Instagram Shopping Tools are third-party tools to create shoppable galleries, sell through comments, monetize influencer posts, and more. With over a billion active users and growing, Instagram may already be one of your favorite places to promote your e-commerce store. However, lots of opportunities exist for marketing on the channel. So it can be a great place to build a follower base and get the word out about your products and brand.
What Are Instagram Shopping Tools ?
The mall of the future is not a sprawling metropolis of stores, punctuated by the occasional soft pretzel stand and megaplex movie theater, but a platform on your phone.
Imagine: a million stores made just for you. Selling only the things you’re likely to buy. Based on what you’ve bought in the past or how you’ve behaved online. Plenty of platforms are trying to steer shopping in this direction.
Amazon anticipates when you’ll need to restock on paper towels. Pinterest predicts what you’ll want for your home remodel. Now Instagram is taking a big step toward surfacing the stuff you might buy, and making it easier for you to buy it.
Instagram will enable in-app checkout for its shoppable posts. By streamlining the process of purchasing things within its mobile app, Instagram hopes to become your own personalized digital mall.
Instagram Shopping Tools lets you integrate your product catalog with your Instagram profile. In turn, this allows you to promote your products directly to Instagram users through posts, Stories, in the Explore tab, and in a special Shop tab on your profile.
How Dose Instagram Shopping Work ?
Instagram Shopping is a pretty simple process for Instagram users. The whole idea of this feature is to make things more enticing, so users spend more time on the app, checking out the shops they love, as well as discovering new brands.
To find shops you want to explore or buy from, go to the little shopping icon that looks like a shopping bag on the app.
From there, you will see shops from brands you already follow, as well as some that are recommended based on your interactions on Instagram. You can also check out “Editor’s Picks” to see different categories. Such as Gift Guides, and to explore collections and other recommendations.
If you click “Browse Shops,” you’ll see a listing of brands you already follow who have shops on Instagram. This can be a great place to start when you’re exploring because you probably already have an interest in the products and may have even purchased from them in the past
Once you click on a shop, you’ll see the products and collections they have available.
3 Key Benefits to Setting Up Instagram Shopping Tools
As mentioned, Instagram is fast becoming an ecommerce powerhouse.
Instagram Shopping Tools work – but what exactly gives them such power?
Here are three key reasons:
1. It Reduces Friction and Makes Shopping Easier for Consumers
With so many businesses competing for attention, it can be extremely difficult to get customers to leave what they’re doing on social media and visit your store.
The solution? Don’t try to get them to come to you – take your store to them.
Instagram Shopping Tools remove friction from the purchasing process by making it easier for shoppers to browse your catalog, check prices, or learn more about a particular product.
Plus, once they’re ready to purchase, they can visit the product page on your website with just one tap.
They can even save the product to come back to later by tapping the label icon on a product page.
2. Instagram Shopping Tools Allow You to Promote Products Directly
Instagram has always been a fantastic place to connect with your target audience and deepen customer relations.
However, Instagram hamstrung businesses by only allowing them to have one measly link on their profile. Still, to this day, you can’t add clickable links to Instagram post descriptions.
This made it extremely difficult to promote individual products.
For example, if you feature a product in a post, your call-to-action would have to point viewers to the link in your bio – which increases friction and massively hurts your conversion rate.
Remember, you only get one link in your bio.
Sure you can update each time you share a new post, but what about all of your
Instagram Shopping Tools let you seamlessly integrate all of your Instagram content with your store. This is awesome – especially when 65 percent of top-performing brand posts feature a product of some kind.
Now, you can weave your product promotions into your posts and Stories. Avoid the annoyance of nagging your followers to “Click the link in our bio!”
3. Expose Your Products to Users with a High Purchase Intent
When you tag a product in a post, that post will be included in Instagram’s new Shopping Explore tab.
By increasing Instagram engagement through practices like optimizing your hashtags, you can get your products to appear in the Shopping Explore tab.
You’ll also be exposing your products to your target market. Because these shopping posts are personalized and based on users’ interests and past engagement.
This is fantastic because users viewing the Shopping Explore tab tend to have a high purchase intent.
In other words, they’re likely to buy.
Think of it this way: Aside from the occasional window shopper, it’s fair to say that most people go shopping to, well, shop.
These users could be browsing photos of koala bears – but they’re not. Instead, they’re actively choosing to browse Instagram Shop posts. This is an opportunity to attract their attention while they’re in “buying” mode. Major brownie points if you can get your products on their wishlist.
Bottom line, Instagram Shops are a powerful way to boost your sales. So how can you start an Instagram Shop?
3 New Instagram Shopping Tools to Know About
1. Facebook Shops
Technically, this tool was launched by Facebook, which owns Instagram. However, your Instagram followers won’t need a Facebook account to make purchases with this feature.
When creating a free Shop, brands can upload bulk or individual product listings with photos, prices, and descriptions; change the store’s button colors and text to make it consistent with their brand; and choose to have visitors buy products directly from the shop or through an integration with an ecommerce website they already use.
Facebook Shops can be created on Facebook Commerce Manager. To get started, you’ll need admin privileges to the Instagram Business or Facebook Business account. You’ll be linking the Shop to as well as admin privileges for your brand’s Facebook catalog.
Once a Shop is created, it can be linked directly to your Instagram Business profile. When this is done, an icon that says “View shop” will appear on your mobile profile under your bio. At this point, you can access Facebook Shops on desktop from Facebook Business profiles, but not from Instagram or WhatsApp desktop sites.
Facebook Shops, which is free to all businesses that fulfill the business page requirements noted above, could be a great option for small or medium-sized businesses that are interested in ecommerce but don’t have the time or bandwidth to create and promote a full ecommerce site around their brand. Also Read: Facebook Marketing: How to Grow your business with Facebook
2. Instagram Checkout as an Instagram Shopping Tools
For brands that want to sell a few select products on Instagram, or don’t have time to create a Facebook Business Page or catalog to open a Shop, Instagram also now offers an in-app Checkout experience that links to Instagram Shoppable posts.
Currently, Checkout is free to brands through until at least 2021. However, there might be selling fees for businesses after that.
Now, when users click on a Shoppable post that links to the Checkout feature for the first time, they’ll be asked to give their name, billing information, and shipping address and can then click “Place Order” directly on Instagram. To further eliminate friction, users can set the app to remember purchasing information so they don’t need to submit it each time they place orders.
At this point, you might be wondering, “How is this different from Facebook Shops?”
Both tools similarly allow consumers to make purchases directly on Instagram. However, a Shop is a mini-online store where you can purchase one of many products listed by one brand. Meanwhile, Checkout allows consumers to buy a product they happen to see on an Instagram Shoppable post within their feed or a brand’s profile page.
Checkout might be a good option for your brand if you want to dabble in internet sales but don’t want to monitor how multiple products are selling in a wider shop. With Checkout, you can choose to sell one or two products within a few posts. And monitor your content for engagements and sales metrics.
3. Instagram Live Shopping
Aside from adding Checkout to posts within a feed, Instagram Live Shopping brings a similar purchasing experience to live content streamed on the app.
Essentially, Instagram Live Shopping lets brands or Instagram influencers present a small CTA for a product at the bottom of an Instagram Live stream.
When an Instagram Live viewer sees the Checkout CTA and clicks “Add to Bag,” they can either save the order for later if they want to continue watching the stream, or they can purchase the product immediately via Checkout.
If a user places a product in their Instagram Bag, they can find it by going to the app’s Explore tab and tapping “Shop” in the top navigation.
How to Promote Your Instagram Shop
Once you have an Instagram shop up and running, you’ll want to find ways to promote it and draw potential customers to your new location. Here are some tips for achieving that:
Launch timely collections: When you create collections or groupings of products to showcase in your shop, think about the browsing buyers first and what they are searching for right now. Instagram recommends thinking about seasons, holidays, or pop culture moments to create collections that connect with and attract buyers.
Make it easy for shoppers: When you create posts and stories, make sure to choose the “Tag Product” option to link directly to your shop products. Also, Facebook recommends adding calls-to-action in your captions to remind buyers of what to do. Another recommendation is to update your bio with shopping information.
Invest in ads: Want to reach even more people with your Instagram shop? You could consider launching an ad on Instagram with clickable tags that draw people to your shop.
Instagram Shopping Tools allow you to interact with your followers (and new buyers!), in a seamless way. You can create collections just in time for a season or holiday. And promote your products to an audience that is eager to buy.
This feature allows brand owners to sell on Instagram dynamically. While it may not be the only solution you need, it can be a great addition to your Instagram sales strategy.