Did you know that there are more than 230 million online shoppers in the United States alone? That number is only expected to increase in the coming years. However, the online shopping landscape has started to change. Long gone are the days when only major retailers are utilizing eCommerce.
Thanks to social media, there are now more ways to sell things online than ever before. Instagram has recently launched a store feature that allows you to tell goods directly through the platform.
If you’re interested in learning more about starting your own Instagram store, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Instagram stores.
An Instagram store (or an Instagram Shop as others like to call it) is a feature of the Instagram app that allows businesses to showcase some of their best products and reach new customers at the same time.
Easily accessible via a business’ Instagram profile, feed, or stories, this feature allows people to browse through products and collections and ultimately, purchase items through an in-app browser.
Instagram Stores present a streamlined way of discovering products through a variety of options like Browse Shops, Shop Collections, Explore Guides, and See Editor’s Picks, among others.
More importantly, Instagram Store helps users find products they are more likely to buy based on previous engagement as well as the brands and posts they follow.
Discoverability is easily one of the benefits that quickly come to mind when setting up an Instagram store primarily because of the level of detail users are presented with.
We’ve all come across products that piqued our curiosity on social media but more often than not, they don’t come with the information we need such as a link or detailed instructions. What happens next is if we want to buy these products at a later time, we can no longer find them.
This is not the case with Instagram stores because it makes the shopping experience a lot more convenient. Users can simply click on the shoppable tags so they can explore all the details and information they need in real-time to make a purchase decision.
Which one would you rather buy? A product suggested by a friend that you haven’t even seen or a product you saw online with lots of pictures and videos to show?
Let’s be honest. Most of us are highly visual not just in terms of the sites we visit or blogs we read but also when it comes to the products we buy.
This isn’t surprising considering how reports suggest that 85% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a video.
This is what visual marketing is all about. By posting eye-catching images and videos, businesses attract and engage with prospective buyers. Good visuals will then help you convert those leads into sales.
One of the disadvantages of selling online is the number of competing businesses you have to contend with and visual marketing is one of the ways to separate yourself and stand out from the rest.
If there’s one thing that irritates online shoppers, it would probably be the lengthy and rather complicated buying and checkout processes they’d have to go through to get what they want.
One of the reasons people buy online is for convenience but if you have to go through several clicks before you reach the finish line, the experience can be annoying.
This is one of the problems an Instagram store addresses because it lets you buy products faster and much simpler. With an Instagram store, you can purchase products with minimum clicks and a shorter amount of time which can be beneficial for businesses as well because this attracts more leads and conversion opportunities.
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves the endorsement of social media influencers to boost reach and engagement. By getting an influencer to promote your product, your business gets a wider exposure and since lots of people trust influencers, they are more likely to engage with you as well because you were “highly recommended.”
This was how things were done before but imagine how good this will be for your business if instead of merely a product or a post, the influencer promotes your Instagram store instead.
There are a lot of opportunities you can explore with an Instagram store in terms of influencer marketing. You just need to be creative and strategic should you decide to explore it.
The primary reason why people get into business is for sales and revenue. Everything you do, especially your marketing strategy is aimed towards these two things.
Having an Instagram store makes all of these possible because you have a tool that can attract prospective buyers to click on any of your shoppable posts. This is the most crucial part because the possibilities are endless once they arrive at your store.
Couple this with an easy user interface and a less complex checkout process and you’ve got a better chance of making a sale, attracting engagement, and gaining a recommendation that can help boost your sales and revenue.
Now that you are aware of the benefits you can gain from having an Instagram Store, it’s now time to start creating one.
The first step is to make sure that your business meets all of Instagram’s eligibility requirements.
To qualify, your business should:
Once you’ve got all of these take care of, you may now proceed to the next step.
If you’re already using a business account then you’re good to go but if you are still using your personal account, you need to get it converted.
One of the primary requirements to convert to a business account is for your business to have its own Facebook page which you then need to connect to your Instagram account.
Once you’re done, make sure to add all relevant business information related to your business such as your phone number, your business address, and your operating hours, among others.
Once you’ve successfully connected converted to a business account, the next step is to start uploading your product catalog.
A product catalog is a list of descriptions, inventory, and products that is required for all Instargam stores.
You can connect a product catalog to an Instagram business account either through the Catalogue Manager. This can be found in Facebook Business Manager or through E-Commerce Platform Partner which is an integration that can be done through some of today’s biggest e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce or Shopify.
After successfully uploading your product catalog, you’ll need to submit your account for review by doing the following:
It should be noted that account reviews usually take a few days, sometimes even longer. There are also cases where you may get notified to prove ownership of your website or domain.
Once approved, you can now turn the shopping features on by doing the following:
As an additional note, the “Shopping” option will not appear under your settings if your account is still not approved which means the review is still ongoing.
Your Instagram Store should automatically appear on your Instagram profile once your account has been approved.
Selling online is a great way to market your products and introduce them to a wider audience. Selling on Instagram can help you take things a step further. Now that you know all the basics, it’s time to set up your store and start selling.
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