How to Set Up Instagram Shopping: A Step-by-Step Guide for Brands

By Rhonda Bradley / 6 November 2018

Find out everything your business needs to know about the latest Instagram shopping options, including how to enable product stickers in Stories.

Instagram shoppable options are a way for businesses to sell products directly to consumers, creating an excellent opportunity for B2C brands on Instagram. 

Not only do the shopping options allow businesses to convert followers to customers, but they can also add a healthy boost of traffic to your website. 

In fact, a recent study reports that brands see an average 1,416% increase in traffic and 20% boost in revenue from Instagram shopping options.

New features such as Stickers in Instagram Stories and a shopping channel in Instagram Explore offer even more opportunities for businesses looking to expand their consumer base and grow their brand on Instagram.

In this article, we’ll explain the different Instagram shopping features and show you how your brand can begin selling on the platform.

What are Instagram Shopping Features and How Can Brands Use Them?

Instagram has 3 important shopping features that businesses should be aware of: Shopping tags in posts, shoppable stickers in Stories, and the shopping channel in Instagram Explore.

1. How to Use Shopping in Posts by Adding Product Tags

The Shopping in Posts feature allows you to showcase up to 5 products per post or 20 per carousel.

 

Instagram Product Tags in Posts
Source: Instagram

 

Here’s how to add product tags to your posts:

  1. Select one of your uploaded photos
  2. Tap a product in the photo that you want to tag
  3. Enter the name of the product you want to tag and select it as it appears in the search box
  4. Complete the process by tapping “Done.”

You can tag up to 5 products per image or 20 products per multi-image post.

2. How to Use Shopping in Stories by Adding Product Stickers

Shopping in Stories is a new feature that allows brands to add shoppable product stickers to Instagram Stories’ photos and videos. 

 

Instagram Product Stickers in Stories
Source: Instagram

 

Since Stories can be pinned to your business’s profile page, these product stickers offer a powerful opportunity to drive engagement and sales.

Here’s how to add product stickers to Instagram Stories:

  1. Select a photo or video to upload to your story.
  2. Tap the sticker icon in the upper right-hand corner and select the product sticker.
  3. Choose the product you want to feature from your product catalog.
  4. Position the product sticker where you’d like it to appear in your story.

Only one product sticker is allowed per story, and you can combine it with swipe-up, highlights, and videos.

3. What is the Instagram Shopping Channel?

Instagram recently began rolling out a dedicated shopping channel in its explore section. Prior to its release, when you navigated to Instagram’s Explore section, you saw a row of tabs at the top that included topics such as Food, Decor, and Travel.

Now, you’ll also see a tab titled “Shopping” that allows Instagrammers to browse products tailored to their interests.

 

Instagram Shopping Tab
Source: ProductsUp.io

 

This is a nice perk for businesses who include shoppable stickers and tags in their posts because it gives them the opportunity to get seen by an entirely new audience.

Brands don’t need to take any action to have their shoppable posts published on the shopping channel. According to Instagram, once you create a post with shoppable tags it will be shared in the Explore channel, where 200 million accounts visit daily.

Tagged product posts may be shown to people who “demonstrate a strong interest in shopping and potential interest in your brand or products.”

How Does Instagram Shopping Work for Consumers?

Whether you’re adding tagged products to posts or shoppable stickers to Stories, the consumer experience on Instagram is the same. 

 

Guide to Instagram Shopping
Source: MadeWell on Instagram

 

When a user notices a product she’s interested in, she taps on the product tag, which is a small box that displays the item name and price.

 

Instagram Product Tags for Madewell
Source: MadeWell on Instagram

 

Once a viewer taps the product tag, she is taken to a product page that includes:

  • A larger image of the product
  • A caption that includes the full name of the product and price
  • A “View on Website” button that takes the reader directly to the product page of the company’s website
  • A description button that the view can tap to read more about the product
  • A smaller image of other products featured in the original photo, if applicable
  • A thumbnail browsing area so the viewer can scroll through all of the products in your catalog.

The product image, caption, and “View on Website” buttons are included on the top half of the page.

 

Instagram Product Page for Madewell
Source: MadeWell on Instagram

 

All other information and images can be seen by scrolling to the lower section of the page.

 

Instagram Product Page for Madewell
Source: MadeWell on Instagram

 

The “View on Website” button takes the reader directly to the product page on your website so they can make a purchase or browse more of your products.

What Are the Criteria for Selling Products on Instagram?

Before adding product tags or stickers, approved for shopping on Instagram.  

Currently, its shopping features are available only to businesses that primarily sell physical goods. 

To become approved as a seller on Instagram, you must:

Brands whose products have country or age restrictions are not supported and will not be able to sell on Instagram.

Once your business meets all of the criteria for selling, your account will be reviewed for access to Instagram Shopping features. This typically takes at least a couple of days but can take longer if for any reason your account requires additional review.

Once your business is approved to sell on Instagram, you’ll receive a notification and be allowed to activate product tagging in your account settings.

Instagram Shopping Options Offer New Opportunities for Businesses

Prior to the September 2018 launch of shopping in Stories, there was no way for businesses with less than 10,000 followers to include external links in stories. 

The new product stickers in Stories are an excellent opportunity for small-to-medium sized brands who were otherwise unable to include external links in their stories.

Larger brands who already have the “Swipe-Up” feature available in Stories will want to test and experiment to learn which shopping option has a higher conversion rate.

The shopping channel in Instagram Explore appears to be a promising new way for brands to get discovered by potential customers.

These features, plus the pre-existing product tags in Stories, offer all sizes of businesses terrific opportunities to engage and convert Instagrammers to customers.

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