Best PracticesE-Commerce

Instagram shoppable media for small businesses

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The Instagram Market

Jeremie Levray introduces the sheer scale of the Instagram opportunity, and one of their recent killer features: Shoppable Media.

Brandon Leibowitz provides this helpful overview to the potential of using Instagram for e-commerce. Semrush describes that is now a fully fledged channel for selling products online.

Jia Wertz explains how you can grow sales via Instagram with zero budget, providing handy insights into how to balance your promotional vs informative postings. Social media expert Neil Patel builds on this to add four additional insights.

EcommerceCEO explores 15 Instagram marketing tips to spread your brand like wildfire, and SUMO offers case studies of nine entrepreneurs who have grown their business on the network.

Shoppable Media

Instagram has evolved over the years to become a medium for small businesses to hit their target market and generate more sales.

The changes it has witnessed from its expanded stories to its emphasis on high-quality visuals and the release of shoppable media has seen Instagram become an interactive and engaging media platform where e-commerce brands can showcase their products and grow successful.

That is why they first launched Instagram Shopping where products are tagged directly by brands and customers are redirected to the item when they want to make a purchase.

Well, Instagram has decided to go all out and make their platform more interactive and able to drive more web traffic, they introduced the biggest game-changer for e-commerce brands; the Shoppable Post.

This is part of a general trend of Shoppable Media, as we enter the era of Social Shopping, transforming how consumers find and then buy products.

Big brands are getting creative with it, brands like Philips for example, and five other case studies explored by Hubspot.

Shoppable Posts

These shoppable posts were designed so e-commerce brands would be able to tag their products within an image and redirect a user to the “add to cart section” on brands site when they tap on the product.

It’s quite easy to add shopping tags to your products on Instagram, and it’s such a cool idea, but to qualify for shoppable media there are few criteria’s to be met:

  • There must be a recently updated version of Instagram on your device.
  • The Instagram account must be a business page.
  • The business you’re running must comply with Instagram merchant policies.
  • The company running the business must sell only physical goods.
  • Only admins of Facebook business pages or business accounts are qualified to run shoppable media.
  • Another criterion to have access to shoppable media is by connecting your business page to your Facebook catalog.

How brands sell with the shoppable post on Instagram

When the feature got launched in July 2018, there were brands that were used for a test batch and these brands were US-based Instagram business accounts.

Through their partnership with Shopify, they were able to give access to over 30,000 businesses. Although the test programs have ended, for you to be able to use this feature;

  • An account must be created with Shopify or BigCommerce, and you must own a product catalog on Facebook.
  • After setting up your account, you have to wait for it to be reviewed and approved for shopping. Once you’re approved, Instagram would notify you.
  • Once you’ve gotten the notification, you’ll have access to shopping features and can begin to add products to your post except Instagram states otherwise.

You can convert your post to shoppable media by;

  • Uploading and tagging your products in an image. You can tag as much as five items per image and 20 items if it’s a carousel post.
  • Add your captions and select the “tag product” option which is below the” tag people” option. When typing the name of the product, Instagram would match them to the names of products on your Facebook catalog page for easy tagging.
  • Then share for your followers to view.

These shoppable media posts do have a shopping bag icon on them which you can tap to view the product details. If you tap on the product detail tag, it takes you to a new page with more information on the product. There you have access to a shop now button that leads to the e-commerce website of the seller where you can make that purchase.

Other how to guides include this one from Hootsuite, and Later explores how to make money from shoppable posts. Orlando Trott charts the whole shoppable media ecosystem.

As a small business owner, to fully maximize the effect of Shoppable media, you need to create fantastic content for your post. From write-ups to high-quality images, all these are necessary to sell that product. You also need to use hashtags to get the image of your product on Instagram explore.

Last but not least, make use of influencing marketing which is a smart way of getting your products in front of a large number of people.

Digital Scotland
Editor of the DigitalScot.net site.

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