Online retailing is smart to start a company, but running and maintaining a standalone website can be complicated. With all the design aspects, web maintenance, and expensive advertising, a company can empty their pockets before they make a sale.
Learning how to sell and use shoppable posts on Instagram is the answer to all these questions. Find a name without spending thousands of dollars and use social media and blog success as a key stepping stone to a launch.
Shoppable Instagram posts are one of the biggest vehicles for many people to sell their products. The built-in ability to build a consumer base with minimal advertising costs is one of the main benefits, but there are many other benefits as well.
• Communicate easily with target audience.
• Use of user-created content.
• Spread a message and brand awareness cheaply.
• Instagram makes all the leg drawings for the customers.
• Inclusion of shoppable Instagram posts and integrated checkout.
If a company’s success depends on building an engaged audience, there’s no better option than selling on Instagram in 2021. The natural inclusion of promotional images and the overall popularity of the social media platform can make almost any business a success.
What Does Running an IG Shop Entail?
How something sold on Instagram will be different depending on the blog or brand’s goals. Still, some common sales tactics work in markets. Remember to always keep the audience in mind when editing content. Here are a few ideas to show what it’s like to run an Instagram store.
Product Images and Sales Promotions
Clever images and well-timed promotions are the bread and butter of Instagram. The nature of the platform allows an influencer to efficiently use different images that grab the audience’s attention and encourage engagement. When it comes to how to sell products on Instagram, collecting the following is vital.
Try choosing dark colors that will stop a feed slider in its tracks.
Content from Followers and Fans
One of the advantages of an Instagram store that cannot be found elsewhere is the simple culmination of user-generated content. This material is great for growing a feed as well as promoting collaboration between fans and followers. Viewers love interacting with their favorite brands, and in return they offer lots of free promotions.
Utilization of Popular Influencers
There are few digital promotion techniques that are as effective as influencer marketing on social media platforms or on a blog. This is a form of social media marketing that uses prevalent digital idols to promote products and brands.
Instagram icons have some of the most comprehensive reach out there, so make sure you use this to learn how to sell for free on Instagram.
Advertising on Instagram
The platform’s integrated advertising system is flawless on how to sell things on Instagram. Choose how an ad is displayed (as a video or photo, on the discovery page, etc.) and let IG help with curating the ad. Set a budget that feels comfortable and set a limit that prevents users from overspending on ads. Forget about the expensive upfront cost ads. They may not reach viewers. Install the Facebook ads manager and easily see how many people an ad has.
Instagram’s Easy Shopping Feature
The digital showcase, aka Instagram shopping, gives an audience the feeling of luxury, digital shopping across social media platforms. Beautifully display elements without spending money on a web designer or special tools.
Products can be included in stories and images, but users can also find them via search queries that work to increase reach organically.
Creating Instagram Shopping Posts
Previously, using Instagram as a tactic to advertise a brand was only effective if fans were able to engage to click on external links. This was because the actual transactions had to be done on third-party sites, not through Instagram exchanges.
Now the entire process can be completed directly on Instagram, creating opportunities never seen before. So how does one start? Here are the steps needed:
Meet Instagram’s Shop Standards and Requirements
Instagram doesn’t let everyone call it a business. First, a store must meet the platform’s core requirements.
• The first and foremost requirement is to have the latest version of Instagram 2021 for IOS or Android. Older versions of the application will not include the same shopping services and functionality.
• Have an existing Instagram account marked as a business. If a profile is available for personal use, it can be converted to a business account in the settings menu.
• Being in a place that falls under the jurisdiction of Instagram shopping. (USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia.)
• Connect the Instagram profile to Facebook, where the catalog will be kept. Instagram ads can also be tracked via the Facebook ad manager.
• Only sell physical products that follow the rules set by the Instagram seller agreement and commerce policies.
Create Your Instagram Business Account
No matter which marketing direction a company chooses on Instagram, there is still a strict business account requirement. This signals Instagram that the profile needs to be followed regarding seller guidelines.
Fortunately, the process of creating a job profile is simple.
1. Tap on the three-bar icon in the upper right corner of the profile.
2. Go to “Settings” then “Account”
3. Select “Switch to Professional Account” and then “Work”.
4. Include business details and information about product categories.
5. Choose “Done”
Once the blog has been converted to a business account, Instagram will review it and approve it for tagging. The process can take from 48 hours to two weeks. Make sure the profile meets all vendor agreement and compliance guidelines to speed up the process.
Use Facebook Manager to Build a Catalog
An important part of any Instagram shop is its catalog. Fortunately, the Facebook manager makes creating one extremely easy. The first thing to do is to switch to a business administrator account on Facebook.
Once complete, setting up and linking a catalog is five steps.
1. In the business manager, go to Catalog Manager and “Create catalog”.
2. Define the catalog type and for which job it is.
3. Select “Add product”, then select “Add manually” and add inventory.
4. Select the “Sales” tab to connect to Instagram.
5. Tap on “Instagram Shopping” and then tap on “Link profile”.
The business account needs to be reviewed and approved before it can be published. So, make sure to set up these accounts before any launch date.
Start a Facebook Shop through BigCommerce or Shopify
Another method of creating a store on Facebook is to use third-party shopping platforms and tools like Shopify and BigCommerce. Here is the easiest way to set each one.
Many brands start out on sites like Shopify because of their integrated marketing options and customizable online stores. It can be used as a Facebook Business Manager tool to link a catalog and start selling on Instagram.
Here’s how it works.
1. Enter Shopify Admin and select the plus sign next to “Sales channels”.
2. Find ‘Add sales channel’ and select ‘Facebook store’.
3. Choose “Add channel”.
4. Go back to Facebook store page and find “Account” and select “Link account”.
Like other web-based stores, the account must be approved before being published. Once all the links are made, Instagram viewers can easily scroll through the tracks without jumping to another website.
Like Shopify, BigCommerce is a shop page builder that helps brands build a fully functional online store. Which site to implement is up to user preference and two websites are generally considered very similar.
It’s very simple to connect a BigCommerce store to start selling on Instagram via Facebook.
1. In the BigCommerce channel manager, select “Facebook” then “Get started”.
2. Follow the prompts to provide information about Facebook business page, admin, physical location and more.
3. Next, wait for the entries to export to Facebook, then check the “Export” tab in Facebook Channel Manager for any upload errors.
4. Wait for Facebook to confirm BigCommerce directory. Usually it takes 48 hours.
Link Your Business Account on Instagram to Your Online Shop
Facebook admin acts as an effective middle ground for navigating traffic from Instagram to any online store and vice versa. This means that a digital store’s directory must be linked to Facebook with the steps given above before linking to Instagram shoppable posts. But once that’s done, connecting to IG becomes simple.
1. Log into Facebook Business and go to the catalog manager.
2. Choose the selection associated with your preferred e-commerce site.
3. Go to “Sales” tab.
4. Choose “Instagram shopping”.
5. Tap on “Link an Instagram profile”, then tap “Link profile”.
If the “Link profile” option is unavailable, there may be a problem with the catalog. Check if there is a business administrator account linked to it and it contains products.
Create Enough Shoppable Posts to Activate a Shop Tab
Shop!” tab on Instagram is a great technique to enable followers to view a catalog of purchases and make it easier to sell products on Instagram. However, the feature only appears on pages with at least nine confirmed shoppable posts. you can find it in one simple place.
Master Instagram Analytics to Monitor Sales Performance
An important aspect of online marketing is to manage advertisements and sales under the influence of analytics. That means seeing how good certain products and shipments are to figure out what to do better.
It may sound complicated, but Instagram makes it easy to view analytics and see information such as:
• How many people have viewed a post?
• How many people clicked from a post to the product page
• Following growth
• Impressions and general performance
These details are vital to building reputation and driving transactions. They can also be used as a form of market research to improve products and identify which ones an audience most desires. This information can help create a strategy for creating shoppable posts on Instagram that are well received.
Boost Views with Product Tags
Once all stores and catalogs have been approved, it’s time to create shoppable posts. These posts must be appropriately tagged to identify the merchandise and let followers know that there is a product available. The two most common places to implement product tags are IG posts and stories.
Tagging and Promoting Instagram Posts
The best place to advertise and showcase catalogs is through standard Instagram exchangeable posts. The platform incredibly simplifies the process and offers an intuitive shopping option for the audience. To create a shoppable IG post, start by uploading a fun picture or video of the items sold.
Next, follow these quick steps:
1. Ensure that the items are available in a linked catalog.
2. Select the portion of the photo or video that displays the elements.
3. Start typing the name of the product and the options will start popping up from the linked catalogs.
4. Select correct item name from list.
5. Select “Done” then “Share”.
The post will start making its way into the followers’ feeds and the items will have a clickable link to purchase the items viewed. This simple form of advertising products generates great engagement and increases revenue easily.
Stories have an interesting mode of providing product tags and are a great way to sell items on Instagram. Using a swipe, highlight, or video story, influencers can play with the stickers to help fans find their purchase information.
Follow these steps to add tags to stories:
1. Choose a photo or video to upload to an IG story.
2. Locate the sticker tray and choose a product sticker.
3. Find and select the appropriate product from the search field that is completed.
4. Drag the sticker over or near the selected item until it is. Tap to change the color.
5. Share the tagged story when you are satisfied.
Users can only add one item tag per story, so save multiple item images for standard IG posts.
Shoppable Posts: What They Are and Why You Should Use Them
Shoppable Instagram Posts is a native integration for IOS and Android apps that allows users to create product posts that allow users to buy products directly on Instagram. This is one of the many changes Instagram has made towards becoming an all-in-one stop for online product marketing.
It’s crazy trendy among influencers and independent brands who want to know how to sell on Instagram without a website, but what are the pros and cons?
• Simplification of purchasing increases conversion rates.
• The ability to purchase multiple brands without leaving the site reduces abandoned carts.
• Integrated payment and cataloging systems provide maximum convenience.
• Analytics are easy to find and easy to understand.
• Sharing of buyers’ data is more limited than direct website sales, which makes marketing more difficult.
• Fully integrated purchasing features mean less traffic to web pages.
Instagram Checkout: Using Integrated Shopping Features to Boost Sales
New to Instagram in 2021, the site’s checkout feature allows viewers to shop without ever leaving Instagram. This means there are fewer opportunities for abandoned shopping carts, which is typical when shoppers are jumping from site to site.
The functionality is safe and intuitive. Fans and potential buyers will see a payment option directly within their Instagram app. With their private data, they can easily shop from all their favorite influencers without relying on multiple sites.
This provides a great opportunity for influencers to advertise their catalogs on an independent website without spending money.
Some brands that are already testing these features include:
• Anastasia Beverly Hills
• Huda Beauty
• Kylie Cosmetics
• NYX Cosmetics
• Michael Kors
• MAC Cosmetics
Alternative Marketing Methods on Instagram
What makes Instagram such a great choice for marketing is the different approaches it takes. Here are a few of the techniques that can be used to approve and retail IG.
Use Instagram Stories to Promote Products
Stories on Instagram are photo and video posts which expire after 24 hours. Like Snapchat and Facebook Stories, these types of posts attract viewers for regular engagement as they don’t want to miss out on temporary content.
Using the sell feature on these posts is a great way to promote limited-time items or private previews. The easiest way to sell products via a story post is to use the integrated sales tag system.
Advertise and Bolster Items in Comments
One of the smartest ways to engage with followers when advertising is through comments. Engaging an audience in the comments section is the top tip for improving Instagram engagement in general, but it’s also very beneficial for sales.
The process works by listing items and asking followers to comment “Sold.” The account holder can then privately message individuals for billing information (usually PayPal emails) and shipping details.
While the method may be considered somewhat outdated, many followers, such as competitive first come, first come, comment-based sales are aired.
Make Sales through Direct Messages
Selling through Instagram direct messages is similar to selling through comments, but with the distinct difference in removing the sense of urgency that the latter triggers.
A DM sale usually involves posting an image of the item being sold and then using the caption to tell viewers to send them a direct message to purchase.
This method has advantages such as:
• Hide the low demand for an item
• To make the purchasing process less critical
• To provide less exposure to buyers
• Keeping the comment section open for discussion
Utilize Bio Links to Increase Sales
This is perhaps the most traditional selling method – linking to an external website or blog in the bio. These links are easy for users to find and can direct traffic to a site even when there are no active advertising posts.
Sure, it’s not the most modern method for selling on IG, but it’s tried and true.
The bio link is particularly useful for these vendors:
• You don’t have an Instagram Checkout-compatible catalog
• Those who want to drive traffic to websites
• They are awaiting approval for Instagram’s selling features
The Most Important Tips for Selling on Instagram
Spamming an audience with self-promoting and irrelevant content can hurt a brand’s reputation. It is important to remember that selling on Instagram takes some nuance.
Here are some of the best tips for getting started.
Don’t Stray from a Brand’s Personality for Natural Feeling Posts
Reach out to any brand advisor and prepare to hear the same thing: “Authenticity is the most important aspect of a brand’s reputation.”
Buyers don’t want to give away their hard-earned money to companies that can’t even decide who they are. That’s why it’s so important to get a vision and a voice in all posts on Instagram or any other social media.
Don’t let modern trends and the pressure of compliance change the personality of a company. Instead, embrace the vision and constantly remind the audience why they chose to support the brand.
Implement Bold Images to Make Products Stand Out
Product photos on Instagram do a big job. They need to represent an item’s best appearance, showcase its aesthetic and functional appeal, and have the flow sliders stay on their tracks for a closer look.
To achieve this, make sure all product photos are stunning with fun lighting, shadows, angles and backgrounds.
Don’t Forget to Use Tags and Hashtags
The beauty of Instagram shopping is that the selling features help customers navigate the catalog and buy pages with ease. But this system will not work without proper use of features.
Tags and hashtags are essential as they allow customers to quickly and efficiently browse listings and similar items.
Remember to include relevant hashtags to attract viewers with a loose idea of what they want to see.
Have a Strong Bio
When it comes to an Instagram bio, consider it the elevator speech of the brand. Just don’t link to a webshop and nothing else.
Here are some of the best details to include in a bio to attract repeat customers:
• Relevant hashtags and location tags
• A traceable link to product catalogs or a web store
• A call to action to persuade readers to click the link
• A glimpse into the brand’s personality and mood
Show off Products in Story Highlights
Give each product some time to shine by incorporating it into their own story posts. These posts only last 24 hours, but provide an opportunity to generate interest in individual items.
Add shoppable links to story posts and related hashtags to help followers find items and the like when they can no longer be viewed in the story feed.
Show More Than Just Products in Photos
Sure, beautiful product photos are great, but how can viewers relate to the product’s usage and functionality? That’s why displaying items in use or in the hands of a real person is a great way to increase buyer interest. This helps them visualize what they have.
Consider Collaborations to Spark Product Interest
Do you want to get information about a product without spending tons of money on advertisements? Try an impactful collaboration.
Collaborating with influencers is one of the best ways to expand the reach of a product or launch. These collaborations can grow the audience base, increase sales and create lasting business relationships with other brands and ambassadors.
Show Behind the Scenes Footage
Try behind-the-scenes photos and videos to grab an audience’s attention. They are an excellent way to not only get followers excited about a product, but also justify the work and effort put into getting it to market.
Humanizing a brand by sharing the process of creating a product is the best way to increase customer support and brand reputation.
Display all product variations and options
Tastes vary so greatly that it is important to show all the options and variations for a product. Don’t miss the discounts as the viewer thinks it comes in one color or size.
Use Flat Lay Images to Show off Products
Flat layout images are photographs of items taken directly from above. It is the best choice for producing professional pictures that show a wide range of goods.
Gather the items around a flat space and play with the variety of colors and shapes and sizes. Use lots of bright natural light and stand directly above the layout for the best photo.
Post Video Tutorials for the Product
Video tutorials are no longer just for YouTube. Customers on Instagram will love seeing tutorials on how a product can be used. These videos are also great for giving a viewer a deeper look at products that cannot be achieved with still photography.
Build Hype with Teaser Posts Before Launch
Surprise launches can be fun, but they often don’t have the backlash to push a young brand forward. Instead, get followers excited with promotional videos, photos, and countdowns until the product is released.
Used right, these posts can make any drop feel luxurious and exciting.
Synchronize Launches and Product Availability
There is nothing more embarrassing for a brand than reaching a launch date and not having the customer’s products.
If something comes up and the launch needs to be delayed, postpone it. Customers would rather wait longer for a release than to order items that are not available.
Use Instagram Live to Show Off Products
Fans love to engage with their favorite brands and influencers. Going live on Instagram to get follower questions is a great way to promote products and launches while building brand loyalty.
These live sessions also allow them a place to interact with followers and give them a place to feel like they have a say and influence over the products they buy.
Display the Most Popular Product Frequently
Stay on top of controlling Instagram metrics. Which are the most popular products and posts? Once it’s discovered which items work best, give them plenty of opportunities to shine.
This increases the number of leads for the product and creates a brand identity around items that viewers enjoy.
Create and Use Intriguing Call-to-Actions
One of the most important aspects of sales copy is an excellent call to action. This is a post asking viewers to participate in an event that increases engagement.
An example would be asking followers to comment on posts. Another popular option is to ask viewers to click on bio links to look at a brand’s website.
Include a Call-to-Action Link in The Brand Bio that Leads to an Insta Feed
A particularly important call-to-action to use is one that gets viewers to click links to the brand’s Instagram feed. This can get a viewer to browse the brand’s shoppable posts on IG, an easy way to increase sales.
Make the CTA concise and easy to read. Viewers need to be able to find the link quickly and know exactly where it’s taking them.
Create and Run Ads to Sell on Instagram
When it comes to paying for ads to help sell on Instagram, return on investment (ROI) is the most important thing to consider. Some ad campaigns may be expensive and show few results, but Instagram’s ad structure has consistently shown a high ROI.
This means that users who spend money running an IG ad campaign are met with a massive increase in engagement and sales to easily offset the cost of the ads. Instagram ads are also served on a pay-per-click basis, allowing users to set a budget they need to stay within.
Consider Giving out Sale or Promo Codes
Shoppers love promotions, sales, or anything that makes them feel like they’re getting a good deal. That’s why offering promo codes or implementing temporary sales is a great way to increase sales.
Typically, buyers will make more purchases than they normally would due to the added incentives. This could easily result in a higher profit for a brand than if they had not offered any discounts.
Reap the Benefits of Branded Hashtags
Selling on Instagram is more convenient with branded Hashtags, which are unique searchable links to a business’ products and IG page. This means that following the hashtag will lead viewers to the brand’s posts and products.
This provides a great opportunity to analyze the audience and see what’s being said about a company. While the hashtag doesn’t necessarily have to include the brand name, it must be unique.
Search potential hashtags on Instagram to see if the option is available before you use it.
Try Out a Branded Giveaway
A great way to increase brand identity and increase follower engagement is with a branded giveaway.
People love free stuff, so creating a competition with the brand’s product as a prize is a popular choice among influencers. Select the reward and make a post that expresses the rules. Most brands want to share the post, follow the page, and tag friends in the comments to gain entry.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Expensive is it to Sell on Instagram?
It is possible to run a digital store successfully without spending a penny. Implementing shopping features and creating great posts can be done at no cost.
However, if a brand chooses to use ads, it can spend between $0.20 and $3.00 per click, depending on its budget.
Do You Need a Business License to Sell on Instagram?
Yeah. Based on their terms of service, you will need a business license.
When running a business and selling products, it is important to obtain proper license from the local government. Failure to reach these could result in fines from the governing body, store closure, and Instagram ban.
Is it better to sell on Etsy or Instagram?
Choosing Etsy or Instagram depends on personal preference. Here are some of the differences between the two sites.
• Addresses niche stores with smaller search pools
• Cost of money for listing items
• Allows users to checkout from more than one store on the same page
• Lists can be made free of charge.
• New payment features that are constantly added
• Followers can buy from their favorite brands easily
Do I Need a Personal Website to Sell on IG?
No. Website owners can use this to their advantage when selling on Instagram. You don’t need to own a paid website.
Many Instagram sellers edit their product catalogs directly on Facebook, which cuts out many steps in the selling process. “Can you sell directly through Instagram?” As for the question, these should not be services but tangible products.
What Should My First Post Look Like?
The first post on a business Instagram should show the personality of the business and its key details. What is being sold? Who runs the company? What is the mission of the company?
Providing an inside look at the company gives viewers something to look forward to.
Do I need Shopify to Sell on Instagram?
No. While many users are making the transition from selling on Shopify to Instagram easily. There is no obligation to have a Shopify account.
The only account required is via Facebook, where a product catalog will be stored for use in the IG store.
Advance a Business by Knowing How to Sell on Instagram
A well-developed IG page is a great way to support business in the modern digital age. It’s free, intuitive and very entertaining. All it takes is a little effort and creative vision to master how to sell on Instagram.
Got any great tips for selling on Instagram? Leave your advice in the comments below.