Over the years, millions of brands have flocked to Instagram to spread awareness among millennials, Gen Z, and members of other generations on the app. And, at this point, Instagram marketing has proven to be a smart tactic. At present, 90% of Instagram’s more than 1 billion user base follow a business page on the platform. But, while Instagram has been a great place for brands to engage with target audiences, it hasn’t always been easy for those companies to convert their followers into customers. When the app was launched, Instagram only allowed links in profile bios. Soon after, the platform allowed users to place links in Stories, but only if they had a verified account or more than 10,000 followers. This meant that smaller or less-followed brands had to think strategically so their Instagram audience could see product information, research the brand, and ultimately leave the Instagram app to buy products. Things got easier for brands with the global launch of Buyable Instagram Shopping Posts in 2017. This was the first time that standard feed-based posts or story images could be linked to a brand’s Facebook product catalog. However, the feature still required Instagram users to leave the app to make a purchase. But this summer, with the launch of Facebook Shops, Instagram Checkout and Instagram Live Shopping, many of the sticking points between discovering products on Instagram and buying them have been removed. In this blog post, I’ll highlight the three new free tools that brands can use to make sales directly from the Instagram platform, as well as the brand requirements to use them.
3 New Instagram Shopping Tools You Should Know About
1. Facebook stores
Technically, this tool was launched by Facebook, owner of Instagram. However, your Instagram followers will not need a Facebook account to make purchases with this feature. Facebook Shops, launched in May, allows brands to create online stores that link directly to a brand’s Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger or Facebook Business page. When creating a Free Store, brands can upload individual or bulk product listings with photos, prices and descriptions; change the colors and text of the store buttons to be consistent with your brand; and choose to have visitors buy products directly from the store or through an integration with an e-commerce website they already use. Facebook stores can be created in Facebook Commerce Manager. To get started, you will need administrator privileges for the Instagram Business or Facebook Business account that you will link the Store to, as well as administrator privileges for your brand. Facebook Catalog. Once a store is created, it can be linked directly to your Instagram business profile. Once done, an icon that says “View Store” will appear on your mobile profile below your bio. At this point, you can access Facebook stores on desktop from Facebook business profiles, but not from Instagram or WhatsApp desktop sites. This is what the shopping experience looks like when a user of the Instagram application visits the account of Ink meets paper, a printing company that offers a store on Facebook: Facebook Shops, which is free for all companies that meet the above-mentioned business page requirements, it could be a great option for small or medium-sized businesses interested in e-commerce, but don’t have the time or bandwidth to create and promote a complete e-commerce site around their brand. For more information on how Facebook Shops works and the background on why Facebook launched it, check out this post.
2. Instagram payment
For brands who want to sell a select few products on Instagram, or don’t have the time to create a Facebook business page or catalog to open a store, Instagram now also offers an in-app checkout experience that links to posts from Instagram shopping. Before 2020, several brands were already using publications that can be bought. These posts, which often highlighted an image of a product or experience, allowed users to tap on the content to view it in an offline catalog online. But, in March, Instagram launched a payment feature that allowed purchase purchases to be made directly in the app. In an ad, Instagram explained that it launched Checkout in the app to keep users on the platform when they were inspired to make a purchase. Instagram also adds: “Businesses can leverage the entire ecosystem of Instagram shopping features to create knowledge and transactional experiences in one place. Currently, Checkout is free for brands until at least 2021. However, there may be Business Selling Fees After That “We also want to help lower the cost of doing business during this difficult economic time, so we waive business selling fees using Checkout on Instagram until the end of the year.” Instagram post said. Now when users click on a purchase post that links to the checkout feature for the first time, they will be asked to provide their name, billing information, and shipping address and then they can click “Place Order” directly on Instagram. To further eliminate friction, users can configure the app to remember purchase information so they don’t need to send it every time they order.
At this point, you may be wondering, “How is it different from Facebook stores?” Both tools allow consumers to make purchases directly on Instagram. However, a store is a mini online store where you can buy one of the many products listed by a brand. Meanwhile, Checkout allows consumers to purchase a product that they see in an Instagram Shoppable post within their feed or on a brand’s profile page. In addition, to use the payment function, you will need to meet the same requirements as the Facebook stores, in addition approval for Instagram Shopping. Payment could be a good option for your brand if you want to dabble in internet sales, but don’t want to monitor how various products are being sold in a larger store. With Checkout, you can choose to sell one or two products in a few posts and monitor your content for interactions and sales metrics.
3. Instagram Live Shopping
In addition to adding Checkout to posts within a feed, Instagram Live Shopping provides a shopping experience similar to live content streamed in the app. Essentially, Instagram Live Shopping Allows Instagram brands or influencers to feature a small call to action for a product at the bottom of an Instagram live stream. Here’s an example where an influencer analyzes a product live while their Checkout CTA is highlighted at the bottom of the screen:
When an Instagram Live viewer sees the Checkout CTA and clicks “Add to Bag,” they can save the order for later if they want to continue watching the broadcast, or they can purchase the product immediately through Checkout. If a user places a product in their Instagram bag, they can find it by going to the Explore tab of the app and tapping “Buy” on the top navigation bar. Frame the Store page, then they can tap the bag icon in the upper right corner to see the products in the cart: Because users who buy items through Instagram Live Shopping will be directed to Instagram Checkout to finish the purchase, brands will need to access Instagram Checkout before using Live Shopping.
What to keep in mind when selling products on Instagram
At this point, you may be ready to sell your brand’s products using the in-app purchase features of Instagram. However, as you would with any new marketing or sales technique, you’ll want to keep a few key things in mind:
Your content strategy is still key.
While it may sound tempting to overwhelm your followers with posts full of product photos or basic promotional messages, and expect users to click the Pay button right away, some audiences may not respond well to content that feels like a basic ad. Remember, social media users see ads with product photos and soft descriptions on a daily basis. If your content doesn’t stand out above all other promotional posts, your audience may disengage from you, even if they like your brand. Instead of posting basic images or videos of products linked to Checkout, consider taking it one step further. For example, you can broadcast a live streaming tutorial where an influencer discusses your product or post user-generated content, such as customer testimonials. These types of content will show your audience more valuable details than a basic product image, while also presenting how real people benefit from your product. This could persuade them to click and buy your items much faster.
You’ll want to choose the right feature for your business.
While stores will allow customers to buy a bunch of different products from you at once, Checkout and Instagram Live Shopping allow you to focus on specific items or services through your content. While Facebook stores can be great for brands that can offer multiple products at once and handle potential high demand, Checkout and Live Shopping could be beneficial for smaller businesses who are more comfortable highlighting a separate product at the same time. time. Also, if you have a great supply chain, tons of products to sell, and don’t have time to create content, a Facebook store could help you move your inventory. In the meantime, if you have a great content team, but only have a few key products to sell, you may want to create solid product marketing content alongside Instagram Checkout.
You’ll want to monitor your metrics, including revenue.
While brands don’t need to pay for Facebook, Checkout, or Live Shopping stores, time and effort will go into creating and maintaining a store or content that highlights the items sold on Checkout. Because of this, you’ll want to monitor the metrics related to money and commitment for every strategy you adopt. While these metrics can help you know what to do and what not to do, they can also help you determine if these characteristics are worth your team’s time. If you’re considering an e-commerce strategy on Instagram or another online platform and don’t know where to start in your planning, check out our Ultimate Guide to E-commerce. If you’re interested in how other brands moved to e-commerce in 2020, check out this article.