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What is Shopping on Instagram?

Have you ever seen a picture of something you really like, and then wondered how you can buy it?

Shopping on Instagram allows business owners to tag physical products in Instagram posts and stories. Users can then click on the product and go straight to the companies website to make a purchase.  


HOT TIP: You may not know but Instagram is now trialling an e-commerce platform.

It’s still in a beta phase so not available to everyone, but what it means is users will no longer be redirected to a website or landing page to complete their purchase. They’ll be able to add their credit card details to Instagram and shop til their heart’s content!

This feature gives businesses who sell consumables a massive leg up. It rewards great visual content and is the latest evolution of the way we shop online.

We’ll keep you posted here with more updates as they come to hand!

Getting the big Thumbs up from Instagram 👍

Before you can set up Shopping on Instagram, your profile needs to meet certain eligibility criteria.

What are the eligibility criteria?

The main criteria to be eligible for shopping on Instagram are:

  • Your location: not all countries are eligible, but the good news is that Australia and New Zealand are.
  • The account must be for a business the primarily sells physical goods
  • Accounts must be converted to a business profile and you must comply with Instagrams commerce policies
  • The Facebook business page you link to can’t have any country or age restrictions, or use “message to buy”.
  • Your Instagram business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalogue.

Instagram Shopping Set Up

Here’s what you need to do to start the Instagram shopping process.

  1. Head to the app store and download the latest version of Instagram on your mobile.
  2. Flip your Instagram account from a personal profile to a business profile
  3. Ensure you are an admin of a Facebook Business Page or Public profile Account.
  4. It’s essential that you set up a product catalogue on your Facebook page.
  5. You can only sell physical goods, which mean no services.

Hot Tip: Good news for businesses who use Shopify or Big Commerce, you can import your product catalogue directly into Instagram and Facebook. Trust us, this saves you loads of time!

Pending Approval

Once you have done everything to meet the eligibility criteria then Instagram will automatically review the account for feature accessibility.

Once approved, you’ll be notified and have the ability to add shopping tag features on your posts.

The approval process normally takes roughly 2-3 days but can be longer if a higher detail review needs to be taken.

Enable Product Tagging

The next step is to enable product tagging through your Instagram account.

These product tags make your products discoverable and allow users to buy through posts.

Here’s how to get set up with product tags:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Choose the Get Started alert at the top of your profile (it’s ok, if the alert doesn’t appear then you can access it through the options in the settings menu)
  3. Select Products
  4. Click Continue
  5. Select a product catalogue to connect to your business profile.
  6. Click Done

Don’t Panic! If these options aren’t available to you then your account probably hasn’t been approved yet. Just be patient and try again another day.

Create a shopping post or story

So the last step is to tag your products in Instagram posts, and here’s how you do it:

  1. Selected your photo and add your caption, effects, and filters, then tap Tag Products from the Share screen
  2. Tap the products in the photo you want to tag
  3. Enter the names of the products you want to tag, then select them as they appear in the search box.
  4. Click Done
  5. Click Share

Note: Instagram recommends your tags touch directly on the related product. You can also preview tagged products or save a draft.

You also need to know

These tips will help you understand how to make the most of your Shopping for Instagram experience:

  • You can:
    • tag 5 products per one single image post or 20 products per multi-image post
  • You can’t:
    • tag people and products in the same post (for now)
    • You can’t tag boomerangs, videos, or animated gifs
    • You can’t promote your shopping posts (pay to have them appear), they only work on organic posts
  • If you can’t tag a certain product for any reason (even if it is in your catalogue) then it could be that the product was not approved, or it is a duplicate product
  • Once you have created a shopping post in your feed a “Shop” button will appear on your Instagram profile
  • You can view your engagement and other metrics through the Insights to find out which posts are working and which aren’t. Make sure you are optimising your posts
  • When a user taps on a product tag they will see an image of the product, a description, its cost and lastly, a link directing them to your website for purchase

Need Help?

NewyMedia is a digital marketing company based in Newcastle, Australia. If you need help with your Shopping on Instagram set up, or with any of your social media marketing for that matter, then we are here to help. You can contact us here, or sign up below to join our mailing list for more great tips and advice.

About NewyMedia

We’re a digital marketing agency in Newcastle, Australia. Working closely with our clients we take a holistic approach to your digital marketing, including you and your team in the journey to deliver personalised and tailored solutions.

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