How to Sell on Instagram: Everything You Need to Know in 2021
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Instagram was introduced to the world in 2010, and since its inception, it has become a paradise for creators. An average user spends around 145 minutes per day. This makes Instagram a catalyst for users to increase their engagement. And the opportunities to connect with your niche audience and sell products on Instagram have become immense.
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook work to create a better relationship between merchants and their clients. And aim to become a medium for the success of social commerce.
Let’s explore further how to sell on Instagram.
Table of Content:
- What does it mean to sell on Instagram?
- What to do before selling on Instagram?
- How to sell successfully on Instagram?
- Wrapping It Up
What does it mean to sell on Instagram?
If you are looking to optimize your sales funnel and grow your product reach, Instagram is the right choice for your business. With the rise in Instagram features, you can now turn your passion into a livelihood by showcasing your talent and building your personal brands on Instagram. This process of brand building and allowing people to shop for inspiring looks without leaving Instagram is known as shopping with creators. This feature is only available for US merchants leveraging checkout on Instagram.
As a social media platform, Instagram harbors immense potential as a sales and eCommerce tool. Being a marketer, you can surface your products across Instagram Shopping and allow people to browse, discover and buy from your Instagram profile. Besides, you can also leverage the Instagram tools like stories, reels, live shopping, tags, and ads to harness your customer’s attention towards your business.
What to do before selling on Instagram?
Before you dive in with your products and services, there is some homework you need to do. Selling your products on Instagram is not an easy task. Before you even start establishing a name for your business online, you need to find several crucial aspects. Here are the things you need to brush up on before you start selling on Instagram.
- Finding your niche audience
- Making an Instagram business profile
- Setting up your Instagram Shop
- Creating Shoppable Posts
- Regular Postings
Let us go through some of these essentials you need to remember before you start selling on Instagram.
Finding your niche audience
A Business strategy is incomplete until and unless it is designed with the right audience in mind. Additionally, a client-centric product is subjected to more exposure when it comes to selling on Instagram. Therefore, before listing your products on Instagram, merchants must be aware of their niche audience.
Selling a product without choosing a target audience isn’t a healthy strategy. Therefore, the first and foremost thing you must compensate for with your strategy is to find your niche audience.
Making an Instagram business profile
Once you have taken care of your niche audience, you must create an attractive business profile. Your profile will showcase your entire business and be your business’s face online.
Instagram Business accounts have proved to be the building blocks for brands. It provides an extra edge to your business and attracts your base customers. Instagram has developed itself to be a social commerce platform that is helping small-scale businesses to make their online presence felt. Consequently, it promotes opening your Instagram Shop.
Additionally, switching to a business account is very easy. Go to your accounts Setting, select Account, and then Switch to a Business account. Once you have switched your account to business, you get a lot more tools at your disposal to take advantage of and work towards improving selling on Instagram.
Steps to make an Instagram Business Profile
The first step to selling on Instagram is to have an Instagram business account. Converting your personal Instagram profile to a business profile gives you access to a number of selling and reporting options. To convert to an Instagram business profile, you have to:
- Go to your Instagram profile and click on the top right corner of the app.
- Tap to Setting and go to Account.
- Next, click on Switch to Professional account.
- Now choose the type of Professional account you want for your business.
- The next step for you is to connect your Facebook page with your Instagram account. It is an optional step as it will make it easier for you to access all the features for businesses across Facebook’s family of apps.
- Add details like business category and contact information. And boom! Your Instagram business profile is ready to roll.
Now, talking about the major highlights of the Instagram business profile. You can get real-time metrics on how your posts and stories have performed throughout the day. Using the Activity tab, you’ll find insights into profile visits, website clicks, reach, and impressions.
Next, in the Content tab, you can look at the performance of each post or story. You can also track your customer’s locations, and the days and times they’re most active through the Activity tab.
Besides, you can run ads, launch products, and schedule your posts ahead of time. All these benefits of an Instagram business account let you connect with your customer easily and keep their interest in your profile.
Setting up your Instagram shop
Now that you have created your business account, now it’s time to set up an Instagram shop. Setting up your Instagram Shop helps you to expand the borders of your business and directly approach clients active on Instagram. Here are the steps to Set up your Instagram Shop:
- Log in to your Instagram Business Account, and go to Settings.
- Select Creator, and then click on Set up Instagram Shopping.
- Now use an Integration app to sync your catalog.
- Verify your online store.
- After Instagram has verified your store, you can now set up different checkout options.
- Specify your sales channel and start adding products. Make sure that you have added atleast one catalog.
- Your Instagram Shop will be created.
Any regular posts embedded with a product tag, whether a story, feed post, or reel, are considered Shoppable posts. Shoppable posts make buying easier for clients. When a buyer clicks on the product, the tag displays the name of the product and its price, allowing the user to add these products to the cart or visit the online store to purchase the product.
As soon as a merchant sets up Instagram Shop, they’ll be able to create Shoppable posts.
Looking at the updated algorithm of Instagram, it wants users to post more on a regular basis. Additionally, Instagram promotes your content higher when you post regular reels. Therefore, another way of getting more exposure is posting reels on a regular basis.
But, should a user always make a shoppable post? No!
The bifurcation is done on the basis of the 80/20 rule, which proves to be hugely beneficial. So, users should post 80% random posts and 20% shoppable posts. However, one needs to make sure that all the posts must add to the information and provide more value.
Use Instagram checkout
Another aspect of selling on Instagram is to use Checkout on Instagram. It allows your clients to purchase products from your shoppable post directly. Additionally, complete the entire process of checkout. It makes the entire checkout process easier and less time-consuming.
How to sell successfully on Instagram?
With the advent of Shopping, now Instagram is no more just a photo-sharing platform. It has stepped into the world of eCommerce, and as a business, you can now get hold of this opportunity to grow your brands across a wider platform. So, explore further to know the most effective ways to sell on Instagram:
Shops on Instagram
To make it easier for people to buy things they love, Instagram has introduced Shops. This immersive storefront enables you to build your brand and drive product discovery, all in a native shopping experience. You can feature your products on the Instagram Shop tab, a new shopping destination accessible from Instagram’s main navigation menu. From there, people can visit your Shop to browse products, explore the collections and make a purchase.
Setting up your Shop on Instagram is a relatively easy process. You need to:
- Check your eligibility for having your Shops on Instagram.
- Connect your business account with the Facebook page.
- Next, upload your product catalog to your Instagram profile.
- After uploading products, send your Instagram account for approval.
Once approved, you can turn Shopping in your profile, and then you are ready to sell your products on Instagram through posts, stories, live shopping, etc.
It might take upto two weeks to get approval for your Shop. However, it may take longer, depending upon your profile. You can contact Facebook customer support for further assistance.
Get your eCommerce business on Instagram through the Business Partners
If yes, then cheer up! Your selling process has become way easier with Facebook Business Partners. You can now connect to Instagram with your sales channel directly and have a hassle-free selling experience.
Facebook Business partners assist you right from the account setup to the onboarding. You can leverage the features of bulk product upload, centralized order management, automatic synchronization of inventories, and much more. In addition, with the partners, you can effortlessly sell across the Facebook family of apps right from a single dashboard. Besides, Shopify and WooCommerce merchants can get their business on Instagram through Facebook & Instagram Shopping and Social Commerce by CedCommerce, respectively.
Leverage checkout on Instagram
Checkout on Instagram makes it convenient for people to purchase right at the moment of discovery. It is a seamless and secure way to sell your products directly on Instagram. People no longer have to navigate to the website to make a purchase. Businesses like you can leverage checkout through Commerce Manager or via the Business Partners. Once enabled checkout on shop, you can:
- Reduce the friction of making a purchase: Checkout is a quick and easy way for people to purchase from your businesses right within the app. Thus, reducing the lengthy buying process.
- Unlock creative tools: Checkout opens the door for innovative tools like live shopping features, connecting with the creators, product launches, and much more. Using these tools to your advantage can help you gain more followers on Instagram.
- Create full-funnel strategies: By leveraging Instagram shopping tools, you can create a full-funnel strategy to generate brand awareness and drive transactions all in one place through checkout.
The checkout on Instagram is currently available for US merchants and would be rolling out in more countries.
Build Instagram shoppable feed
With the launch of Instagram shoppable posts, you can transform your profile into a virtual storefront. The shoppable feed lets you target your customers by highlighting your products in stories and feed through product tags. People can purchase from Instagram in three simple steps as; “See it, Love it, Shop it.” As soon as the customers come across some product they like, they can tap the product tag to reveal the details, such as the product name and price.
Moreover, you can increase your brand discoverability through:
- Customizing your Shop by curating your products into themes.
- Displaying relevant information about an item, like its price, description, and media, on a product detailed page.
- Boosting your shoppable posts by promoting your products through stories, live shopping features, etc.
- Share your favorite products, and allow people to learn, buy and discover them through Instagram Shopping Reels, a short video used to entertain and inspire people at large.
- Create a buzz in your audience’s minds by showcasing a glimpse of your product ahead of the launch.
Promote your products on Instagram
Supercharge your promotional strategy with Instagram Shopping ads. The Shopping ads with tags allow you to maximize your product reach by boosting your posts or stories to broader demographics.
On record, about 84% of people on Instagram are more likely to shop from small businesses. There are different types of Instagram ads that can help you promote your products on Instagram. For instance,
- If you want to gain more impressions on a particular post, you can use Carousel ads. These kinds of ads add depth to your content. People can now swipe up to view more photos, videos of your product from a single ad.
- Other than this, you can use IGTV videos, Instagram photos, Stories canvas to share an integrated story with a product or lifestyle.
Collaborate with the influencers and creators
As a business, your focus should lie on captivating your audience’s attention to your products. And the best way to do so is by collaborating with the creators. People usually trust websites and profiles that have an existing amount of followers or are in trend. Having said so, creators are the entities that already have a dominating presence in the niche. Thus, they can play a significant role in the eyes of our targeted audience.
When these creators promote your business, you gain exposure and more followers to your profiles. Instagram has also launched a Professional dashboard, a centralized destination to track performance, access, and discover professional tools. Thus, as a brand intending to grow your business, you should use this opportunity to the best.
Additional tips for selling products on Instagram
Here are some of the additional tips you can follow to get your products to your audience on Instagram:
- Reveal the “behind the scene” story of your product making.
- Create posts about your products at a regular cadence, so your customers build a habit of looking at your products regularly.
- Showcase all the variations of your products on your Instagram profile.
- Use user-generated content to build trust within your audience.
- Go live to interact with your customers and answer their queries.
Wrapping It Up
Instagram has been one of the most popular social media platforms of all time. Now is the time for you to sell on Instagram if you haven’t already. As in the coming times, the craze of social media for businesses will only go upwards. So, the only way to garner the benefits is to plan out your selling strategies effectively. So, don’t wait. Bring your connections to commerce with Instagram. Explore now!