Instagram Shopping: Everyone’s Doing It

November 28, 2017

Instagram has joined in the ecommerce game, making it easy for Shopify and BigCommerce sellers to tag their products in posts, linking them directly to product pages on their websites. Until recently, this feature was only available to select, big brands, but it’s now been rolled out to all Shopify and BigCommerce retailers. And it’s a game changer.  

Why Ecommerce Merchants Should Use Shopping on Instagram

If you’re an ecommerce merchant and you have followers on Instagram, then this new feature will undoubtedly boost your Instagram sales. In the past, Instagram users with online stores have used the “link in bio” workaround, as Instagram doesn’t allow its users to place external links in their posts. But now, with Shopping on Instagram, sellers are seeing an increase in traffic to their sites, and in sales in their stores.   Because this feature is new, there isn’t a way for users to attribute a specific amount of traffic to the product tags – numbers for product tags are lumped together with other Instagram reporting – but the increase in overall traffic and sales is evident.  

How Do You Get Shopping on Instagram on Your Instagram Account?

Setting up Shopping on Instagram is easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Have an existing Facebook catalog with your products
  • Use the Online Store sales channel
  • Have an Instagram business profile
  • Have the latest version of Instagram installed
  • Access your Instagram app from a U.S. IP address

Tips for Making the Most of Shopping on Instagram

Now that the Shopping on Instagram feature is available to Shopify and BigCommerce retailers, you may be wondering how to make it work best for you. Here are some tips to get you started:  

Increase Your Following, But Stay Engaged

It stands to reason that the more Instagram followers you have, the more likely you are to have increased sales. For example, say your typical Shopping on Instagram post has a 0.2% conversion rate (which may sound low), and you have 500 followers. That means that, on average, you are making one sale per post that you have tagged. However, if your following increases to 15,000, you’ll increase your sales to 30 per tagged post.   Of course, if your followers are not actively engaged with your Instagram page, your conversion rates will not stay the same. You have to maintain a level of customer engagement that keeps your followers interested. Building authentic relationships and engaging in real conversations with your followers will make your followers feel connected to your products and your store, and that will make them more likely to become customers, not just followers.  

Monitor your profit by channel. Glew’s customizable reporting allows you to keep an eye on your Instagram performance as often as you would like – set up automated reporting daily, weekly, monthly, or as often as you would like.

Product Photos are Still Important

Beautiful, detailed product images are still key to successful sales. Instagram is all about visual communication. You won’t connect with followers, or engage customers, if your pictures are just so-so. Think of your product images as an inspiration to your followers, encouraging them to make a purchase – because they are. Beautiful, nicely-styled, and professional-looking images are essential for the Shopping on Instagram feature.  

Tell a Story with Your Products

Your Instagram feed needs to add something to your online store, not simply be an extension of it. That means showcasing your merchandise in context, rather than just posting images. When your pictures tell the story of your products, followers will be far more likely to click through and buy. How do you do that? Show your products being used, encourage viewers with lifestyle ideas that incorporate your items, highlight seasonal products, and inspire followers to buy them – in other words, tell a story with them.  

What Does the Future Hold for Instagram Users?

Shopify and BigCommerce users are currently able to use Shopping on Instagram, and that’s a big deal. But what is coming in the future? Certainly, additional tracking that separates traffic numbers attributable to tags from the rest of your Instagram reporting must be on the horizon. As with any analytics, you have to be able to accurately measure results to know if your strategy is working.   Currently, Instagram’s shoppable tags are only accessible to users in the U.S. Surely, there will be global expansion in the near future. It’s also likely that you will begin to be able to use shoppable tags in Instagram ads, but for now you aren’t able to do so.  

Interested in More Information on Making Your Instagram Shoppable?

Turn your Instagram into shoppable galleries for your online store and increase profitability immediately. Reach out to a Glew Product Specialist for more information at or click here to start a free trial

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