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How To Set Up Instagram Shopping And Promote Your Store

Are you looking to expand your business to sell on social media platforms? If so, Instagram Shopping is the perfect solution. 

Instagram is a powerful e-commerce tool, and with Instagram Shopping, brands can showcase and sell products on their Instagram profile. Instagram Shopping makes it easy for customers to shop at your digital storefront without leaving the app. Not only is this an incredibly efficient way to make sales, but it will increase brand awareness and connect you with more customers.

Integrating Instagram with your business may seem difficult at first, but there's no need to stress. In this article, I will walk you through how to set up Instagram shopping and provide some of the best tips and tricks on promoting your store.

Let's get started!

What Is Instagram Shopping?

What Is Instagram Shopping?

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Instagram Shopping lets businesses list their products for sale directly on their digital storefront. Creating an Instagram shop allows you to integrate product catalogs with your Instagram profile to promote and sell your products to Instagram users. 

Before we dive into setting up your creator account, I will walk you through the various Instagram shopping features that the platform provides and how to effectively use them for your social media strategy.

  • Instagram Shop
Instagram Shop

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Your Instagram Shop is a digital storefront that showcases all of your products. As you can see in the image above, there are three key components that you can access with an Instagram business account: your profile, your shop, and product detail pages.

Your Instagram profile is the place to create branded posts, post Instagram stories, and add links to your website. Customers will be able to scroll through your photos, and if they click on the view shop tab, Instagram will direct them to your store (which you can see in the second image).

Your shop will showcase all your products, which can be filtered and sorted by relevance, as well as pinned to waitlists for later purchase. You should include high-quality photos, descriptions, and prices for users to browse through. 

If customers are interested in a particular item, all they have to do is click on the picture to be redirected to the product detail page (the third image). Here, they can view multiple images of the product and if they want to purchase, click either view on website or checkout directly through Instagram. 

As you can see, Instagram shopping is exceptionally accessible for users. It makes the process streamlined and straightforward, which is why it is the best new shopping destination for both online shoppers and eCommerce sellers.

  • Shopping Tags
Shopping Tags

Image credit: Later.com

Another excellent feature is shopping tags, which you can use on your posts to link to products in your Instagram shop. When you create a post, you can tag the items showcased in the image, and when customers click on the tag, they will be able to see the product's name and the price. 

Tags are perfect for customers scrolling through your feed since the tags are easily accessible and will redirect users to your Instagram shop. Using high-quality images that feature your products will incentivize users to shop from your store, so make sure that you consistently tag your posts using this tool.

  • Shop Discovery Tab
Shop Discovery Tab

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Instagram has an entire tab dedicated to shopping, which you can find on Instagram's main navigation menu by clicking on the shopping bag icon.

The Instagram shop tab will help you reach new customers who are browsing since they can search for specific products, brands, and tags. The best part? Customers can access any shop through the Instagram shop tab, so it is essentially free advertising and a fantastic way to reach new audiences!

  • Instagram Checkout
Instagram Checkout

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Instagram checkout allows customers to buy directly from the app without ever leaving Instagram. However, not all businesses are eligible for this option—only U.S.-based companies that meet the commerce eligibility requirements have access to this feature.

If you aren’t eligible for this service, it’s not a problem! Instagram will redirect customers to your company’s eCommerce website for checkout.

Steps To Set Up Your Instagram Shop

Steps To Set Up Your Instagram Shop

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Now that you have a better idea of all of Instagram’s shopping features, it’s time to set up your shop! I will take you through the process step-by-step—from checking your eligibility to uploading your product catalog— so you can seamlessly integrate your online store with Instagram.

Step #1: Check Your Eligibility

Before setting up your Instagram Shop, you need to make sure that your business is eligible for the platform. Instagram does not require a minimum number of followers to create a shop, but in order to qualify, your business must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a business in one of the markets supported by Instagram. Instagram shopping is available in this list of countries.
  • Accept the platform policies for both Facebook and Instagram, including terms of use and community guidelines.
  • Demonstrate that your business is authentic and trustworthy, which includes having an active domain for selling goods, like an ecommerce website. You may have to go through the process of verifying your domain.
  • Providing up-to-date and accurate information and prices—you can only list products that are available for purchase from your website.

For more information, you can check out Instagram’s helpful guide on eligibility requirements to ensure that your business is Instagram-ready.

Step #2: Convert To An Instagram Professional Account

Once you have checked your eligibility, the next step is to convert your Instagram account to a business or creator account. You won’t be able to sell from your personal account, but luckily switching your page to an Instagram business profile is simple. All you have to do is follow these three easy steps:

  • Open the Instagram app and go to your profile. Click on the button on the upper-right side, which will pull up these options:
Step #2: Convert To An Instagram Professional Account
  • Choose Settings and click on Account. Scroll all the way to the bottom and choose Switch to Professional Account
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  • Choose which category your account falls under. For the purposes of opening an Instagram shop, the best options are “clothing brand” or “shopping and retail.” Click done and you’ll be ready to go.
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Voila! Now you have a business or creator account which will allow you to sell goods, upload products, and purchase ads. However, the work isn’t nearly over. Now that you’ve made the switch to an Instagram business account—you’ll have to integrate with Facebook to upload products and be approved.

Step #3: Connect To Your Facebook Page

Facebook owns Instagram, so you'll need to connect to a Facebook business manager account to launch your Instagram shop and upload your product catalog. 

Depending on which country your business is located in (here is a list of supported markets), you can manage orders and accept payments directly through your Facebook business page. You can see an example of the “Create a Page” builder in the image below.
Step #3: Connect To Your Facebook Page

Image credit: Logaster.com

If you don’t already have a Facebook page, follow these steps to get started:

  • Log into your Facebook account and click on the Pages tab on the left side of the screen.
  • Select Create a Page. You’ll be able to name your page, select which category your business falls under, and write a description of what you offer. 
  • Once you create your page, you can customize it by uploading photos, including your contact information, and adding links to your website.

Once you’ve created your business page, you can start the process of uploading your product catalog. However, before you begin, be sure that you are running a business manager account and that you are the designated business admin

Once you have your page up and running, you can connect it to your Instagram account. Follow these steps to sync the two accounts:

  • Go to your Instagram profile and click on the edit profile button.
  • Select page which will bring you to this screen:
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Image credit: Blog.hootsuite.com

  • Select connect existing page, and you’ll be ready to go! 

Now that you’ve converted your Instagram to a professional account and connected to your Facebook page, it’s time to start uploading your product catalogs.

Step #4: Upload Your Product Catalog

You have two options for this process: uploading products manually using your Facebook page or, if you already are using an approved eCommerce platform, you can link it to your Facebook page.

I’ll walk you through both options, so you can decide which is the most efficient choice for your business needs.

  • Facebook Business Catalog Manager
Step #4: Upload Your Product Catalog

Image credit: Boostlikes.com

Using the commerce manager, you can create a catalog and upload products. Make sure to assign the catalog to your manager account, and then you can name your catalog.

From there, you can manually add items and upload photos of your products. You will add a title, description, and link to your website where customers can buy the item.

This process can be tedious since you'll have to manually list every product in your catalog. Therefore, the second option might be more appealing if you are already subscribed to an eCommerce platform.

  • Sync Your Ecommerce Website To Your Facebook Page
Sync Your Ecommerce Website To Your Facebook Page

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Once you’ve set up your Facebook page, you can synchronize your product catalog with your eCommerce store. If you are using a platform like Shopify or Bigcommerce, you won’t manually have to create product lists since the inventory tracking process is automatic. 

Go to the commerce manager and click on data sources under the catalog tab. From there, you can choose the option connect Ecommerce platform and select from Facebook’s approved partners.
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Follow the steps to connect your eCommerce store with Facebook, and all your products will be automatically uploaded to your Facebook page.

Step #5: Get Your Account Approved

Step #5: Get Your Account Approved

Image credit: Support.smartseller.online

You’ve done the work to get your Instagram shop off the ground, but you’ll still have to get your business account approved by Instagram. To get your account approved for Instagram shopping, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to settings on your Instagram profile.
  • Sign up for shopping and follow the steps.
  • Submit your account for Instagram to verify.

Account reviews typically take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, although in rare cases, Instagram may take up to two weeks to approve your shop. You can check your status by clicking on shopping in your settings. 

Step #6: Turn On Shopping

Step #6: Turn On Shopping

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Once Instagram approves your account, the final step is to turn on shopping, which will give you access to all the features, including tags, your shop, and checkout.

To turn on shopping, follow these steps:

  • Go to settings and click on the business tab.
  • Select shopping.
  • Upload your product catalogs from your Facebook page.

Instagram will automatically integrate your profile with your shop, and you’ll be ready to start selling your items! The work isn’t over yet, though—you’ll need to begin the process of promoting your store, which I’ll walk you through in the following section.

How To Promote Your Shop On Instagram

You can utilize plenty of unique tools on Instagram to ensure that your page stands out against the competition. In this day and age, your social media presence is everything, so you’ll want to be aware of the various ways you can boost engagement and showcase your products. 

I’ll walk you through the basics of Instagram’s various social media features so that you can start building a solid brand identity and connect with more customers.

Use Instagram Stories

Use Instagram Stories

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One fantastic way to promote your shop and attract customers is using Instagram Stories. Instagram stories are pictures or videos you can share with your followers that stay on your page for 24 hours (or permanently on your profile if you add them to a highlight reel). 

You can use stories to preview new products, give a behind-the-scenes look at your business, or add swipe-ups to your website. To create a story, go to your profile and tap the plus icon on your profile picture. 

Here are some tips for creating compelling Instagram stories:

  • Use high-quality, vibrant images that will pop out to your followers. Add stickers to tag products and your brand, and use the text feature to include captions and hashtags. Make sure to use the tag "stickers" to add links to the items you are promoting.
  • You can also use stories to create product highlight reels. You can upload previous stories onto a themed highlight reel that will appear on your profile permanently.
  • Use stories to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and add a personal touch.
  • When shooting a video, make sure to keep it short and sweet. Try to keep videos to under 2 minutes, and make sure they're exciting and engaging.

Run Instagram Ads

Run Instagram Ads

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Another great way to promote your products on Instagram is through Instagram Ads. Shopping Ads allow you to find new customers by targeting buyers you think will be interested in your product. 

Open the Facebook Ads Manager and select Create Campaign to create a Shopping Ad. You will then be prompted to choose which products you want to sell through your Shopping Ad. Next, select the Ad Set tab and select your targeting options. You can target your Shopping Ad by location, age, gender, interests, and more. Select the Create Ad button when you're done selecting your targeting options.

For more information on the perks of ads, look no further than my guide on Facebook Ads benefits.

For optimal Instagram shopping ads, follow these tips:

  • Ensure that your product data is accurate and up-to-date to ensure that your Shopping Ad reaches the right customers.
  • Experiment with different targeting options to see which ones work best for you by adjusting location, age, interests, and other demographics.
  • Create aesthetically-pleasing ads with your best quality photos and products that will pop out on your potential customer’s feed.

Implement Hashtags

Implement Hashtags

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Hashtags are an effective strategy for increasing content awareness. Using #hashtags will make it easier for people to find your content, which will lead to an increase in the number of followers and future customers.

Here are a few tips for using hashtags to drive more traffic to your page:

  • Create your own customized hashtag that you put on every post. Having a unique tag will help customers recognize your brand, quickly identify your products, and is a fun way to give a bit of personality to your page.
  • Research what hashtags your competition uses to see which generates the most interest. Try to be specific enough that customers will find the niche items they're looking for, but not too broad that your post gets lost in a sea of other unrelated posts.
  • Ideally, use 5-10 hashtags: be sure not to use too many hashtags, as this can seem spammy and deter customers. Prioritize the tags that are the most important, like your personal hashtag, and that accurately describe your product or brand.

Focus On Visuals

Focus On Visuals

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One of the best ways to increase engagement on your Instagram feed is by posting visually appealing content and using eye-catching images and videos to capture your followers' attention.

If you're not a professional photographer or videographer, don't worry! There are several tools and apps you can use to create high-quality visual content. For example, VSCO and Adobe Lightroom are popular programs that you can use to edit your photos. 

Here are some tricks for creating a fantastic feed:

  • Use a consistent filter or style for all of your images and videos to create a cohesive look for your page and make it easier for customers to recognize your brand.
  • Try using different kinds of visuals, like infographics and gifs, to mix things up and keep followers engaged.

Share User-Generated Content

Share User-Generated Content

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User-generated content is content that your followers and fans create—anything from images and videos to blog posts and reviews.

There are many benefits to sharing user-generated content on your Instagram page, including:

  • When followers see that you're actively engaging with them and sharing their content, they're more likely to stick around and keep following you.
  • By sharing user-generated content, you're telling your followers that you value their opinions which will build loyalty.
  • It's a great way to get free marketing: followers will share content for free, which means you don't have to spend any time or money promoting it yourself.

To increase the chances of your followers sharing your content, make sure you're doing the following:

  • Thank followers for submitting content and show appreciation for their efforts by reposting their Instagram stories and posts.
  • Incentivize followers to create content by offering special deals and promotions to those who participate.
  • Keep quality high—only share the most interesting and well-done content that you receive.

Run A Sale Or Share Promotional Codes

Run A Sale Or Share Promotional Codes

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If you're looking to drive more traffic to your page and increase revenue, consider running a sale or sharing promotional codes on your Instagram page.

Sales and promotional codes are a great way to get customers excited about your products and encourage them to buy something they may not have otherwise considered from your Instagram shop. You can run a sale for a specific product or the entire store. Make sure to promote your sale on your Instagram stories and posts.

You can also run free giveaways that users can enter by tagging their friends in your posts. Running these promotions will lead to more followers and comments, which equals more sales and traffic to your page. 

If you're interested in running sales and promotions, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Promote your sale or promotional codes on your website, in your email newsletters, and on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Make sure the terms and conditions of your sale are clear and that customers know what they need to do to redeem the discount.
  • Keep track of how many people are using your promotional codes, and use this data to improve your marketing efforts.

How To Set Up Instagram Shopping - FAQ

How Do I Enable Shopping On Instagram?

To enable Instagram shopping, you’ll have to follow these steps:

  • Check your eligibility.
  • Convert your account to an Instagram business account.
  • Connect to your Facebook account.
  • Upload your products.
  • Wait for your account to be reviewed and approved by Instagram.
  • Turn on shopping.

Why Can’t I Set Up Instagram Shopping?

There are a few reasons why you may not be able to set up Instagram shopping. Here are some common problems that users face when getting their shop off the ground:

  • Your account hasn't been reviewed or approved by Instagram yet.
  • You run your business in a country that Instagram Shopping doesn't support.
  • You aren't using a business account, or you haven't yet linked your shop to your Facebook page.
  • You don’t meet the guidelines for the type of product you are selling. For example, Instagram shopping doesn’t support the sale of digital products.
  • You don’t have a verified website domain to integrate for checkout.

Running into these obstacles can be frustrating, which is why determining your eligibility before beginning the process and using my step-by-step guide is essential for launching your Instagram shop.

How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Instagram Shopping?

The process may vary for different businesses, but generally, Instagram will approve your store within a few hours or days. However, it can take up to two weeks to be approved in some cases.

Do You Have To Pay For Instagram Shopping?

Instagram shopping is entirely free, although you can opt to pay for Instagram Shopping ads if you want to boost your visibility and attract a broader range of new customers.  

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Image credit: TechCrunch.com

Instagram is a fantastic online shopping destination, and using your page to promote your products will result in more customer engagement and sales. With the tips and tricks in this article, you'll be well on your way to creating a beautifully designed, user-friendly Instagram shop.

However, the work isn't done once you've launched your shop.. You'll need to continue tracking analytics and actively marketing your products, whether by running ads or including user-generated activity on your stories. 

If you’ve found success with your Instagram shop and want to level up, there are more ways to generate income using Instagram, so make sure to check out my guide on how to make money on Instagram for more information.

About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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