When Instagram introduced Shoppable Posts in the US in 2017, they provided a new way to help trend-hunting followers to not only like and comment on awe-inspiring photos, but also choose to buy the objects of their desire.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has since rolled the Instagram shopping feature to eight other countries across the globe; United Kingdom, France, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Spain.
How Shopping on Instagram Works
Shoppable Posts allow brands to add shopping tags to posts. According to Instagram’s director of product management, Vishal Shah, the Instagram shopping feature is visually akin to viewing someone tagged in a photo. There’s an icon on the lower left-hand corner of your screen that you can tap on to reveal more details about the photo.
From there, Instagram followers can choose to follow the embedded link(s) to a brand’s Shopify account or app to complete the checkout process. For now, Instagram won’t be taking a share of the sale.
Followers can now decide to own what they like by buying it. And brands can use the feature to provide what their customers want — a concept reminiscent of Pinterest’s model. If you’re struggling to get fans, Liked Lab can help you get real, laser-targeted followers.
To make your Instagram posts shoppable you’ll need to first ensure a couple of things:
- You have updated your Instagram App to the latest version, whichever your OS
- You have to set up a business profile on Instagram
- That account has to be connected to your Facebook catalog—which you can set up on your Facebook Business Manager settings (via your brand’s page, Shopify or BigCommerce)
- You’ll have to be selling physical items that comply with Facebook’s commerce policies and merchant agreement
- Your business will need to be located in the eight countries where Instagram shopping tags are enabled—at least for now.
How to Set Up Instagram Shoppable Posts
After meeting the above, the next step is to enable product tagging on Instagram. Here are the steps:
- Tap your profile’s icon
- Tap “Get Started”. If this won’t show up tap on the settings icon instead
- Choose “Shopping”
- Then tap on “Continue”
- Choose a product catalog. This will help you connect with your business profile
- Follow with “Done”
According to Facebook, approving your business profile for shopping on Instagram will take “a few days”. But sometimes it can take longer as they see if everything is set up properly.
How to Add Shoppable Tags on Instagram
When approved, you are all set to tag products in your Instagram posts. Here’s how to tag products for shopping (step-by-step):
- Take photos of the product you want to tag (a good quality one too, we should add)
- Select the best of them and add a relevant caption to boost. You can choose to preview the photo or save it as a draft by tapping the “Preview Tagged Products” or “Save Draft” options.
- Then tap on the items in the photo (the products you aim to tag)
- Enter the item name. The names should appear in the search box.
- Select them as they appear
- Tap “Done”
- Then “Share”
Again, Facebook states that they approve your shopping posts in a few seconds. However, they might hold up longer as the company reviews whether your products meet their commerce policies.
Every item is reviewed separately, which might explain some delays. They go through all of your catalog items one by one before giving a green light. That also means some items will get approval faster than others.
So you’ll want to ensure you comply with their policies to speed up the process—and avoid getting banned.
Things to Watch Out for to Have You Approved for Instagram Shopping
If after accurately executing the above steps you are still stuck, there might be something else holding you back. Here are a couple of scenarios:
First, you will want to ensure you own the Facebook Page linked to the Instagram business account. In Facebook’s Business Manager, you want to have it set up that you own the linked Page and Instagram business account. They all have to point to you as their owner.
Second, if you are using Shopify and BigCommerce via Business Manager, you’ll want to ensure you have the same Facebook account linked to the Instagram business profile.
Also, note that Pages that restrict user access based on age or country are not supported by Facebook.
With Instagram shoppable posts, brands (at least in the eight countries, for now) can avail a seamless, in-app way for Instagram shoppers to purchase items they find attractive and worth buying. In the long run, the feature could roll out to even more countries and platforms as Instagram assesses its impact and receives feedback from users.
What do you think about this feature?