What is Instagram Shopping, and What Does it Mean for Your Business?

What is Instagram Shopping, and what does it mean for your business?

Instagram Shopping has landed in the UK! But what does it mean for your business, and how can you set it up? Return has the answers. Check out our blog to find out more about this awesome new feature.

Instagram has officially launched its newest feature in the UK: Shopping on Instagram!

As the name suggests, this feature allows brands and businesses to sell their products directly in-app. Essentially, this now means that up to five products can be tagged in a brand’s organic posts, giving the 800 million monthly users an outlet to shop whilst browsing through their feed at the click of a button.

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What does this mean for business?

One of the biggest benefits of Instagram when directly compared to other social media platforms has always been its innately visual nature. No other platform quite compares when it comes to the ability to showcase a brand, or an individual, through small visual and impactful snippets.

This visual nature has been key to brands successfully marketing their products, too. Instagram offers an outlet to showcase products in a way that incorporates the wider aspirational aesthetic, giving users a true insight into the lifestyle behind the product.

On the flip side, one of the biggest drawbacks has always been the inability to outwardly link to websites and products – but no more!

Your Insta-following can now discover your latest products, view their live prices, and potentially follow through to conversion, without even leaving the app!

What do I need to do to get this set-up?

Well, this can be the tricky part!

As it stands, Instagram Shopping falls more within the realm of organic social media, and with the feature still fresh out of the gates we don’t profess to know every detail on the matter. What we have learnt from our sources so far is that you must have the following in place to be applicable.

1. Convert your Instagram profile from a Personal account into a Business Profile.

On paper, this seems like an easy task but in our experience, it can get complicated when there are multiple Business Managers, Facebook pages, and Instagram profiles in play. The key here is to try and house everything within one Business Manager, whilst ensuring the ownership of all assets are correctly assigned.

If you’re confident that this is the case, then you simply need to go to your settings, click ‘Switch to Business Profile’, associate the applicable Facebook page and follow the steps to set up your business contact details.

2. Your business profile must be connected to a product catalog. This can be created and managed on Business Manager, through Shopify or BigCommerce platforms or directly on your business’s Page on Facebook.

A product catalog is essential for using this feature, as it is what Instagram uses to tag products and their respective information. Most ecommerce brands will have a catalog set up within their Business Manager if they’ve ever run dynamic Catalog Sales campaigns in the past. If you haven’t, then instructions on how to set one up can be found here.

Alternatively, you can use the Facebook Shop feature to populate your products instead. If you’re not familiar with the mechanics of product feeds or don’t have direct access, then this could be the workaround you need, as all the data is populated manually within Facebook. Bear in mind that this feature has not been widely adopted, and it has been suggested that the feature could be under review. Therefore, to avoid any future disruption, we’d suggest you set up a catalog within your Business Manager.

3. This is a nice, easy one! Simply be located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain or Brazil.

4. Sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.

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Most ecommerce businesses will be applicable, but some content and industries are prohibited from promoting their goods, such as Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, and Animals (as has always been the case).

If you are certain that the above have all been ticked off, then you should have automatically been placed in a queue to be reviewed for the feature. This is a huge roll-out procedure that spans across various countries, so it could take some time. However, if you think that there may be an issue causing the hold-up, then you can get in contact with Facebook directly to discuss the specifics of your case.

Note – ensuring that the above steps are in place does not guarantee instant access to Instagram Shopping; it simply means that you will be under consideration by Instagram.

Need help with your social media campaigns? We have a dedicated team of professionals eager to help you out. For more information, get in touch with us today.

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