Reels can be an excellent way to expand your following, as Instagram users can share your Reels. This can lead to more people discovering your brand and purchasing your products. 

Visual Marketing

This marketing approach uses engaging visual content like photos or videos to communicate your message. Therefore, Instagram Shop is an excellent visual marketing platform that can help boost brand recognition and conversions. Combined with your marketing strategies, you’ll be on your way to maximizing the benefits of Instagram shopping. 

Easier Checkout Process

After the first completed transaction, Instagram Shop will save the users’ details like names, email, and shipping addresses. Hence, they will have an overall enhanced checkout experience the next time they shop. Customers will also receive notifications about the order’s shipment status. 

Keep in mind that Instagram Checkout charges a 5% transaction fee per shipment.

In-App Analytics 

Instagram shopping accounts will have access to Insights, which provide information about the performance of your account and posts. Using this in-app analytics tool, you can create more relevant content that resonates with your target customer base and refine your marketing efforts.

Here are some key metrics to track from Insights:  

  • Interactions. Find out what users do when they see your posts. Possible interactions include likes, comments, or profile visits. 
  • Follows. See how many followers you get from a single post. 
  • Most active times. Find out when your followers are most active, as this is the best time to upload your posts and stories.

Setting Up Instagram Shopping

Ready to set up your shop? Follow these steps below to start your Instagram shopping journey.

1. Check All the Requirements

The first step is ensuring your Instagram shopping account complies with the Commerce Eligibility Requirements. Failing to meet these requirements can lead to losing access to Instagram Shop, Facebook Commerce, or a completely disabled account. 

Here’s an overview of the requirements to fulfill:

  • Approved markets. Ensure that your Instagram business is included in the list of available markets.
  • Sell eligible products. Instagram Shop does not allow users to sell digital products, services, animals, or medical supplies. Moreover, it is also against the rules to list product photos that do not match the descriptions. 
  • Verify your domain. To confirm your domain’s ownership, you’ll need to complete Instagram’s Domain Verification process.  
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness. Always provide accurate information when selling your products. Provide transparency in your product’s prices, availability, and return or refund policies. 

2. Switch to a Business or Creator Account

Only Business or Creator accounts can set up Instagram shopping. Hence, you must switch your regular profile to an Instagram business account. Once completed, you’ll have access to the Professional Dashboard, where you can monitor your account’s performance and gain access to Instagram-curated educational information. 

Follow these steps to switch your account to an Instagram business profile:

  1. Access your profile’s Settings by tapping the three-line menu icon in the top right corner. 
  2. Click on Account, find the Switch to Professional Account option, and tap Continue.
  3. Select and confirm your chosen Category and tap Business
  4. Add your contact information and tap Next. You can choose Don’t Use My Contact Info to skip this step.
  5. Then, you’ll be asked to connect your business account to a Facebook Page. This step is optional, and you can adjust it at a later time.
  6. Your Instagram Business account is all set up. Tap X on the top right corner to return to your profile.

After creating your business account, optimize your Instagram profile to represent your brand image best. Your Instagram name, profile photo, and bio can help potential customers decide to follow or purchase from your brand. Create a well-crafted bio and use a clear image that fits within the Instagram profile photo’s frame.

3. Connect Your Facebook Page to the Instagram Shop

It is mandatory to complete this process as your Facebook page will sync your Shop’s inventory. Here are the steps to link your Facebook page to the Instagram shopping account: 

  1. Go to your profile’s Settings, select Accounts Center, and tap Set Up Accounts Center. 
  2. Click the option to Add Facebook Account and log in with your Facebook credentials. 
  3. Follow the suggested instructions to complete the process of connecting your Facebook Page to your Instagram Shop.

This step will save you time from creating two separate posts to sell your products. Moreover, you can compare metrics and insights between two platforms to help tailor and optimize your content and marketing strategies. 

4. Upload Your Product Catalog 

Now, it is time to start adding your product catalog. This is where users will be able to find your product photos, titles, descriptions, links, and prices. Hence, it is best to include comprehensive information about your products. You can upload the product catalog through Facebook’s Commerce Manager or integrated eCommerce platforms. 

You will have to upload and manage your products with the first method manually. Meanwhile, the second option lets you import your product catalog from popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.

When uploading your product catalog, ensure your images are well-captured by showing every angle. Doing so will set the customers’ expectations right. Use a clear or white background to make your product stands out. In addition, include details on the product’s variations, materials, colors, or sizes. 

5. Submit Your Shop for Review

You’ll need to submit your account for review and approval to use your Instagram business profile. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Navigate to your account’s Settings and click on Sign Up for Instagram Shopping. 
  2. Follow the prompts to submit your Instagram Shop for review.
  3. Once completed, you‘ll be able to check your approval status by visiting the Shopping option under Settings

Typically, Instagram will approve your submission within a few business days. You will receive notifications upon approval or if any further information is required. 

6. Add Details to Your Instagram Posts

Once you’ve completed the above steps, it is time to create Instagram shopping posts. Start by adding shopping tags to your Instagram posts. Instagram Shop allows you to tag up to five products on a single-image post and 20 products on a carousel post. 

In addition, use shopping tags in your Instagram Stories. Cross-check all the product tags and ensure they point to the correct links. Besides the product tags, you can only put a clickable link in your bio. Links do not work in captions or comments, so always remind your followers to click the link in your bio that will lead them to an external website.

7. Promote Your Instagram Shop

Now that your Instagram Shop is running, it is time to get the word out. Leverage Posts, Stories, or Live to build excitement toward your product launch. 

Let’s look at several best practices to promote your Instagram Shop: 

Maintain Consistency Across All Your Posts

Use the same writing style, brand voice, and content concept on your shopping posts. Not only will it help create a unified overall Instagram feed architecture, but your followers will also be able to identify your brand’s unique personality. 

Use Relevant Hashtags 

Using the right hashtags on your Instagram shopping posts can increase brand recognition, engagement, and conversions. There’s a good chance you’ll gain new followers and customers from people who search for what you sell and promote through hashtags. Moreover, you can also use hashtags that your competitors use on their top-performing posts.

Instagram shopping
Instagram Hashtags 

In your posts, you have the option to include up to 30 hashtags. However, it is best to focus on the ones that are most likely to bring attention to your account. Furthermore, a post containing dozens of hashtags can only make your post look cluttered. 

Therefore, if you’re going to add more than three hashtags, it’s better to put them in the comment section.

Host an Instagram Live 

An Instagram Live session helps boost customer trust as they will be able to interact with real people behind your Shop. You can host a virtual product launch or Q&A sessions. 

Be sure to inform them in advance so they can help spread the word about the upcoming live stream – leading to more potential viewers tuning in and discovering your brand. 

Offer Promotions and Giveaways

These marketing strategies help generate buzz for your new products or upcoming special offers. Create a post or story that advertises your giveaway, sale, or contest. Then, invite your followers to repost it with a specific hashtag to enter. 

Alternatively, use Instagram Live to host your giveaways and interact with your followers in real-time.

Work With Instagram Influencers

Influencer marketing refers to a paid endorsement with an Instagram account with a large following. When identifying influencers, use engagement rate calculators like Phlanx or inBeat to see how engaged an influencer’s audience is. As influencers will promote your brand in a conversational tone, determine how you want them to convey your message.

Create Entertaining Videos

Another excellent way to promote your Instagram Shop is through entertaining yet informational video content. Create engaging Reels and Stories that customers will want to tap on and watch until the end. Play with a wide range of filters, audio files, and augmented reality (AR) effects to make your videos even more interactive, leading to more views and engagement. 

When promoting your products through Stories, add elements like stickers, emojis, GIFs, filters, or polls. For long-form video content, create your videos with beginner-friendly video-editing apps like Filmora, InShot, or Magisto, then publish them to your Feed. Experiment with your creativity to produce videos that grab people’s attention to learn more about your brand. 

Publish Informative Posts

Users are more likely to stick around if your account consistently produces interesting and helpful Instagram posts. Create your posts and stories based on your best-performing blog entries by highlighting the most important points, then use a relevant image. Alternatively, you can also share an infographic that’s related to your brand – just don’t forget to tag its source. 

Share User-Generated Content

Sharing or reposting photos and videos from your customers will make them feel appreciated. In addition, you can show appreciation to your customers by replying to comments, direct messages, or emails. To improve your brand further, be sure to ask for feedback and suggestions. 

Use Paid Advertising

If you want to use paid advertising, Instagram Ads can be a great choice. Your posts will appear on users’ feeds, Stories, or Explore page. A regular post is distinguished from an ad because the latter contains a “sponsored” label, links, and CTA buttons. 

Conclusion

Instagram Shop provides a quick way to start making money online or further expand an existing business. Combined with a few best practices to promote your Shop, you can bring in profits from this popular social media platform. 

Here’s a recap of the seven steps to set up your Instagram shop: 

  1. Check all the requirements
  2. Switch to a Business or a Creator account
  3. Connect your Facebook Page to the Instagram Shop
  4. Upload your product catalog
  5. Submit your shop for review
  6. Add details to your Instagram Posts
  7. Promote your Instagram Shop

Grab this opportunity to create your own successful Instagram shop. Good luck!  

Neda Sharifi

Neda is the Head of SEO at SocialPros. She is an IT engineer and used to be a foreign commercial manager and a language teacher. She also seeks for empowerment to create her own dwellings. Her passion is learning languages, painting, fashion, and technology. Morality, Environment, and Equality are her concern.