Influencers understood it very early, companies moved to Instagram is no longer just a platform to share beautiful images, but a marketing channel on which products can be ideally marketed.
5 hundred million active users, of which 200 million visits at least one company profile every day, speak for themselves.
The social network reacted to this in November 2016 with a feature that has been available in Germany since March.
With the so-called “Instagram Shoppable Posts,” it is possible to complete the entire purchase process with just a few clicks directly on Instagram. Here are the prerequisites you need to fulfill and how Shoppable Posts can be used exactly.
Why Instagram Shoppable Posts?
With the new Instagram feature, the entire buying process – from the discovery of a product to payment – can now be completed directly on the platform.
Marketing and sales merge into one instrument: this means minimal hurdles for buyers and accelerates sales.
Also, 80 percent of Instagram users already follow at least one company and thus inevitably encounter the Shoppable Posts.
Therefore, optimal conditions are given to quickly integrate the new feature as a natural part of the Instagram experience and to be able to hope for curiosity among the users.
This is also helped by the fact that the Shoppable Posts are marked on the top right with a shopping bag icon, so that users can quickly get an overview:
If you find an article in the channel overview that you like, you can see at a glance that he can belong to them with just a few clicks, which in turn favours the buying decision.
Also in the operability for companies scores the function: Once installed, it is extremely easy to sell a Shoppable Post. The extra work compared to a regular photo is about the same as that of a person’s tag gene.
Note: So far, Shoppable Posts can only be used in the Instagram app on the go, but not in the desktop version.
What are the requirements for Instagram Shoppable Posts?
There are some conditions attached to the use of the Shoppable Post function:
- The account must be from Germany, USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, France, Italy, Spain or Australia.
- It must be a business account.
- You need the latest version of the Instagram app.
- Physical goods (not services) should be sold that comply with the trade guidelines and the dealer agreement of Instagram or Facebook.
- Your business profile must be linked to a Facebook catalogue. This works through the Facebook Business Manager or external third party providers such as Shopify or BigCommerce and is explained in detail below.
This is how you proceed with the installation
1. Store product range
To sell on Instagram, you must first deposit the corresponding products. There are two ways to do this:
Option 1: Product catalogue via Facebook Business Manager
This feature directly uses your business profile on Facebook and allows you to choose a new or existing catalogue.
In the Facebook Business Manager, under Settings, select the “People and Elements” function and then “Catalog” and “Add.”
Now you can name the catalogue and specify the type of products you want to publish there. Now the complete catalogue can be added to the product feed.
It is important to remember that all products must always be up-to-date regarding pricing, description and other details so that sales via Instagram will work smoothly.
Option 2: Facebook Shop with Shopify and BigCommerce
Instead of using Facebook’s manager, you can also use an external shop system. The corresponding procedure is presented here as an example of two such platforms.
First, the Facebook sales channel must be connected to Shopify. Then you can add the Instagram distribution channel to the Shopify Store.
To do this, click on “+” in the admin area next to the tab “Sales Channels” and select “Add Sales Channel,” “Instagram” and finally “Add Channel.” After that, all you have to do is sign in to your Facebook profile to authenticate the Instagram account.
To activate the function in the last step on Instagram itself, go there under the Business attitude in the range “Shopping.”
Open the Channel Manager, select “Facebook” and then “Get Started.” Now you can see the product regulations again and have to enter different information.
These include, for example, the corresponding Facebook company page, your business address, an e-mail address, the shipping options provided and exchange conditions. Detailed instructions can be found here.
Afterwards, the export to Facebook begins. Once the catalogue is verified there, the first products should be visible on Facebook after one to two hours.
Now you can go back to the Channel Manager, choose “Instagram” and “Get Started.” Finally, you must confirm that your shop meets the appropriate conditions.
2. Connect shop with an Instagram business profile
After creating a catalogue, there are only a few steps left to complete the installation. Instagram has to verify the account, which can take several hours or even several days. Once the verification is complete, you will be notified.
Then you can connect the product catalogue. To do this, go to “Settings” under “Shopping,” “Products” and “Select Catalog” on Instagram.
After that, you should create as soon as possible nine Shoppable Posts, because then a “Shop” tab will automatically be created on your profile, where your followers will find all tagged posts bundled.
3. Make a post to the Shoppable Post
Now it’s quick and easy to create Instagram Shoppable Posts. To do this, select a photo as usual and apply effects and filters as you wish.
In the next menu, you now have the option to mark products the way you usually do with people: you search for the product name and select it from a list. Now you have to publish the post.
Also in existing pictures products can be tagged afterwards. Instagram allows up to five products per image and up to 20 per multi-photo or “carousel.”
How can Shoppable Posts be integrated into your content strategy?
Even though the new sales features open up many opportunities, keeping a mantra in mind is essential: Instagram should continue to entertain its users and not turn it into a sales channel.
Instagram Shoppable Posts should be integrated naturally into the existing content marketing strategy. For example, it makes sense to present and explain the new function in the stories in direct dialogue.
Also, it makes sense to link as many products as possible to each post, so that users deal with them more intensively.
Strategically, the integration of influencer content in the Shoppable Posts is also an option. Many companies already use cooperations with influencers as a marketing tool – especially on Instagram, where influencers are particularly dominant and far-reaching.
The suitable influencer serves his target group as a (consumption) role model and is, therefore, a convincing sales argument. Coupled with Instagram Shoppable Posts, users are even more likely to buy the tagged product.
Another great way to integrate Instagram Shoppable Posts without being sales-heavy is User Generated Content (UGC). Galeria Kaufhof demonstrates how this can work:
Shoppable posts are linked with user-generated content and a raffle. This conveys authenticity, actively integrates the followers, thus signalling appreciation to you and ultimately inviting you to engage more intensively with the contributions.
Measure the performance of Instagram Shoppable Posts
The data analysis must of course not be neglected on Instagram Shoppable Posts. Conveniently, a variety of Analytics data is available for Shoppable Posts, from impressions to clickthrough rates.
Key figures of this kind help to find out which types of Instagram Shoppable Posts are particularly well received shortly after implementation.
In this way, you can purposefully experiment with a variety of formats and ideas and get insights into the preferences of the users.
Which potential is generally in Instagram Shoppable Posts, shows BigCommerce with an evaluation of the experiences of selected brands, which were allowed to test in March, a pre-release version of the feature.
The result: companies generated traffic increases of up to 2,666 percent and revenue growth of up to 100 percent.