Modern eCommerce businesses have more online sales channels to choose from than ever before. You can sell goods on Amazon, design an app-based shop, or take the traditional route of building a storefront on your brand’s website. However, one of the most intriguing opportunities is to convert your Instagram account into an eCommerce shop where every post and Story can drive a purchase.
For small businesses, this can be a major sales driver. A shoppable Instagram feed effectively unifies sales and marketing efforts by minimizing funnel friction and getting potential customers to a point of conversion as soon as possible. Here’s how it works.
A shoppable Instagram feed is a powerful sales channel that brands can activate on their Instagram profile. In short, it lets businesses tag any products on their social media posts and Stories — such as clothing, makeup, or other physical merchandise — thus adding a custom link to the content. When customers click on the link, they are redirected to an Instagram Shop product page or a branded website where they can immediately purchase the item.
In a traditional Instagram ad, links might direct customers to a branded website or eCommerce storefront, allowing more direct control over the revenue stream. So what makes the Instagram Shop, let alone a shoppable Instagram feed, so different?
For small businesses, one of the biggest hurdles to building an eCommerce storefront isn’t functionality, but cost. Instagram Shop resolves that concern by being a completely free marketing and sales platform with built-in audience engagement.
In 2022, Instagram is the best opportunity to reach highly-engaged audiences willing to make a purchase. According to the latest research, 61.6% of Instagram users are 18 to 34 years old. That’s the ideal window for targeting lucrative millennial and Gen Z markets. More importantly, people on Instagram often have above-average incomes — households that bring in $100,000 per year are 60% more likely to use the app.
If you want to streamline sales and marketing efforts across your business, there are few better options than a shoppable Instagram feed. In a traditional advertisement, customers might need to look up additional details about a brand or product before making a purchase, such as:
All of these details — and many others — are incorporated directly into Instagram posts. Instagram visibly displays prices on tagged elements, includes additional product features via post text, and engages customers who can like or comment on the associated product. If brands play their cards just right, they’ll minimize the amount of time from someone seeing a product to making a purchase, no additional CTA required.
Any social media platform can build a shopping channel, but Instagram still stands apart by emphasizing user-generated content (UGC). In this context, UGC refers to images and videos that customers — not brands — post on their social media profiles. For example, fans of a clothing business might share pictures of their new outfit or post a Story talking about a customer service experience.
UGC can have a powerful effect on businesses because many customers — particularly Gen Z — trust authentic opinions from friends, family, and influencers more than branded content. So while a business can’t produce UGC directly, they can cultivate it through contests, hashtags, and influencer partnerships. With permission, some companies will even reuse UGC themselves, opening the door for additional social commerce activity.
Businesses can’t just embed their products onto Instagram and call it a day. There are several prerequisites to meet, forms to complete, and an approvals process before your feed is ready. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough to get you started:
Any brand hoping to sell products on Instagram must meet the following conditions:
While your customers may do their shopping and browsing from Instagram, all the information relating to your shoppable feed is actually hosted on Facebook. For that reason, your first step is to connect these accounts.
If these steps aren’t working, it’s probably because your Instagram or Facebook accounts aren’t set up with business profiles. Be certain you meet those prerequisites before continuing.
Next, it’s time to create Facebook product listings for any goods that visitors will be able to see on your shoppable Instagram feed.
Now that Facebook has all of your product and storefront information stored on the backend, it’s time to send those items to Instagram.
We’ve finally reached the fun part — tagging your products!
Tagging Instagram Stories uses a similar process. The primary difference is you will see a new “Product” sticker option that lets you create custom links to your storefront.
Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a shoppable Instagram feed! Your next goal is to create engaging content that will encourage customers to click on those tags.
Pro Tip: Shoppable Instagram feeds are a fantastic way to engage your website visitors. By embedding posts on your blog, you can promote your profile and social commerce deals simultaneously.
While Instagram Business accounts include sales and marketing features, they’re not limited to those options. Many third-party companies offer tools that expand the capabilities of shoppable feeds. Here are just a few examples to consider:
Payment and eCommerce platforms like Shopify are invaluable in the social commerce space. It’s widely available to businesses of any size. It’s generally compatible with most social media platforms and sales channels. And finally, it manages both online and retail sales, making it far easier for merchants to bring their storefront into Instagram’s marketplace.
As a Facebook partner, Shopify’s platform is fully compatible with the social commerce storefronts on Facebook and Instagram. Business managers can sync product catalogs from Shopify to Instagram with a single click, saving time and effort rebuilding infrastructure. That frees up your marketing team to develop shoppable Instagram feed content that appeals to a target audience.
Instagram is the fourth largest social media platform on the planet, so analyzing the intricacies of fan communities and tagged posts can be challenging. If your business is turning its Shopify storefront into a shoppable feed, Archive can help you understand these audiences by saving and organizing tagged content from Instagram. When you’re managing a shoppable feed, that’s an excellent way to obtain and manage UGC for future campaigns.
Archive is a user-friendly tool that downloads tagged Stories at scale, with no additional coding expertise or theme edits required. Along with the aforementioned UCG benefits, it guarantees that your marketers will never miss any post about your brand within Instagram’s ecosystem. Try it for free today and start automatically capturing all the Instagram activity that’s relevant to your brand.
Later is an Instagram marketing platform that focuses on visual content support. It first launched as a scheduling tool, but slowly expanded its capabilities until it became a vital resource for developing shoppable feeds. More specifically, brands can use Later to create and schedule shoppable content while analyzing post performance.
Later offers visual content scheduling and media management tools alongside its traditional marketing and analytics support. The company is also part of both Instagram and Pinterest’s respective partner programs, so it’s worth a look for brands that want to branch out across multiple platforms.
While we’re focusing largely on social commerce opportunities, Instagram shoppable feeds can benefit your brand’s website as well. For example, those product tags on Instagram posts and Stories don’t need to open the Shop. Instead, they can direct customers to a website landing page that handles any transactions directly.
This approach offers several advantages for businesses looking to expand their customer base and user communities. For example, linking Instagram posts to your website increases traffic, creating organic opportunities for visitors to view your web content. Branded landing pages might also encourage customers to create an account or subscribe to an email newsletter, creating other channels for promoting your products.
Once you’ve designed your shopping infrastructure on the Facebook Shop or your Instagram Business account, you can also create third-party eCommerce storefronts using those listings. For example, some third-party partners can embed your shoppable Instagram feed directly into your website — a significant time-saver when offering products across multiple channels. As an additional bonus, these embeds promote your Instagram profile among website visitors, attracting new followers in the process.
Thanks to modern eCommerce, businesses can sell their products from just about anywhere, but the most effective approach is still going where the customers are. Today, those customers are on social media platforms like Instagram, where they create UGC, share Stories about brands, and seek out product information. With a shoppable Instagram feed, you can create an online store within your Instagram galleries so customers can find all the product information they need to immediately make purchases.
If you really want to supercharge your shoppable feed, Archive can help. We build digital marketing infrastructure for eCommerce brands by downloading and organizing tagged content across Instagram — letting you tap into UGC and fan communities in the process. To find out more about Archive, visit our About page or try our Shopify app!
The world of online marketing is constantly evolving. Leverage your shoppable Instagram content with Archive today!
Yes! Businesses can create an Instagram Shop that manages transactions directly through the social media platform. While syncing a partner platform like Shopify can be a time-saver in terms of creating a product catalog, small businesses without an existing storefront can get their start on Instagram without a website.
If you have an Instagram Business account, a Facebook Business page, operate within one of Instagram’s approved countries, and only sell physical goods, you meet all the requirements to add a Shop Now button to your posts.
We’ve included a step-by-step guide under How to Create Your Shoppable Instagram Feed within this article!
Yes! Instagram content with product tags are functionally identical to standard posts, Stories, UGC, and other content. That means you can promote them on Instagram’s platform using paid and organic marketing techniques. Read our blog post on Community Marketing for examples.