How to sell on Instagram using Shoppable Posts

In the past your Instagram followers could buy your products only through the link in your bio or through the links in your Instagram Stories. With the launch of Instagram’s shoppable post selling on Instagram is easier than ever. This new shopping experience allows businesses to tag products in their organic posts. When you tag your products on Instagram, customers can tap on your product tags to check the product price and details and it also provides a direct link to purchase the product.

More than 25 million businesses use Instagram to boost their businesses. Want to join them? Here’s everything you need to know about how to create shoppable posts.


Why You Should Use It

Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users worldwide and from this 80% percent of accounts follow a business. More than 130 million Instagrammers are tapping to reveal product tags in shopping posts each month. In addition this new Instagram feature makes easier than ever for businesses to reach their consumers.

How To Sell on Instagram

Before you get started to sell on Instagram there are a few requirements that you need to comply with:

  • You must be located in one of the following countries: UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherland, Switzerland, Ireland, South Africa, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Norway, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Malta, Ecuador, Panama, Belize, Dominican Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan.
  • You will need to download and install the latest Instagram app
  • You need to have an Instagram business account
  • Your business must comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement
  • The products that your business is selling have to comply with Instagram’s commerce policies
  • Your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog.

How to create a Facebook catalog

You can create and manage your Facebook catalogs directly on your business’s Page on Facebook. Start by opening the Catalog Manager and click the Create Catalog button and follow the steps:

  • choose which category best describes your business
  • add items to your catalog
  • choose who owns this catalog
  • name your catalog

When you finish simply click the “View Catalog” button.


How to add items to your catalog

To add items to your catalog click the “Product Data Sources” menu if you have an e-commerce catalog (if you have a travel, real estate or auto catalog, select Hotel Data Sources, Flight Data Sources, Destination Data Sources, Home Listing Data Sources or Vehicle Data Sources) and the “Add Products” button. You can choose to add your products manually, use data feeds or connect Facebook Pixels. We will go through the second option more precisely using data feeds. Let’s see how to add you data feed:

  • choose the “Use Data Feeds” option and click next
  • choose how you want to upload your feed
  • if you select “Upload once” you will need to upload your data
  • if you select “Set a Schedule” you will need to enter the URL where your feed is located and schedule when the automatic upload is to happen
  • name you feed
  • select the currency
  • click “Start Upload”

You now have a catalog with items from your inventory in it. Facebook has to approve your catalog in order for you to be able to use it.

How to create your data feed

A data feed is a file where you enter inventory information to add to your catalog. Data feed files will look differently depending on the types of items in your inventory. If you have a small number of products you can create your data feed manually by downloading the CSV template provided by Facebook or you can also set up a data feed by using the Facebook Feed plugin on Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce or Magento. But what happens when you have a large amount of product and you don’t sell on Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce or Magento? The answer is easy. You can use services like MyStoreFeed to create your feed with a few easy clicks.

Connecting your Shop to your Business’ Instagram Account

Before you can access the Instagram Shoppable posts your account will be reviewed by Instagram. The approval process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days according to Instagram. You will be notified once you have been approved. Now you are ready to connect your product catalog to your Instagram account. On to the Shopping section in your Instagram settings tap on Products, so here you will be able to select a product catalog to connect to your business profile. You will need to create at least 9 shoppable posts to activate the “Shop” tab on your Instagram profile!

How to Tag Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts

Once you get access to the Instagram Shoppable posts adding tags to your posts is super easy. Start by uploading a photo to your Instagram profile as you would usually do. Add the effect and filters and hit “Next”. On the next page you will find the option to tag products. Enter the names of the products you want to tag, then select them. Tap “Done” when you are ready and share your post. You can tag up to 5 products per single image post or 20 products per multi-photo (carousel). Instagram will review your product tags to ensure they comply with Instagram’s commerce policies. The review process usually takes a few seconds.


Measuring results

Instagram business accounts have access to analytics for their Instagram Shoppable posts which includes information like how many people viewed the product information or how many people clicked. This data will help you find out which are the most visited and loved products.

Do your business a favor and join the revolution. Start selling on Instagram and allow your followers to shop products directly from your Instagram posts. Share the revolution on your social media platforms.

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Zsolt Mathe is the Founder of Soldigo and he'll be sharing tips on Soldigo usage, strategies and tips for running a successful online shop that he's experienced during his 10+ years in web development. Beside web developing, he is an active volunteer for a number of green organizations and he's passionate about basketball and everything IT.