2018 is already pumping out marketing game changers.
Similar to finding an item on sale or watching your sports team pull off a hail mary, Instagram went for the kill with shoppable posts.
If you don’t already know about shoppable media, oh, do you need to catch up.
Shoppable media gives eligible businesses the ability to tag products in their posts. Check out Instagram’s explainer video through Vimeo for an illustration of user experience.
Essentially, consumers can view product details through Instagram then complete the transaction on a separate landing page.
However, there’s hype around eliminating the need for a separate landing page. In other words, consumers would be able to buy while remaining in the Instagram app. Leaving room for a new level of marketing.
Unfortunately, info on Instagram’s shoppable posts is kind of hard to follow. No worries though, we cracked the code right from Instagram itself.
UPDATE! – It’s Happening:
Yahoo Finance reports: Instagram is becoming an e-commerce platform! Payment features were recently introduced allowing users to add debit and credit cards to their profiles, set up security pins, and start purchasing products without leaving Instagram. Note that this is currently in a test phase, so it’s only open to select users.
REPEAT: People will be able to buy items on Instagram!
UPDATE! – Need to know:
Instagram announced mid-March that these shopping features will open to thousands of businesses that sell apparel, jewelry, or beauty products! And this is no longer a feature in the US. Now, Instagram offers the same shopping experience in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and in the UK.
Want to get ahead of the curve? Here’s how to prep for Instagram shoppable posts.
Back in 2016, Instagram introduced the idea of shoppable media from researching the rise in mobile use, buyer behavior, and digital shopping experience.
Why Instagram? Consider this:
- Instagram feed, Stories, and Live become big opportunities for retailers to make an impression and inspire.
- According to Instagram Business, “80% of Instagram accounts follow a business to feel a closer sense of connection to it—making many feel like they’re part of an exclusive group as a result.”
- Plus, data gathered in 2016 showed, “Consuming 2X more content than non-shoppers, people shopping on Instagram spend 85% of the week exploring the newest products and services.”
Sold on this yet? Good, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
So, how do you know if your business will get approved to take the leap of Insta-shop? The criteria:
- Make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app.
- Convert your Instagram account into a business profile.
- Be an admin on a Page or Business Manager account.
- You must have a product catalog associated with a shop on Facebook.
- You must sell eligible physical goods, meaning no services.
Words of wisdom from Instagram, “We’re giving businesses the power to create and tag a post with products directly from their iOS mobile phone. Once a business has a product catalog connected to their account, tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post.”
Next question: How do you get approval?
After you complete the steps above to gain eligibility, Instagram will automatically review the account for feature accessibility.
Don’t get too excited though because next comes…waiting. According to Instagram, this review process could take “a few days,” or just “longer” if the review needs completing with higher detail.
You’ll receive a notification on your business profile when approved for product tagging.
Probably won’t take too long, but just saying, prepare to wait in line like it’s a grocery store at noon on a Sunday.
Okay, so you fit the eligibility criteria and set everything up for the review process, and holy target lady you’re a match!
Enable Product Tagging
Here’s your next move: Enable product tagging through your Instagram account.
These product tags provide discoverability and help users buy through posts. Below shows the steps taken by consumers during the product tag experience.
Here’s how to get set up with product tags:
- Go to your profile.
- Tap the Get Started alert at the top of your profile.
- If you don’t see the alert in the image above, tap options or the gear wheel.
- Tap Products.
- Tap Continue.
- Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile.
- Tap Done.
Note: If these options aren’t available to you then you have not been approved yet. Take the rain check and try again another sunny day.
Tagging Your Posts
Now, let’s turn the set-up process into a completed process. To tag products in Instagram posts, here’s your to-do list:
- After you’ve selected a photo and added a caption, effects, and filters, tap Tag Products from the Share screen.
- Tap the products in the photo you want to tag.
- Enter the names of the products you want to tag, then select them as they appear in the search box.
- Tap Done.
- Tap Share.
Note: Instagram recommends your tags touch directly on the related product. You can also preview tagged products or save a draft.
Other product tagging rules and guide to success:
- From your business profile on Instagram, tag products from new and existing posts.
- Tag 5 products per one single image post or 20 products per multi-image post.
- You can not tag boomerangs, videos, or animated gifs.
- When a user taps on a product tag they will see an image of the product, a description, its cost and lastly, a link directing them to your website for purchase.
What happens if you went through all these steps, and Instagram just says no? First of all, it will be okay. Deep breaths.
Time for the What Ifs
What if you’re approved, but for some reason, you can’t tag products to your posts? Well, Instagram has a few suggestions to why this may be occurring:
- If you receive a message that says “No Products Found” after you tap “Tag Products” in the post creation flow or don’t see “Products” under settings:
- Make sure you have the latest version of the iOS or Android app.
- Make sure your Business Manager catalog or shop catalog is properly associated with the Instagram account through the Facebook Page.
Each Instagram account can only be associated with one Facebook Page and catalog at a time.
- If you don’t see the Tag Products option in the post creation flow, make sure you’ve enabled shopping on your account.
Note: Make sure you’ve enabled the feature by going through the steps given in this article. It never hurts to review your work on a clear head.
- Getting rejected after trying to tag a product?
- The most likely answer is that your tag probably went against Instagram’s broad-level policy.
- A set of commerce policies dictates whether your tagged product gets approved. This process is the equivalent to pending ad approval through Facebook ads.
- Make sure you’re tagging correctly from the get-go to avoid frustration when you actually do it.
Ohhh, the Insights
As marketers, we love to see our hard work pay off. Instagram set up the shoppable feature with metrics attached. Because what’s a feature without data? Worthless.
Posts with tagged products can collect data involving engagement and clicks. With the view insights option, you’ll access data on impressions, reach, likes, outbound clicks, etc.
Want to filter top posts by metric?
Instagram’s insight tool allows you to sort top shopping posts on various metrics. Here’s how:
- Go to your business profile.
- Hit (insert insights icon) in the top right corner.
- Click See More in the Posts section.
- Tap the header of the next page.
Strategies to Mention
- Stay in the know about this feature! It’s too good to not be the first using it.
- User-generated content already fairs pretty well on Instagram. Imagine how much it could explode with shoppable tags.
- According to TechCrunch, “Instead of taking a cut of the purchase amount, Instagram plans to monetize the feature by letting business accounts pay to display their shoppable photos in the feeds of users who don’t follow them already.
Okay, you’re all set. Happy tagging!