Should Small Businesses Use Instagram’s Shopping Feature?

Last week, Instagram announced they are rolling out new shopping features. The beta brands who used Instagram shopping since Fall 2017 reported a 1,416% increase in traffic and 20% increase in revenue. We know what you’re thinking: How do I get in on this action!? Read on to learn what Shopping on Instagram is, what features exist, and if it’s right for your business.

What is Shopping on Instagram?

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Think Instagram meets Pinterest. They are building out ways for Instagram users to browse, save, and buy products from businesses. This is a big change for businesses who use Instagram to promote themselves. Historically, Instagram allows for very limited means to link a prospect back to your website. Unless your business has reached 10,000 followers and is verified allowing you to use links in stories, the only option is to “see link in bio” which we are all very used to seeing. The ability to use Instagram’s new “shopping tags” opens a new e-commerce window. Bottom line, if your business sells online you might want to read on.

How do I get started?

First, your business needs to get approved for the Instagram shopping features. Your business must (1) have a business profile, (2) adhere to Privacy Policy,  (3) sell mostly physical goods, and (4) have a Facebook Catalog to apply.

Once you are approved you can add shopping tags to images you post in the feed or in stories. These tags will bring you to a product page where users can read more or visit the website. Instagram users can explore new products and new businesses through the shopping channel in the “Explore” section.

And, what are the new features?

Instagram is making it easier for shoppers to save and go back to products they like through a “Shopping Collection.” Similar to a shopping cart or account favorites section, when Instagram users’ find products they like and click through on the tags,  they can “save” them and have the ability to go back and view those products in their “collection.” Instagram is also adding a shopping tab to business accounts, this allows users to see all of a business’ shoppable products in one place. Finally, they are adding the ability to shop via in-feed video. As a business owner, all you have to do is  tag products in videos you post to your feed.

Advice from Rivet: If you are an e-commerce business selling physical goods and Instagram is an important channel to your customer base, definitely think about starting to use Instagram shopping features.  The features Instagram rolled out in a fairly short period of time demonstrate their focus on developing this functionality. As Instagram optimizes users’ shopping experience, your opportunity to grow your business on Instagram increases.


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