As an eCommerce retailer, you probably want to expand your sales network by selling on Instagram to make more money but don’t know how to go about it.
Well, you can sell on Instagram using Instagram Shopping. This feature allows you to create digital, shareable catalogs of your products on Instagram.
Instead of directing your Instagram followers to your eCommerce website to make purchases, you can engage them directly on your Instagram account through Instagram Shopping.
Think of an Instagram shop as a landing page where people can browse products. Potential customers can select and purchase your products from the Instagram app.
The great news is that over 130 million Instagram users tap on the platform’s shopping posts every month. So the vast market is an excellent opportunity to sell products.
I’ll show you how to sell products on Instagram, from setting up an Instagram shop to how to maximize profits in the marketplace. Here are the topics we’ll cover in this guide.
- Requirements to Start Selling on Instagram
- Steps on How to Sell Products on Instagram
- Best Tips to Sell Effectively More on Instagram
- Reasons to Sell Products Or Services On Instagram
- How To Tag Products With Instagram Shoppable Posts
That said, let’s dive straight into the facts!
No. Instagram doesn’t require you to provide a business license to start selling on the platform. However, you must meet its eligibility requirements for eCommerce retailers.
Here are a few eligibility requirements to fulfill to start an eCommerce business on Instagram.
Your physical location must be in one of Instagram’s supported markets.
Check if your location is among the supported markets for Instagram Shopping. For example, the United States and Canada are among the supported markets.
Pro Tip: Instagram Shopping provides checkout services only for users in the United States.
Ensure you comply with all Instagram’s policies. Lack of compliance with the guidelines may result in your account’s closure, which may negatively affect your business.
Your Instagram professional account must demonstrate a high level of trustworthiness, including an authentic, established online presence.
Ensure that your brand is trustworthy to gain an authentic follower base. Evaluate your follower list and remove suspicious bot accounts that follow you.
When listing a product on your Instagram shop, provide accurate information to avoid misleading potential customers.
The product details must match the information provided on your website. Besides, your return and refund policies must be clear and straightforward.
Your Instagram shop must feature available products on your eCommerce site for sale. That means you must create a website before opening an Instagram shop.
Selling items on Instagram Shopping without a website can be challenging. Instead, consider launching an eCommerce website if you haven’t done that before.
Selling products on Instagram might seem daunting, but it’s not when you understand what to do. Instead, it’s pretty straightforward, and I’ll show you every step to follow.
Here are the steps on how to sell items on an Instagram shop.
What kind of products do you plan to sell on Instagram?
You can answer that question by defining and narrowing your niche product. This will help you select best-selling products and convert leads into sales.
Specializing in a specific niche product allows you to engage your target audience and convince them to purchase your products.
It will be easy to penetrate the minds of your target customers, understand their needs and wants, and provide products or services that fulfill them.
So, how do you select your niche product?
- Figure out your target customers’ behavior, passions, and interests
- Analyze how competitor businesses in your target niche product perform
- Think about how your products or services can solve their problems and needs
- Pick products with visually appealing aesthetics as they tend to sell faster
- Go through your customers’ comments and posts on social media and forums to understand their problems and pain points
Once you’ve selected the niche product to sell, switch to an Instagram business account for free. A business profile will help you manage and grow your brand’s online presence.
With a business Instagram account, you’ll also access several business tools and features, such as sponsored posts, scheduled posts, branded content, and the ability to run ads.
Switching your Instagram personal profile to a business profile is a straightforward process that will take only a few seconds.
Here are the steps to follow to switch to an Instagram business profile account.
a). Go to your Instagram profile and click the three short horizontal lines at the upper right corner of the page.
b). Tap the “Settings” option and click the “Account” button from the list.
c). You’ll get a popup with two options: “Switch to Personal Account” and “Switch to Business Account.” Next, select the “Switch to Business Account” Option.
d). Confirm the upgrade by tapping the “Switch.” You’ll get a notification that you’ve switched to a business profile.
Setting up an Instagram shop allows you to access features to improve your shopping experience. Examples include Instagram live shopping and product tags in posts.
If you live in the United States, you’ll also be able to use Instagram’s Checkout feature. Customers won’t leave the app to complete purchases.
However, Instagram Checkout is only available for users in the United States. That means you won’t access the checkout feature if you travel outside the U.S.
Here is how to set up an Instagram Shop.
- Log into your Instagram account and click your profile dashboard
- Click the “Settings” tab, then click on “Creator.”
- Click the “Set Up Instagram Shopping” and connect your catalog
- Enter your website for verification by Instagram
- Set up your preferred checkout option and choose your sales channels
- Add items to at least one catalog and preview the shop to ensure it looks good
If you own a Facebook business account, you can connect it to your Instagram to leverage your customers’ shopping experience.
Go to “Settings.” Tap “Account,” then “Linked Accounts.” Link the Instagram shop to the Facebook business page representing your shop and associated with your business manager.
Creating creative and engaging content can help you connect with an extensive customer base.
The content you post must be exciting and visually appealing. Also, it should prompt your followers to repost or share with their friends on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Here are some of the content to post on your Instagram and improve customer engagement.
- User Generated Content: These are posts from Instagram users who have purchased and used your products. They display authentic images, improving your credibility.
- Fun Instagram Reels: You can create fun and exciting product videos to engage your followers on Instagram. Brand storytelling videos can also be compelling.
- High-Quality Product Pictures: Sharing pictures featuring your products can help promote your brand and drive sales on Instagram.
- Product Tags: These can make it easy and convenient for Instagram users to buy products on mobile directly. Product tags are ideal for running sales.
Other posts to share are how-to tutorials, inspirational quotes, memes, trending games and challenges, open-ended questions, and content created by influencers.
Your profile bio is the only place you can add a clickable external link. The link can be the website to your eCommerce store, an online course, or a link for your products.
If you run an online store, you can insert its URL in the profile bio to drive traffic to the shop.
Whenever your followers and potential customers click the link, they will get redirected to your eCommerce website, where they can purchase products.
Here is how to leverage URLs in your profile bio to increase conversions.
- Edit the URL by shortening the links when they are too long
- Notify your followers to click the link in your bio, as this will motivate them to act
- Change the link regularly based on the product you are promoting
Pro Tip: You can add multiple links in one post to get more traffic from your Instagram to your website. Remember to include a call-to-action, such as “Click the link to…” and “Shop now.”
If you have trouble getting more traffic, consider investing in Instagram ad campaigns.
Instagram ads can help you reach a more targeted audience and drive traffic to your shop.
However, you must first select a specific objective for your ad campaign. For example, do you want to build brand awareness or intrigue purchase intent?
Here are the different types of Instagram ads to consider.
- Ads in Explore: Use the ads on Instagram’s Explore page
- Carousel Ads: A set of 2-10 swipeable photos or videos in a single ad
- Collection Ads: Provide a collection of products in an image or video format
- Photo Ads: Use a simple picture in a square or landscape format
- Slideshow Ads: Consist of a series of still images in a video format
- Stories Ads: Post Instagram stories in image or video format
- Video Ads: A video of up to 120 seconds long in a square or landscape format
Source: New York Times
Another strategy to improve product discoverability is sharing shoppable posts with your target audience on Instagram.
The shoppable Instagram feeds are an excellent way to advertise products to your followers and potential clients.
You can add product tags to your Instagram feed posts.
The tags usually display a product’s name and price and allow customers to add to their cart or redirect them to your website.
Potential customers can tap the tags to find more information about your product or service.
Most importantly, include a call-to-action in the shoppable posts to compel potential customers to make purchases.
For example, you can tell them to click the link in your bio to get more details on your products.
So, how do you create shoppable posts for Instagram feeds? We’ll find out later in this guide.
As a business owner on Instagram, you need to use Instagram selling tools to help grow your business on Instagram. These third-party tools can make your feeds more shoppable.
Some tools can help you optimize your Instagram posts, including photo management software.
Here are some tools you can use to increase your sales on Instagram.
- Soldsie: Turning product images into shoppable posts. This commenting tool allows users to buy by commenting “sold” or providing product details.
- Spreesy: This app requires customers to drop their email addresses in the comment section to get secure checkout links.
- Inselly: You can use this tool to add dedicated hashtags to your description to help users find shoppable content.
- LiketoKnow.It: This tool embeds your products with affiliate links. If users like your photos, the tool emails them a list of shoppable products in the post.
- Have2Have.It: You can use this app to add a storefront link to a shoppable page in your bio. It has the same design as an Instagram feed.
Instagram Checkout is a newly introduced feature for shop owners on Instagram.
It allows customers to purchase products directly from the Instagram app without leaving it.
This method is safe, secure, and straightforward as it involves a few steps.
However, Instagram Checkout is only available for shop owners in the United States. You cannot use the feature when you travel outside the country.
Instagram’s live shopping can also grow your sales on Instagram if used correctly.
The live shopping feature provides an interactive shopping experience for approved Instagram shops in the United States.
You can sell items during an Instagram live broadcast, allowing you to interact with viewers and engage with potential buyers in real-time.
The good thing about this feature is that you can go live at any time to promote your products.
During the live broadcast, you’ll be able to grab people’s attention and get immediate feedback.
You can use Instagram live shopping to feature new products and promotions, schedule live shopping broadcasts, and collaborate with creators or influencers.
Now that you understand how to sell products on Instagram, you must do everything possible to maximize your sales on the social media platform.
The following tips will help you sell effectively on Instagram.
The Instagram algorithm is an intuitive set of instructions that dictates how Instagram displays content based on the users’ interests, behavior, and search history.
After considering user history, trends, relevance, and location, the algorithm will prioritize the best and most relevant posts and give them more visibility.
Influencer marketing is vital for business growth on Instagram. It helps you reach your target audience by placing your products before customers interested in your niche.
You can win the consumers’ trust and boost your brand’s credibility by partnering with reputable Instagram influencers. Just identify influencers who resonate with your target audience.
You can create and publish videos of up to 60 seconds long about your brand.
The great news is that you can tag products in the reels. That makes it easier for viewers to access your products or collections featured in the videos.
Research hashtags relevant to your niche and use them in your posts. This makes it easy for customers to find your products. Besides, you can use hashtag generators in the research.
Also, adding captivating captions can help you engage your followers and potential customers. Respond to their questions, comments, and complaints.
When writing captions, remember to include a compelling call-to-action (CTA) to push viewers or readers to take action, such as buying your products or sharing the content.
Examples of CTAs are “Buy now!”, “Get it now!”, “Share with friends!” and “Order before it’s gone!” You can use any CTA provided you compel viewers to do something.
You can tell stories about your product or brand through Instagram Stories to help viewers understand what your business offers them.
The coolest part is that you can add product stickers to the video stories to increase sales. Besides, you can feature them in your highlights for new profile viewers.
Instagram Promotions allow users to convert regular Instagram stories, posts, or highlights into sponsored options for a fee. They have a “Sponsored” tag below the Instagram handle.
Thankfully, promoted posts can increase your brand awareness significantly. They can also help you direct traffic to where you want it and increase sales.
Selling products or services on Instagram can help you reach your target audience and drive traffic to your page or website to increase sales significantly.
Here are the other reasons to sell on Instagram:
- Instagram has a user-friendly platform, making it easy to sell products
- Instagram is among the most popular social media platforms worldwide
- Its massive user base of about one billion monthly active users offers a ready market
- You can target the audience in your niche by showing your products to the right people
- Instagram allows US-based users to buy directly from the app using a built-in checkout
Tagging products in your Instagram posts can help your target audience learn more about your products or services, increasing your sales.
You can tag products in both existing and new posts on your Instagram professional account.
When tagging products in a new post, click “Tag Products” under the description in your post. Then, click where you want to place the tag on the image post.
Select the products you want to tag on the post and move the tag where you want it to appear on your post. You can tag up to five products per single image or video post.
To tag products in an existing post, click the three dots on the right top corner, then click “edit,” followed by “Tag Product.” Next, click anywhere in the image and select products to tag.
So far, I’ve tackled some of the most essential aspects of selling on Instagram, but it’s also worth answering the following questions.
Selling items on Instagram is free. So you won’t spend any money when setting up an Instagram Shop and selling products on the platform.
However, you’ll pay a small fee when you opt for Instagram ads to reach many potential customers and increase sales.
Instagram is a highly profitable platform when used as a sales and eCommerce tool. It’s a user-friendly and engaging platform.
Instagram allows creators to engage directly with followers or potential customers to build relationships. You need to post videos and photos to promote your products.
You can sell products on Instagram by creating shoppable posts with CTAs that compel your followers or potential customers to purchase your products.
Shoppable posts have product tags that allow people to purchase directly through them. Shoppers can click on the tags and get redirected to your product catalog.
Some of the best-selling products on Instagram include clothes, jewelry, health products, beauty products, and interior home designs.
You need to explore various options to find what is trending on Instagram. You can then specialize in your preferred product niche to increase sales.
Selling on Instagram with Instagram Shopping is highly reliable and profitable. It’s one of the best ways to make money online as you socialize with millions of people globally.
If your business is not on Instagram yet, consider creating a profile on the platform to engage with millions of customers. Then, you can open an Instagram shop and start selling immediately.
Most importantly, ensure that you fulfill all the eligibility requirements for Instagram Shopping.