If there's one good thing that's come from 2020, it's that Instagram has spent time updating and refining Instagram Shopping as they move deeper into the world of e-commerce. With over 1 billion (that's right, billion with a b) worldwide monthly active users, brands would be remiss if they didn't take advantage of this powerful shopping tool.
There are different options in which your store can use Instagram, but they all require you to connect a product catalog. This is, as the name suggests, a catalog of products that you sell. Instagram provides the option of manually uploading the products, as well as connecting to your Facebook pixel or integrating with your e-commerce platform. The latter options dynamically update, so if you sell out of a product or add new products, you won't have to manually go in and edit this information. Once the catalog is connected, you're ready to sell!
Instagram Shopping Posts
These posts make it incredibly convenient for your consumers to purchase items. Similar to tagging an account in a post, you'll tag specific products shown in the image. Once tagged, users can tap on the photo and see basic information like product name and price. Available in normal feed posts, carousel posts, stories, and even in augmented reality (AR) filters, you can provide users with an easier way to shop your stock. Because Instagram is so visual, these posts that once acted as inspiration can now quickly lead to purchasing. And because you're sharing these posts with followers who are familiar with your brand and products, you're already engaging with customers who are further down the sales funnel.
Instagram is constantly working on making the purchasing process as user-friendly as possible, and a recent update is one that takes this idea to a whole new level. They've now provided consumers with the ability to purchase products from your post without leaving the app. Removing these extra steps and making the process more streamlined helps people find the items they want and with a few simple taps it's theirs.
Along with shopping posts, you can actually create your own shop within the app. Linked to your business profile, all of the products that you're selling will appear here and allow visitors to browse, save favorite items, or make a purchase. Different from shoppable posts where you'll only tag the products shown within the image, here consumers can see and virtually browse through everything you're selling. Within your shop, you can also group products together in order to create different collections. This can help you plan cohesive campaigns among the items you're selling in store, on your own website, and on social media.
Last but certainly not least you have the Shop Tab within the app. Here users can filter products by categories, brand collections, guides, and shop from a directory. Currently the team at Instagram is working to make this area of the app more robust as they make Instagram Shopping more accessible for brands of all sizes. This space is a bit more crowded as it shows products from a variety of brands, so it is important that you take advantage of the other shopping capabilities offered.
While Instagram Shopping used to once be reserved for big brands with tons of followers, in recent months Instagram has loosened their requirements making it easy for shops of all sizes to start selling on this powerful platform. While you don't have to dive right in, it is important that you at least test the waters. Still not sure on how to incorporate this into your strategy or how to get started? Contact the digital marketing team at Informatics. Together we can get your products seen.