Instagram eCommerce—Leverage The Platform To Boost Business
Updated · May 18, 2022
Nowadays, many businesses are looking to set up shop on Instagram.
After all, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly active users.
However, before you can start selling on Instagram, there are a few things you need to do first.
In this article, we'll walk you through the process of setting up a shop on Instagram.
What Is Instagram eCommerce?
This type of social ecommerce uses Instagram to sell products or services. This can be done through traditional means such as product photos and descriptions, or through more creative methods such as Instagram stories and live videos.
Not to mention, Instagram boasts high engagement rates with over 80% of users following at least one business on the platform.
For these reasons, it's no wonder why setting up a shop on Instagram has become such a popular option for businesses of all sizes.
Given the vast reach of Instagram, it is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
Furthermore, with the recent addition of features such as shoppable posts and Instagram checkouts, it’s become even easier to sell on Instagram.
Before You Begin
To sell on Instagram, you'll need both a Facebook Business account and an Instagram account. Ever since Facebook (now Meta) bought Instagram in 2012, you can’t do Instagram commerce without being on Facebook.
Later on, we’ll talk about the importance of having your accounts in good standing, but to start we suggest creating both a basic Facebook and Instagram if you don’t have them already.
You won’t be able to sell until you’ve followed the rest of our guide, but it’s recommended that you start using these accounts immediately to build brand awareness and a following.
This is important for establishing trust, and gathering marketing leads.
Creating a FB Business Page
In order to create a Facebook business account, make you’re logged into your basic Facebook account.
This will be the admin account for your commerce profile on Facebook.
From there, got to the Facebook ecommerce manager start page.
Next, you must decide whether you’re creating a “shop” or a “catalog”. Shops are for physical items, while catalogs can be created for services and other intangibles.
Make sure to choose Instagram specifically. Note that you can sync a Shopify store if you’ve already created one.
Your next step is to choose a checkout method. You can choose to have your customers checkout through your main website, involving a payment gateway of your choice, through an Instagram/Facebook gateway, or through messaging, either in Whatsapp or FB Messenger.
Following that you’ll select the countries your Instagram storefront will be shipping to. This method is more expansive than selling on the FB Marketplace which is mostly local.
If you’ve done every correctly your main page will now be set up, and look something like this:
The final thing left to do is tap on the settings tab in the bottom left, and connect your Instagram account.
Your personal Instagram account will be automatically converted into a professional account once this process is complete.
With the above steps followed, your account will now be reviewed.
This takes a few days on average.
The following are some best practices required for approval.
Comply With Facebook Policies
It goes without saying that in order to use Instagram for ecommerce, your accounts must be in good standing.
You must make sure none of the content on it, or any of the items you’re selling, violates Facebook’s policies.
Any strikes you may have against you for previous infractions could count against you here,
Have a Verified Domain
If you have a business website linked to your Facebook store, it must be from a verified domain.
This is both to ensure that you’re who you say you are, and to ensure the protection of shoppers that may try and buy from you.
Be in an Approved Country
Instagram ecommerce isn’t available worldwide yet, so you need to be in an approved country.
Trying to make use of a VPN to dodge detection is no good.
With the amount of verification needed, Meta will figure out you’re in an unsupported country at some point.
Related to that, you need to demonstrate trustworthiness on your account.
This is why it’s a good idea to have your accounts for a while before officially making their business accounts.
That way you’ll have a track record of interactions with your followers, and so not be suspected of being a fly-by-night pop-up.
Have Accurate Information
Building on the previous two points, make sure the information you provide when creating your Instagram company page is accurate.
Meta won’t slap your store down for a minor error, but providing the incorrect information in an attempt to trick the platform will be a permanent mark against you.
Turn on Shopping
With all that done, you’ll need to go into your newly converted Instagram account and turn on the “shopping” feature.
You’ll find it in Settings > Business > Shopping. If you don’t see it, your account is still under review.
Once the option appears, you can select a product catalog to connect.
Start Creating Product Posts
Now for the fun part of creating your Instagram online shop.
It’s time to start creating product posts. What you want to do is start making posts that advertise your products.
The posts can be classic photo posts, reels, or even live segments.
You’ll need to take ecommerce images geared towards Instagram.
Images of the type that appear on storefronts will stick out, but not in a good way.
For success, you want images that will blend with user posts, with models showing of the product. If the picture catches that customer’s attention naturally, they’ll be more receptive to the tags you’ve included.
Many Instagram stores also partner with influencers in order to sell.
A Note on Interaction
Instagram is a social media platform, so it’s a good idea to be “social”, and interact with your followers.
A simple way to do this is to like their posts, and even comment when they post about you in order to thank them.
With this process, you can foster reciprocity, and also build a better image for your brand at large.
Remember, using Instagram for ecommerce isn’t just a convenient way to sell, or a stand-in for a shopping cart, it offers unique opportunities to build relationships with your customers, strengthen your brand, and increase your conversion rate.
Instagram ecommerce is going from strength to strength, although it’s beginning to face some stiff competition from TikTok.
Potential trouble for Meta, but good news for you as a seller. It just means the platforms you’re using will keep upping their game.
By following the tips above, and remembering to take advantage of Instagram’s unique capabilities, your marketing strategy will level up.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.