Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become one of the most used social platforms in the world; making it a valuable source of advertising for a huge number of businesses. Instagram, like any platform, is constantly creating, developing and releasing new features and fixes to make it even more useful.
Recently, Instagram began to roll out their new "Shopping on Instagram" business tool, making it possible for the first time for brands to link directly to products featured in the posts. Shopping on Instagram allows you to turn your company profile into a storefront and gives customers key information, such as the product name and price, before they've even left the app.
Unfortunately, shopping on Instagram isn't available globally yet and can only be used by businesses based in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil. At the moment, only approved businesses can use the shopping on Instagram feature - if you're not approved yet, continue reading below to learn how to gain approval from Instagram.
How does it work?
When a user sees your post, they'll see a small shopping icon at the bottom left of your post. The user can then tap your post to display product tags, showing the product name and price - clicking this tag takes the user to the products specific page on your own website where the customer can complete their purchase. Customers can also view a full shop page by clicking the "Shop" button on your profile, allowing them to see all of the posts from your account which they can shop.
Becoming approved for shopping on Instagram
As we mentioned earlier, shopping on Instagram is only available in selected countries at the moment so if your business is based outside of the approved list you won't be approved to use this feature. In order to be approved for shopping on Instagram, you'll need to make sure that your:
- Instagram account is a business profile, not a personal profile - learn how easy this is in our handy post
- Business is within the approved countries listed above
- Business sells physical products which comply with Instagram's commerce policies and merchant agreement
- Your profile is connected to a Facebook catalog
If you meet all of these requirements but your account still hasn't been approved for shopping on Instagram, just be patient - on average the approval process takes a few days, but it varies from business to business.
How do I add product tags to my post?
Once your account is approved, you can start showing your product tags! Tagging your products on Instagram is as effortless as tagging a location or a friend, but requires some set up before you can get started. First, you'll need to turn on product tagging within the app:
- Log into the Instagram app and go to your profile
- Click the Get Started notice which will be showing at the top of your profile - if you don't see this, instead go to Settings, click Shopping and Continue
- Select a product catalog to connect to your profile - this can be created on Business Manager, through certain website platforms or on your Facebook page
- Click Done
Now that your profile is set up and ready to use products, you can start adding product tags to your posts. Once you've snapped your photo and applied your favourite filter, simply tap the product in your photo which you'd like to add a tag to and then enter the product's name - the names will appear in the search box, just select the correct one for your product. That's it! Just click done and share your post as you normally would.
Use insights to measure your product tag performance
If you're not already using Instagram's analytics tool, you're definitely missing out. Instagram's insights launched alongside their business profile option, and now allows you to also track engagement and click through data on product tagged posts too.
Remember: if you delete a product tag from your post or you delete a product from your catalogue, you'll lose the product-level insights for the post.