Shopping on Instagram with Shopify

Using Shopify and Instagram to market your ecommerce business

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Shopify is currently testing a new feature with Instagram, that will allow shoppers to purchase items from Instagram; placing an order and paying without leaving the app. At the moment, the test is only taking place with selected US Shopify users, but as it takes off it could be an incredibly useful tool for targeting millions of Instagram users.

How does shopping on Instagram work with Shopify?

When the new feature becomes available you’ll need to be on the Basic Shopify plan or higher and have set up a Facebook business account with Shopify products added to a Facebook catalog. Instagram then works with your Facebook shop to enable shoppers to purchase from Instagram posts. You will also need a business profile on Instagram.

You’ll be able to tag products that appear in your Instagram posts, then shoppers can tap a link to view and buy the product in your online shop.

To sell your products via Instagram they will need to be a physical product (not a digital product or service), the need to be in certain categories and be in your Facebook shop catalogue.

Setting up product tags on Instagram

To set up your Instagram account:

  1. Create a business profile on Instagram (you can convert your personal Instagram profile into a business profile).
  2. In Instagram go to your settings
  3. Tap Products to enable product tagging and review the feature.
  4. Authenticate your Facebook Business account to connect your Instagram business profile to your Facebook product catalogue.
  5. Select your Facebook Catalog
  6. Tap ‘Next’ then tap ‘Done’.

After you complete the setup on Instagram, you should make sure that your Facebook page is connected to your Instagram business profile in Shopify. On the Facebook account page, make sure that the name of your business’s Instagram account appears in the Instagram account section.

To change the product description, name, or price shown in the product tag details, you need to edit product listing on Shopify and publish the updated product to Facebook.

Find out more about how Instagram tagging will work with Shopify here

Why use Instagram with Shopify

Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users. This is a staggering number of people that are on the platform looking at millions of images, searching for inspiration and new products - so you should be putting your shop and your products out there for these potential customers to discover. If the sheer volume of users isn’t enough to persuade you to give it a try, 75% of Instagram users will take some sort of action, such as visiting a website after looking at an Instagram advertising post.

Using Instagram to promote your Shopify store

While the Instagram shopping feature isn’t currently available to sellers outside of the US, there’s still plenty of ways that you can and should be using Instagram to promote your business.

  • Instagram post ideas:
    - Lifestyle photos that demonstrate how your products would fit into a customer’s life, how they can use the product.
    - Short product videos will work even better to demonstrate how the product can be used.
    - Promote new products
    - Take ‘behind the scenes’ photos so that your customers can build a bond with your brand.
    - Use words in your Instagram images - announce sales and discounts.
  • Make sure all your posts fit your brand and are specifically targeted and relevant to your customers.  
  • Use hashtags to make your posts easier for Instagram users to discover
  • For standard Instagram posts links included in the caption won’t work. You can either direct shoppers to your profile page and include a link in your Instagram bio, or include the link in the caption and ask them to copy and paste it.
  • Interact with other Instagram users and companies - reply to comments, comment and ‘like’ others posts.
  • Run competitions on Instagram that encourage people to like your photo and tag others to be in with a chance of winning one of your products.
Find out more about marketing your ecommerce business with Instagram here and learn more about marketing your ecommerce business here

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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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