How To Set Up Instagram Shopping: A 2021 Sales Guide

If you own an eCommerce brand, you can use Instagram shoppable posts to boost your brand awareness, sales, and revenue.

Instagram Shopping is a feature that empowers businesses to create digital shops with shareable product catalogs on the social media platform.

Did you know that 130 million people click on Instagram shoppable posts every month? Knowing how to set up Instagram Shopping will enable you to create shoppable Instagram posts that attract buyers from all over the world.

Read on to learn:

  • Why your business needs Instagram Shopping
  • How to get approved for shopping on Instagram
  • How to set up Instagram Shopping
  • Tips to optimize your Instagram Shop for more sales

How Instagram Shopping Can Improve Your eCommerce Business

Several marketers are using Instagram Shoppable posts to grow their businesses. Here are the advantages of learning how to set up Instagram Shopping.

Instagram Shopping Is a More Streamlined Way To Sell Your Products

Previously, businesses on Instagram could only drive traffic to their online shops through clickable Instagram Stories or a link in their bios. 

But with Instagram Shopping features, marketing is streamlined, as the prospective buyer can see your product and purchase it in a few clicks.

It Reduces Customers’ Shopping Stress

Potential customers can find it overwhelming when they need to comb through several brand profiles before making their choice. 

Instead, you can take your store to potential shoppers with Instagram Shopping for them to view your product catalog, visit your product page, and make their purchases.

It Empowers You To Promote Your Products Without Restraint

It’s limiting if you can’t add clickable links to your shoppable posts.

However, knowing how to set up Instagram shopping empowers you to promote your products by integrating your Instagram content with your online store. 

You Can Market Your Products to Users Who Are Likely To Buy

With Instagram Shopping, you can use shoppable hashtags to get your products to the Shop tab on the Explore page. This will showcase your products to buyers with high purchase intent, as well as impulse shoppers.

Since the Explore page viewers are more likely to buy, you can add descriptive hashtags to your  Instagram shoppable posts for increased:

  • Awareness 
  • Traffic 
  • Engagement 
  • Sales 
  • Revenue

It Creates a Shorter Buyer Journey

Selling on Instagram is usually a long cycle. But with Instagram Shopping, the long process of purchases and Instagram checkout becomes shorter.

Customers won’t tire to the point of abandoning their carts. When you learn how to set up Instagram Shopping, buyers will be able to make direct purchases by tapping your Instagram shoppable posts. 

How To Get Approved for Shopping on Instagram

  1. Be in a market accessible to Instagram Shopping 
  2. Sell a physical product
  3. Have an Instagram Business profile
  4. Own an eCommerce website
  5. Comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies

Be in a Market Accessible to Instagram Shopping

To get approved to start your Instagram Shop, make sure your business is in a supported market for Instagram Shopping. 

Sell a Physical Product 

Instagram Shopping is currently only available to brands that sell physical goods, so you must market eligible products.

Own an eCommerce Website 

Your Instagram account should represent your website. Ensure all of your product listings on your Instagram Shop are available for direct purchase on your website. To confirm your domain, you’ll go through a domain verification process.

Have an Instagram Business Profile

Make sure you use a professional Instagram account. If you use a personal profile, switch to an Instagram Business account or a Creator account.

After you meet these eligibility requirements, getting your account approved for Instagram Shopping should take a few hours to a few days, but it can sometimes take up to two weeks. 

Unlike the swipe-up feature, you don’t need a specific amount of followers to receive approval or learn how to set up Instagram Shopping.

Comply With Instagram’s Policies

Instagram has a merchant agreement and commerce policies. Make sure your business complies with these regulations.

How To Set Up Instagram Shopping

Once you’re approved, here are the steps to learn how to set up Instagram Shopping.

Switch to a Business or Creator Account

Using a personal account for your Instagram profile won’t work for Instagram Shopping. You have to switch to a Creator or Business account:

  1. Click Settings on your profile in the Instagram app, then Account > Switch Account Type
  2. Choose whether you want to convert to a Business or Creator account

Connect to Your Business’s Facebook Page

To set up an Instagram store, you need to connect your Business or Creator account to a Facebook Business Page.

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and click Edit Profile > Page
  2. Connect to the Facebook Page you want to use

Upload Your Company’s Product Catalog

You can upload your products in two ways.

Using Facebook Business Catalog Manager

You can input your products manually using Facebook Business Catalog Manager. To upload your product inventory for Instagram Shopping:

  1. Go to Commerce Manager > Get Started, then Create a Catalog > Get Started
  2. Choose eCommerce and hit Next
  3. Select Upload Product Info to choose how to add items to your catalog
  4. Assign this catalog to your account
  5. Name your product catalog and hit Create
  6. Select Catalog > Items > Add Items
  7. Choose Add Manually and hit Next to upload a product image of at least 500 x 500 pixels
  8. Type a name, description, and other relevant search engine optimization (SEO)-focused details
  9. Pick your category. You can add various sizes and colors under Create Variants
  10. Hit Finish

To add another item, repeat the process beginning at step six.

eCommerce Database Integration

You can also integrate your Facebook Business Manager account with a product database from another e-commerce platform:

  1. Choose Create a Catalog in the Commerce Manager, then select eCommerce
  2. Select Connect a Partner Platform from the options on the screen
  3. Select your partner platform from the list of eCommerce platforms drop-down list, such as Shopify or BigCommerce
  4. Click Go to [your selected platform] to connect it with your Facebook Business Manager account

Get Your Account Reviewed

It’s time to submit your account for review, which might take a couple of days or up to two weeks.

  1. Click Settings > Creator or Business > Set Up Instagram Shopping
  2. Follow the steps for submission
  3. Come back to check your review status

Activate Instagram Shopping 

After your Instagram Shopping account is approved, connect the product catalog you created with your Instagram Shop.

  1. Click Settings > Business or Creator > Shopping
  2. Choose the product catalog you want to connect with your Instagram profile
  3. Tap Done

How To Set Up Shoppable Posts on Instagram

  1. Upload a high-quality photo or video of your post. You can use filters to enhance it.
  2. Add a compelling caption and hit Tag Products to add Instagram shoppable tags.
  3. Start tagging and ensure the product name aligns with the product listings in your catalog. Instagram lets you add shopping tags for up to five products in a multi-image post, whether picture or video.
  4. Select the product from the pop-up and tap Done.
  5. Click Share to post the product to your shopping Instagram feed.

The above steps sum up how to set up Instagram Shopping. A shopping bag icon at the upper right corner of a post shows it is a shoppable Instagram post. 

Tips To Optimize Your Instagram Shop for More Sales 

Now that you know how to set up Instagram Shopping, here are some tips to promote your Instagram Shop so you can increase your sales.

Develop an Effective Strategy

Build an efficient social media strategy to sell products on Instagram. To promote your Instagram shoppable posts for increased reach, post engagements, and conversions, you should:

  • Collaborate with influencers in your niche to cross-promote your shop
  • Add your personality and voice to product captions, and include compelling calls-to-action (CTAs)
  • Share user-generated content and testimonials to boost your credibility and marketing
  • Have a consistent style that represents your brand
  • Share promotional codes directly on your shoppable Instagram posts 

Share Eye-Catching Images and Videos

Instagram is a social media platform for visual content, and its algorithm prioritizes high-quality images and videos.

  • Use high-resolution videos and photos to display product details
  • Show your products in tutorials or how-to videos
  • Create descriptive carousels to give a broader look at your collections
  • Enhance colors with photo-editing tools

Take Advantage of Other Instagram Features

More than one billion users visit the platform every month, so use other Instagram features to get your product in front of viewers:

  • Use Instagram feed posts, Reels, IGTV, and Instagram Stories
  • Add shoppable hashtags to your posts to help potential customers discover you on the Explore page, which is visited by over 50% of Instagram users every month
  • Run Shopping ads for your Instagram shoppable posts 
  • Use the Instagram Insights tool that comes with your Business or Creator account to improve your marketing

Instagram users are continually looking for easy-to-purchase, attention-grabbing products that are worth their money. This is why you need to know how to set up Instagram Shopping for your brand.

If you haven’t started to use Instagram Shopping, you can apply for it and create Instagram shoppable posts. You’re likely to get excellent results from your marketing efforts by following this guide. 

Create a reliable eCommerce website with Bluehost’s hosting plans, which comply with Instagram Shopping policies.

Desiree Johnson
Desiree Johnson | Content Specialist
Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.

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