In the first part of the article we discovered what an Instagram shop is and talked about its key benefits for your brand. Let’s now try to figure out what the exact steps are for setting up an Instagram Shop.
In order to start an Instagram Shop, you need to have a Facebook Shop. This precondition exists as for creating your shop, Instagram pulls the information about your products from Facebook. In the beginning it might take some time, but it is totally worth the hassle.
In fact, there are 2 main options for creating an Instagram Shop:
Depending on the country of your location, you might also be able to manage your orders and get payments directly on Facebook. Actually, Facebook's e-commerce manager does not function well enough and you will not have numerous great features common to a dedicated e-commerce platform provider. Further, as you already have a website for your products, in case of setting up a separate Facebook Shop you need to manage separate stores, which gives birth to another "headache" of managing inventory and sales. Instead of complicating your life, you can choose the second option.
In case you choose to use Shopify for your e-commerce website, you can easily sync your product catalog with Facebook, and you will not have to manually create product listings. Besides, the inventory tracking would be automated and you will not have to manage all your Facebook Shop orders from your Shopify dashboard. Such an approach would save you time and help you concentrate on long strategic goals.
Even more, you can set up an e-commerce shop using WooCommerce. This plug-in is specifically developed for large-size online merchants using WordPress. And the best part about it is that WooCommerce is completely free.
Let's discover the exact steps for creating an Instagram Shop.
In order to create an Instagram Shop for your brand, follow these steps:
Before setting up your Instagram Shop make sure to meet the eligibility criteria. Otherwise, you cannot sell services on Instagram. Further, your business should be located in the country which has access to the Instagram Shop feature. You also need to have the latest version of the Instagram app on your phone to be able to start an Instagram Shop. You might ask how you can check whether you are using the latest version of the app. Well, that's easy. In case you see the small shopping bag icon on shoppable posts you do not have to worry, otherwise, you need to update the app.
Next, you need to have an Instagram business account to be able to start an Instagram Shop. Luckily, it takes almost a minute to convert your Instagram profile to a business profile. To do this follow these steps: go to Settings and choose Switch to Business Profile. With your business account you will get access to a number of business account features, such as Instagram ads, Instagram Insights and Action Buttons.
Further you need to link your Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page.
An important note: to link your Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page you must be the admin of your brand's Facebook page.
Always remember that Instagram Shop pulls information from your Facebook Shop. This means you have to create a Facebook Shop for your brand and synchronize it with your Instagram Shop after you have linked your Instagram account to your Facebook business page. Such integration between your two accounts would help you promote your products directly on Facebook.
After connecting your online shop to your Facebook Shop, you need to add your product catalog to Facebook. For this you need to select the products in your online shop and make them available on Facebook.
Next, you need to set up Instagram as a sales channel in your online store the way you did with Facebook.
After converting your Instagram profile to a business profile, linking your Facebook business page and Instagram business profile, and integrating your online shop with Facebook and Instagram there is nothing left than to take a deep breath and wait for Instagram to review your account and grant you the permission to create an Instagram shop.
Here is where you need to brace yourself: the review process can last for a few days or even longer. The good news is after approving your account, Instagram would send a notification to your Instagram business profile.
Hooray, you have received the confirmation from Instagram. Now you need to connect your Facebook Shop to your Instagram profile by tapping "Get Started” in the notification panel or you may go to Instagram's business setting and choose "Shopping". Afterwards, just select your Facebook Shop and all your products will get synchronized across Instagram.
After completing all the set up operations tag your products in photos and Instagram stories. Tagging products is done the same way as tagging people in photos.
An important note: you need to create at least one Instagram shop to activate the "Shop” tab on your brand's Instagram profile.
As is the case with any shop, the Instagram shop as well would not do anything on its own. You have to put some effort and “serve” your shop to the relevant audiences. Here are some good tips for that:
The implementation of the right hashtags would help your posts to get exposure and push them to the “Shop” tab which is used by more than half of Instagram users each month. Even more, if a group of Instagrammers decide to follow your hashtags, you will get a free marketing channel through which you can reach out to that audience.
Yeah, right, you can tag products even in Instagram Stories and it is done by using the “Product” sticker. In fact, there are 4 different styles of stickers you can choose from: a sticker with the product name in grey or rainbow, translucent text, and a shopping bag icon. The latter is the most popular one. All stickers can be edited, so you can change their color and text. And this is not all: you can tag products both in new and existing posts. So it sounds like a great idea to revisit your old posts and tag products in them. The bad news is that, unfortunately, you cannot edit the Stories that have already been published. In case you forget to add a product sticker to the story, you have to delete it and republish it in the right format.
Besides introducing the Shop, Instagram has gone further and introduced the option of running organic shopping posts as ads. Users who tap on these ads would be taken to the product description page on Instagram.
For setting up and an Instagram Shopping ad, go to your Facebook Ads Manager and follow these steps:
Select your ad objective: Reach, Brand awareness, Link clicks, Post engagement or Conversions
Choose the audience you want to target with the ad
Select “Edit Placements” and choose only “Instagram Feed”
In the section “Ad set customization” choose “Use existing post”
Choose the post you want to run as an ad
Complete the necessary information and click "Continue”
An important note: before running ads on the existing post, make sure the photo is high-quality and the content has the right hashtags and accurate tags as well.
As you see, Instagram Shop opens a new world of opportunities for you to boost your sales and discover new audiences. In case of setting it up the right way, you will not have to manage your online shop and Instagram shop orders separately. Such integration of the two platforms would give you some free time you can spend on long term strategic planning. Instagram is one of the leaders in the digital world, so do not miss your chance to push your business sales up by using it. If you think you need some professional help for setting up an Instagram shop, the Digital Factory team is always ready to assist you. Do not spend your time hesitating: fill in the contact form here.