Like most of the marketing industry, 2020 shook up social media as TikTok dance challenges seemed to take over our feeds and social commerce became synonymous with shopping anywhere.
In the last year, we’ve seen Instagram become an even more important channel for brands to engage authentically with their customers and biggest fans. Thus, why we have created the ultimate Instagram shopping guide for 2021.
So, take a look at all the ways you can sell your products and engage customers this year on Instagram.
1. Set up Instagram Shopping
Opening an Instagram storefront is an excellent way to make your shoppable posts interactive in the feed. Give your customers a direct pathway to purchase by curating your Instagram Shop with products accessible through the “View Shop” button on your Instagram profile page.
First, you must make sure your profile is set up as an Instagram for Business account and optimized for your business goals.
Within your Instagram Shop, your customers can view collections, top picks, and helpful shopping guides. Instagram’s latest feed allows shoppers to view more of the products they’re highly likely to buy, based on their previous post and brand engagement. By selecting a product, shoppers can view more product images, pricing, and additional retailer products. And with Instagram Checkout, you can even allow shoppers to purchase without ever leaving Instagram.
2. Convert with Checkout on Instagram
Since Instagram launched its in-app checkout functionality, it has grown shoppable posts exponentially within the platform.
Checkout on Instagram streamlines the path to purchase even more for US-based customers who can buy products seamlessly without leaving the app.
3. Create shoppable posts
In-feed shopping is made easy with the ability to tag products listed in your Instagram Shop directly in your feed posts. You can also tag products in Instagram Stories, IGTV videos, Reels, Guides, and Live broadcasts—but more on that in a bit.
Posting your shoppable products directly in the feed allows your customers to see them in use, providing sizing, fit, and styling context. Customers then tap a product tag to view your product details, visit your brand’s website, or buy the item using Checkout on Instagram.
4. Maximize your shoppable link options
Once you set up your Instagram Shop and your customers can purchase your products, it’s time to introduce your new shoppable content. Add multiple links to your product posts, leading customers to your Instagram Shop product pages to buy right now.
Use imagery that shows several of your product options, allowing you to share more with your customers. Check out our later section on how to optimize your shoppable images.
5. Don’t forget to link in bio
You likely already have your brand website URL listed in your Instagram profile bio. But have you thought about how much more you can do with that real estate?
The link in your Instagram bio can direct customers to your latest product launches, seasonal collections, blogs, and video content. Your link can do it all. Using a third-party tool—like Linktree or Later’s Linkin.bio—brands can drive customers to featured content and learn what products your followers are interested in most. You can even create a clickable Instagram feed, providing users with an easy way to find what they’re looking for from your recent posts.
6. Gift your customers with Instagram Guides
Instagram Guides are a recent edition to shoppable in-feed content, providing brands with the opportunity to package existing content into a helpful resource for customers. You can also share tips and recommendations and offer fresh commentary on your products.
Using one of the three available formats—places, products, or posts—you can curate guides based on what resonates most with your target audience. Maximize your Instagram content shelf by compiling relevant posts together that allow customers to get to know your products more or find new products they’ll love.
A few guides you may consider are gift guides, product resources and highlights, how-to info, tips and tricks, roundups, and FAQs.
7. Add product links to Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allows brands to get in front of their audience even more. If you set up your Business account for Instagram Shopping, you can create tappable product stickers and “Swipe up” links to your Instagram Shop product catalog in your Stories.
And if you have more than 10K followers, you can add any web URL link to “Swipe up” and drive traffic to your brand’s website. You can build Stories highlights for customers visiting your business profile to find your featured shoppable products.
8. Create shoppable IGTV and Instagram Reels
Two new ways to highlight and sell products on Instagram is through video content developed for IGTV and Instagram Reels. Video continues to be an engaging way to connect with your customers and introduce them to new products and best sellers.
With the “View Products” button on IGTV or Instagram Reels, viewers can easily buy, save, or learn about your featured products. If you work with creators on Instagram, you may soon have the opportunity to have them tag products in their Reels, which builds on Instagram’s Shopping from Creators offering.
9. Streamline the route from influence to purchase
Instagram Shopping from Creators allows brands to partner with approved influencers, celebrities, or creators to drive purchases of your featured products. Creators can tag your products, allowing their followers to tap, browse, and purchase directly through Instagram Checkout.
Note: Currently, brands must have Instagram Checkout to access Shopping from Creators, and not all creators can create shoppable tags yet. But this capability will likely expand across creators in the coming months.
10. Sell with Instagram Live shopping
Instagram Live videos show up at the front of the Instagram Stories pack, allowing your customers to quickly and easily access your live broadcasts. Add in the fully integrated shopping experience during this broadcast, and it’s likely to change social commerce altogether.
Think back to the days of QVC and teleshopping—they’re not over. Instagram Live shopping provides you with the opportunity to showcase products up close and answer any questions within the broadcast as your audience purchases in real time.
11. Don’t forget to curate your shoppable feed
Finally, to reach new followers and engage long-standing customers, keep your feed fresh with shoppable content. Hint: that doesn’t always mean coordinating and executing a large product photoshoot.
Leverage user-generated content (UGC). Bridge UGC and product photography with designed graphics and templates. Mix and match to fit your feed aesthetic. And remember, lo-fi video is quite engaging with most audiences.
Check out the new Professional Dashboard on Instagram, giving you a single spot to track performance, access and discover new tools, and explore Instagram’s educational content.
Embrace Instagram Shopping with the right agency partner
DEG expertly helps brands like yours navigate the social media ecosystem to build engaging brand content leveraging award-winning strategy. Whether you need help setting up your Instagram for Business account, optimizing your shoppable feed, or developing thumb-stopping video content, we can help.
Let’s chat about how we can work together to drive more social commerce for your brand.