Instagram has been slowly adding business-friendly features, and this latest update fixes a huge problem people have been complaining about. Until recently, Facebook ads on Instagram were the best way to direct people to your site. The only other opportunity was to say, “link in bio” in each post caption to remind them of the only way they had to visit our homepage. We’ve been dying for a way to turn our image gallery into a shopping gallery without taking out an ad on every post featuring a product, and Instagram has finally given us an answer. Read on to learn more and find out why you need to start using shoppable Instagram posts.
Two Ways To See Shoppable Instagram Posts
- Gallery. When Instagramers visit our profile and look at our gallery, they can see a tiny white shopping bag in the top right-hand corner of each shoppable post. You can see it in the same place as the tiny video camera indicating which posts are videos and the tiny squares that indicate a post contains multiple pictures.
- Newsfeed. While scrolling through their newsfeed, Instagramers can see that same white shopping bag in the bottom left-hand corner of shoppable posts. It will say, “Tap To View Products.” This is just the beginning of the new shopping experience.
Users can tap on the icon to reveal arrows in the image that will point to the items in the image that are for sale, along with prices and product names. So, if the image contains a protein shake, a blender, and weights, an arrow might point to each of those with a name and price. For example, “John’s branded blender, $50” and “Morning Protein Booster, $3.”
Here’s where it gets exciting … and shoppable. Users can now tap on those price and product details to be taken to a new screen. This is where we might share a picture of the protein shake and powder pack along with more details. Maybe we want to share nutrition information, limited time sale info, or a recipe that makes it sound irresistible. The point is, we can get their attention and help lead to them more info, rather than relying solely on the monotony of the “link in bio” mantra.
It gets better. There’s a “Shop Now” button available on that product details page. If they choose to shop now, they’ll be taken directly to our website’s product page where they can select details, such as flavor or quantity, add it to their cart, and checkout.
On Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, this is second nature, but to have this feature available in Instagram relieves an itch many of us have been biting our nails over for years.
Shoppable Instagram Posts Are Live
This feature has been in beta for a little while and is still only available to a limited number of shops. Around 30,000 businesses on Shopify were brought in on the program. While acceptance to the program has been closed, we can get updates by adding our email on this Shopify page.
It may be too late to join this particular program, but if the past is any indicator, Instagram will roll this out to the general public in batches. Being the next to be invited will help put you ahead of the crowd! Not to mention it will be pretty impressive and attention-getting for your audience.
Once invited, there are a few steps to activate the feature. It is unclear whether Instagram will stay with Shopify or if the feature will be opened to everyone. In preparation, you might familiarize yourself with Shopify, if you don’t already have an online fitness store there, and get ready to add a Shopify catalog, just in case. If they do roll it out to everyone, all you will have wasted is a few hours of research and set-up time.
Prepare For Shoppable Instagram Posts: Step-By-Step
- If you don’t already have one, set up an Instagram account. Even if you don’t have physical products to sell, you can showcase your personal training prowess in your gallery, give advice in the stories feature, and answer questions in the live video feature.
- Make sure the Instagram account you set up is a business account. That means you need to have a public Facebook page that you connect to your Instagram account. It’s simple enough to achieve and will give you access to analytics, ads, and audience stats.
- Make sure you set everything up from a U.S. IP address. The test market was the U.S., which means the feature will most likely be rolled out to U.S. accounts first.
- Set up that Shopify Account. This is a paid service, but they have reasonable plans that will fit just about every budget. Their pricing and plans page feature a number of options, but if you feel like these aren’t a perfect fit, call and speak with a representative.
- Once you’ve set up your Shopify site, it can and should be connected to your public Facebook page. This way your products can be seen, shopped and purchased directly through Facebook. This is a feature that has been around for a little while.
- Set up your products and services on your Shopify site. This product has made itself pretty simple to use, but here is their beginner guide. They also have a responsive customer service team.
It may sound like a lot, but each of these steps is fairly simple. If you are going through these steps in order to be prepared for the shoppable post feature on Instagram, then you can take a little time to add products and categories. If you didn’t have a Facebook page or Instagram account, then you should get these set up anyway.
Shoppable Instagram posts are a huge, long-awaited solution for merchants. It not only means we can finally direct people to our fitness products, but it also means we’ll be able to track traffic with much more specificity. Knowing exactly what people on Instagram are interested in and are responding to is critical to understanding our audience and making sure we continue to meet their needs and provide value.