What’s the big deal behind shoppable posts on Instagram?
The main draw of Instagram is that you can reach out to very specific targeted audiences. And now, Instagram is beta testing checkout so that you can have that audience making the purchase of your physical product right on the site itself. Even as Instagram is rolling out ts own checkout to offer ecommerce, the potential of funneling your popular posts and stories into revenues is being monetized by ‘Shoppable Posts.’ While completing shopping on the platform itself is set to create a great new retailing channel, getting customers to your website from Instagram through ‘Shoppable Posts’ is no less a productive way to garner revenues. For, you are operating on a channel that has a viewership of nearly a Billion.
Is it available for every page?
As we pointed out at the outset, Shopping on Instagram is only available if you are selling physical goods. Other criteria include having a business account and being connected to a Facebook Page. Policy requirements are also there and you need to check whether the service is available for your region. While earlier, features such as ‘Adding Links to your stories’ were available only to accounts that had 10,000 followers, Shoppable Posts is currently available for certain markets only. You can add Product Tags to your Instagram Posts. To do so, you can select either a photo or a video and then add captions, effects and filters. With photos, you need to tap the products, enter their names and then select them as they come up on the search box. If your post consists of a single image, you can select up to five products while with a multi-image post, you can select up to 20 products. With videos, you can select up to five products in the tray that is provided for making the selection.
In your Instagram stories, you can select a photo or video to upload to your story and then select the Product Sticker from the Sticker Tray. Each story can have one Product Sticker.
How to enable it on your Instagram page
To start off, your Instagram business account must also have a Facebook page. Additionally, you must also have a Facebook catalog. You can set up a Facebook catalog either on Catalog Manager or on Business Manager. If your Facebook page currently has the purchasing option of ‘Message to Buy’ you need to delete that page and set up a new shop that has an alternate payment option. Another route exists for you to set up your Instagram-shoppable avenue, if your ecommerce store is on either of Shopify or BigCommerce platforms. If you are on either of these two platforms, you have the option of directly setting up your shop on Facebook too without doing it through Catalog manager or Business Manager. However, you have to maintain the same Facebook account that is connected to Shopify or Bigcommerce as the account that is linked to your Instagram account too. Once you have set up shopping, you can then set it up for the App.
To use Catalog Manager, go to facebook.com/products/catalogs/new. There are two ways to set up your catalog. One is to upload your product info using a form, data feed or Facebook pixel. The other is, as we saw just now, is to connect either your Shopify or BigCommerce platform to automatically import your products. Let us look at the first option, wherein you do the upload manually. After you select ‘Upload your Product Info,’ you need to give a name to your catalog and then you can click ‘Create. You can then go to ‘Manage’ and to ‘Products’ under it to add your products. ’ Among the three ways to go about uploading your product info of using a form, data feed or Facebook pixel, the ‘form’ option of manually entering your product info is recommended if you have less than 50 products or if you are starting out with Catalogs. The ‘Data Feed’ option is recommended if you have more than 50 products or if you are running Dynamic Ads. This option uses a spreadsheet that you manage to bring in product info into Catalog. The supported spreadsheet files are CSV, TSV and XML (RSS/ATOM) files. After you add all the columns to your spreadsheet and have added all the information, go to ‘Configure’ and under the head, click on ‘Product Data Sources’ and click on ‘Add Data Source.’ You can schedule regular uploads of the data. You can upload the product info from multiple sources. The third option of Facebook Pixels is wherein code is installed on your ecommerce site so that every time a visitor views your catalog, it gets updated automatically. If you are having product updates on a hourly or daily basis, go in for the third option of ‘Facebook Pixels.’
Tips to optimize conversion of the Shoppable posts
Oberlo recommends building up a Shoppable Instagram Feed among its eight tips for selling on Instagram. This is done by developing a page on your site that is similar to your Instagram page. Another tip from Oberlo is to have promotions that are offered only on Instagram. Among the important actions are the use of hashtags, especially those that customers will relate to in their quest to find the exact product for their needs. Oberlo has the Ultimate guide for Instagram Hashtags.
Square offers its guidance for Creating a Shoppable Post, with careful selection of posts that have ‘Shoppable’ enabled in them. Square advices to focus on retaining consistency with the overall look and feel of your Instagram account and also to ensure that products are accurately described and presented so as not to lead to an unsatisfactory outcome for the customer. Square recommends reposting posts that your users have posted, with their permission, and to include Shoppable option in them.
BigCommerce has provided data on revenue uplift after deploying Shoppable Instagram. One of the recommendations of the successful brands is to have an up-to-date product feed. BigCommerce recommends sending an email to your customers informing them of your Shoppable Instagram feature or alternatively to do so with an Instagram Story. Further, BigCommerce recommends to start tagging all of your products.