One year ago, Instagram officially launched Instagram Shopping for businesses in the U.S., making shopping and selling in-app easy and seamless. This feature, which allows brands to tag shoppable products in their organic posts, offers shoppers the opportunity to view product details and pricing with just the tap of a finger.

Related: How to Use Instagram Stories Highlights to Up Your Game on Social

Now, the platform has announced it’s expanding its shopping capabilities to the U.K., Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Brazil.

This announcement also comes with minor updates to the shopping feature, the most notable being a persistent Shop tab. The Shop tab, located on business accounts’ profile, cultivates every post tagged with a brand’s shoppable products into one feed.

As foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores continues to fall—it dropped about seven percent in the second half of 2017, according to eMarketer—ecommerce sales are steadily growing. U.S. retail ecommerce sales increased 16.3% to $454.91 billion in 2017, and mobile sales played a big role.

U.S. retail ecommerce sales increased 16.3 percent to $454.91 billion in 2017, and mobile sales played a big role.

Instagram says 80 percent of its 800 million users follow an ‘active shopping business’ account, and 200 million accounts visit one or more business profiles daily. With the app’s continued surge in popularity and a year’s worth of success with American businesses, Instagram Shopping is poised to make hugely positive developments in mobile ecommerce on a global scale.

Instagram Shopping—Retail Mcommerce eMarketer

eMarketer estimates commerce via smartphones will increase 37.5% in 2018.

TL;DR If you’re in retail and you’re not already using Instagram Shopping, now is the time to start.

Getting Started with Instagram Shopping

To use Instagram’s Shopping feature, you must have an Instagram business account (learn how to do that here) and a product catalog synced with Facebook. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to tag up to five products in a single image and up to 20 products in a carousel. Instagram recommends tagging at least two products per photo. 

Instagram says 80 percent of its 800 million users follow an ‘active shopping business’ account, and 200 million accounts visit one or more business profiles daily.

Instagram ShoppingInstagram Shopping

Activate the Shop Tab

To activate the new Shop tab, you must have nine shopping posts with product tags. Once it’s activated, all of your posts with product tags will be available under your Shop tab, in addition to your account profile. You can also go back and tag products in your old posts.

Make sure the product catalog synced with your Facebook is always up-to-date, and your product descriptions and prices are accurate.

Instagram ShoppingInstagram Shopping

A great way to introduce the new feature to your followers is by using Instagram Stories, and highlighting it in a new Instagram post.

A great way to introduce the new feature to your followers is by using Instagram Stories, and highlighting it in a new Instagram post.

Keep experimenting with format, content, and the platform’s other features to see what gets the most engagement from your audience, make sure to keep your product catalog up-to-date, and continue creating shopping posts part of your account’s regular cadence.

Want more tips to help you increase sales and improve your brand’s engagement on social? Download our free retail marketing strategies ebook.

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