In June 2018, Instagram introduced shoppable Instagram Stories to select brands providing marketers with yet another opportunity to reach their audience directly on the Instagram page. With this new feature, Instagram users can complete their buying journey without ever leaving the Instagram app.
Instagram shoppable posts are marked by a shopping bag icon in the top-right corner.
Getting Started With Shoppable posts on Instagram
Before you can start setting up Instagram shoppable posts you need to fulfil certain requirements;
1. You must be located in one of these countries:
2. You need an Instagram business account
5. Your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog. This can be created and managed on directly on your Facebook Business Page, or your Business Manager account, or through Shopify or BigCommerce.
If you meet all of these requirements, you can start setting up your shop on Instagram.
Prepping your Account for Shoppable Tags
Step 1: Creating an Instagram Business Profile
You can easily convert to an Instagram business profile by navigating to setting and selecting Switch to business accounts. Instagram will guide you through the process.
Step 2: Connect your Instagram account with your Facebook Business Page
Your Instagram account should be connected to your Facebook business page. You can do it at the time of the switchover by providing access to your Business Page. Or, you can do it from your Facebook Business page. Navigate to the setting tabs, click on the Instagram tab in the left sidebar and enter the details of your Instagram account and click on confirm.
Once you have converted your Instagram handle to a business page and connected it to your Facebook Business Page the next step is to set up your product catalog.
Step 3: Setting up a Product Catalog On Facebook
There are a few ways to connect your Business profile to a Facebook product catalog:
Option 1: Setting up a Product Catalog on Facebook (available in U.S. only)
If your Instagram Business profile is connected to your Facebook Business page, you can easily create a product catalog on Facebook itself.
Make sure you’re using the right template on your Facebook Page.
Click Settings → Edit Page → Template → Shopping Template → Apply Template.
Once you’ve applied the Shopping template, a “Shop” tab will automatically appear on your main Page.
Before you start adding products, you’ll need to set up a payment process. If you’ve never set up a payment process before, a pop-up window will appear automatically prompting you to do so. Enter the required fields.
- Remember to set up the check out page.
- Indicate which currency your customers should pay in.
- Now you are ready to add products to your shop.
You can start adding products to your shop.
- Add a products image, a short description and price
- Insert a link to a page where people can checkout.
- You can edit or remove any product at any time.
- If you are offering a discount or if a product is on sale, click on the slider and enter the new price here. You must remember to come back and change the price once the sale is over.
When you add the new product to the shop, it should automatically appear on your Facebook Business Manager as well. However, the items don’t appear in your shop immediately, as they need to undergo an approval process first.
Option 2: Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager
To create a catalog on the Facebook Business manager, you need to have a Business manager account that is linked to your Facebook business page and Instagram Business account.
Use your business name and business email address to create an account to keep it separate from your personal profiles. For a more detailed guide to setting up your Bussiness Manger Account, you can check this article:
In your Business Manager and navigate to Business manager settings follow these steps:
- Go to Catalog Manager
- Click Create Catalog
- Select the catalogue type and click Next. You can create catalogues for: E-commerce, Travel (including hotels, flights and destinations), Property and Automotive.
- Select the ad account for the catalogue and enter a name for your catalogue.
- Click Create.
Note: If you need to support multiple languages, create a separate catalogue for each language
If you are already using the Business manager you can also use an existing catalog.
There are a few ways in which you can add products to your catalog; manually, use a data feed, use a merchant platform, or use the Facebook pixel.
a. Manually adding items
This is recommended only if you have less than 50 items in your shop.
- Once you have finished creating a catalog, click on “Add Products and select ADD MANUALLY.
- For each item, you’ll need to input a name (up to 26 characters), a description and an image.
- Add a price. The default currency is US dollars although there’s an option to change it.
- If you want to run dynamic ads, you’ll also need to add a Content ID.
- Save each product by clicking “Add Product”
- Click on add another product to add the next product.
b. Adding with a data feed
Adding items using a data feed gives you the chance to promote your inventory through retargeting, such as with dynamic ads.
- Use a supported file format (CSV, TSV, and XML) to create a data feed file with all the necessary information. After saving the file, head to Catalog Manager, choose the catalog you want, and click “Data Sources.”
- Click “Add Data Source,” then select “Use Data Feeds,” and click “Next.”
- You can upload your product feed in two ways. You can upload the file manually in a single go. Bear in mind that if you choose to upload once then in order to update any changes in the inventory, you will need to upload the feed again manually.
- You can auto-upload the feed with a URL or you can send it via FTP (file transfer protocol) by providing the host URL, and Credentials to access that feed. By setting a schedule, Facebook automatically checks for updates to your feed as per your selection( hourly, daily, or weekly).
- The next step is to Name the product feed and select the default currency.
It’s very important to keep your product catalog synced with your Facebook Page so that your product descriptions and prices are accurate. If you’re running a sale or promotion, make sure your product catalog reflects it.
c. Using a Merchant Platform or Facebook Pixel
If you already have inventory on a merchant platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Google, and WooCommerce, you can upload the data feed from there. You can also choose to upload a data feed through Facebook pixel if you have it installed on your website.
Option 3: Create a Shop on Facebook with Shopify or BigCommerce
Step 4: Connecting your Shop to your Business’ Instagram Account
The next step is to connect your product catalog to your Instagram account. Head back to the Shopping section in your Instagram settings and tap on Products. Here, you’ll be able to select a product catalog to connect to your business profile. Once you’re finished, tap Done.
After you have completed setting up your product catalog in Facebook business manager, it may take Instagram a few hours to a few days to review your account before activating shoppable posts feature. You will receive a notification letting you know you’re ready to start selling on Instagram.
You must create at least nine shoppable posts to activate the “Shop” tab on your Instagram profile! This will group all your shoppable posts under one tab.
Step 5: Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts
You can tag products in both new and existing posts from your Instagram business profile.
Start creating an Instagram post as you normally would-by uploading a photo to Instagram or selecting a photo from your gallery. Add the desired filters and effects. Add the caption and click on tag products option.
Enter the names of the products you want to tag and select the ones you want to tag. Once you’re finished, tap “Done” and share your post!
You can tag up to 5 products per single image post or 20 products on “carousel” post. You can’t tag other accounts AND your own products at the same time, in the same post. You can’t promote or boost shoppable Instagram posts.
Adding Shopping Tags to Instagram Stories
Businesses that are approved to use Instagram shopping can add one product sticker to any story. When a customer taps on the product sticker, they’ll be taken to the product details page. You can add a shopping tag to a story in the following steps
Step 1: Add your Story (video or picture).
Step 2: Tap the sticker icon in the upper-left corner and select the product option.
Step 3: Add your item (only one per Story). As with a post, you can find any item in your product catalog by typing its name. You can also change the color of the sticker at this step.
Step 4: When you are done click on share.
Measuring the Results of your Shoppable Posts
Now that you have set up your shop on Instagram, you can use Instagram analytics for shoppable posts to check how many people viewed product information or clicked-through to check your product page. You can use this information to determine what type of products are popular with your Instagram followers. Experiment with different types of posts to see what works best for you.