The Covid-19 pandemic has made a radical turn of the customers towards online shopping and improved some markets in terms of sales, process optimization and investment in just a few months of quarantine. Instagram management realized that this is the right time to enable the widest possible population to use shopping and thus support and help retailers who were in lock-down, but also to expand the range of its services and increase their own income.
eCommerce is certainly a powerful concept that fundamentally influences and makes changes in people’s lives. This is actually one of the main criteria of the information technology and communication system revolution in the field of economics. The existence of virtual markets and stores that do not take up real physical space, allow access and circulation without space and time constraints. Choosing products from a virtual shop window, ordering that does not require leaving the house, advertising on social networks and electronic payment are just some of the characteristics of an online shop that can be considered a miracle of the century.
What is an Instagram shop?
If you have an Instagram profile, and products that you want to sell, we can help you with the next step. Instagram shop is a very popular and cost effective way to promote and sell your products to Instagram users and followers. Social media like Instagram are one of the leading platforms for business development, especially in ecommerce.
How does it work?
First you have to have an Instagram account with all the important elements such as profile picture and description.
The profile description should include a link to your sales site or place where people can actually complete their purchases and pay (for instance, PayPal checkout or Pioneer checkout). Here it is good to immediately include a call to action (example: see the complete offer on this link), use smilies in the profile description, to draw the user’s attention to this part. This is very important because Instagram does not have many options for leaving links to your site.
Then, you have to connect your Instagram account with products from the Facebook store where you have a catalog with products and prices. Once you get approval for the store, you can present your products.
Here’s an example for the clothes store:
You take a picture of a person wearing sneakers, a cap, a tracksuit… (and those are all the things you sell). By clicking on the cap, visitors can see the product name and price, by clicking on the sneakers as well. These prices appear in the bubble next to the product and by clicking on them you can go and make a purchase immediately, because it takes you directly to the sales page.
How to get your Instagram shop approved?
To get the approval for an Instagram shop, you are obliged to meet the set conditions, and the whole process can be divided into five steps:
Make sure you are eligible to shop on Instagram.
- Your Instagram business account must be linked to the Facebook catalog.
- Sign up for “Shopping” options through the Instagram app.
- Post your first post or story with tagged products.
- View sales statistics.
We can’t talk about Instagram without mentioning the Instagram story. This is a unique option that has made it even easier for marketers and sellers, especially since the “swipe up” option appeared. Instagram stories can last 24 hours, but can also be archived. Keep them concisely and clearly arranged by category. For example, if you sell sneakers and tracksuits, then the stories in which the sneakers were used should be in one menu, and the stories in which the tracksuits are in another menu, so your customers will easily find what they are looking for.
Instagram Shop paid & free promotion
An image with your product may appear on Instagram accidentally. If you come across such an image (say a guy who took a picture in your sneakers and tagged your page), you can ask the person who posted it for permission to use it for marketing purposes yourself. This can be a win-win situation. You get “social proof”, which is useful for your sales and marketing on Instagram, and the person in question can become more visible and influential on this social network if he connects with the brand..
There is also a paid form of collaboration, quite popular when it comes to Instagram sales.
Paid collaboration is mainly about giving away free products to an influencer who will comment on and promote them in their posts. This type of advertising has become extremely popular, especially when it comes to cosmetics or food. So who hasn’t heard of the famous make-up artist Jeffree Star who has been promoting make-up for years?
This influencer eventually launched its cosmetics line and today is one of the most successful businessmen. So if you sell cosmetics or makeup, you can find an influencer with a lot of followers who would advertise your products and post a link on their profile that leads to your online store.
The power of #hashtag
Hashtags are already known as a great way to reach a larger target group. On Instagram, this option is extremely important, especially if you have a store. For example, if you are selling sports equipment and you want to attract people who are planning to buy a tracksuit, you will use hashtags in your posts, such as #sportswear and #tracksuit #sportsclothes, etc.
If your target is a foreign market or a larger population, you put it all in English or some other language, depending on the target market.
The platform that can help you sell products on Instagram is Inselly, where the platform classifies your product according to your hashtags and puts it under a certain category, so it becomes visible to all users of the platform.
Live IGTV sales
Instagram has rewarded its users with a great option – IGTV. This option not only allows you to post videos that are longer than a minute, but can be a great tool for your online sales. Best of all, IGTV offers a live option that you can use in sales as follows:
Go on live, show the product to your viewers, talk about its features and insert a swipe option that will immediately take your viewers to the checkout page of your online store. Isn’t that awesome?
Can I Checkout directly from Instagram?
Instagram Checkout option allows users to shop directly from Instagram posts, without any need to leave the app, as was the case before, where all transactions took place on your website or webshop.
What’s even better is that after someone makes the first transaction on your Instagram shop, all the information can be saved, which means the users don’t have to worry about re-inserting data for any subsequent purchases. With Instagram Checkout, customers control their shopping path. They will be able to track, manage, and return their purchased products – all through the app. Moreover, all new delivery information will be linked to Instagram.
Currently, Instagram Checkout is in its beta version and is only available for larger brands such as Adidas, Kylie Cosmetics, Nike, Dior, H&M, and many others.
Connecting Instagram Store with your Facebook Catalog & Woocommerce
Woocommerce is the most popular platform for online sales. It is very efficient and offers many opportunities to sell different types of products – from physical to virtual. If you have not yet decided where you want to build your online store, be sure to check out Woocommerce.
So, in order to sell on Instagram at all, it is necessary to first create your ecommerce website and then a Facebook page with a product catalog. Instagram then fetch the products from your Facebook, while links from the products will lead to your checkout page on the website. This is the most efficient way, because you will easily follow the volume and flow of sales.
Therefore, first you have to set up a Facebook catalog, from where Instagram can fetch your inventory, and then it’s time to tag:
- Choose photos you want to feature
- Tag up to five products per image or up to 20 products per carousel
- Add filters or captions
If you are not sure how to make a store on Woocommerce, contact website designers and developers to help you. Remember that this is the most important part of online sales – setting up the store in the right way, so that you do not end up in a situation where the order is rejected or the payment system is not well set up.
Instagram is a free application that, in addition to connecting with people, has a very strong role in online business. The dimensions of this application have not been built yet and we hope that in the future we will have more great tools such as IGTV, stories and shops. If an app revolutionizes sales, we believe it will be this one.