Instagram Shopping Platform Update & Why Your eCommerce Store Should Take Advantage

What do you think of when you hear the word Instagram? If you’re like most eCommerce business owners, your mind probably goes straight to influencers and photo campaigns showing off your latest product.

But did you know that the wildly popular social media platform has jumped into the online sales sphere by updating their Instagram for Brands program? That’s right, they’ve upped their game big time by making it possible for shoppers to buy direct without ever having to leave their feeds.

As an online retail brand, this is big news that you need to really take advantage of. Keep reading to learn more about the Instagram shopping platform update and why your eCommerce store should take advantage.

What Updates Has Instagram Added for Shopping?

You already know that Instagram content is a great way to drive new customers to your website and build brand recognition through the different types of Instagram posts already available. But what you might have missed is that the platform has entered the online shopping space in a big way, and they’re only looking to grow that success.

There are three big areas where they’ve made improvements. These exciting changes include:

  • Shop Tab on Main App Nav Bar: This is a big deal for anyone curious about Instagram for eCommerce brands. They’ve now added a shop tab to the main nav bar of the smartphone app, which means there’s likely going to be more ways for consumers to buy within the platform in the near future.
  • Instagram Checkout: While they’ve been a little slow to rollout on-platform checkout to smaller brands, they are starting to allow some mid-sized online stores the opportunity to add this feature to their feeds. Stay tuned for more of this in the coming months as they open it up to more brands.
  • Shopping on Live Feature: Instead of hoping those that see your live videos take your advice and head to your website, you can now use the Shopping on Live feature. This allows you to pin the products you’re showcasing live at the bottom of the screen, enabling customers to reach product pages with a single tap.

While these aren’t all usable by smaller Shopify stores right now, they look promising for those who want to expand to this platform in the coming months.

Why Should Every eCommerce Store Take Advantage of Instagram?

While you’re likely savvy enough to know that Instagram isn’t going anywhere, there are still numerous online stores that haven’t taken advantage of this social media platform. They’ve likely never set up a profile and really aren’t exploring the prospect of influencer marketing. In turn, they’re really missing out on the opportunity for huge brand growth and recognition.

That said, we should point out that these new shopping tools from Instagram are huge, even if you haven’t gone too far into building your following here. For example, if you’re just dipping your toes in the game of influencer marketing, it might be a good idea to start with shoppable posts that allow these guest audiences the chance to buy right away. Then you can start to expand your influence and use these new features as part of your ongoing campaigns.

How to Get Started with Instagram Shoppable Posts

So, now that you know what changes are coming with shopping on Instagram, it’s a good idea to learn how to get started with shoppable posts.

The first step is to set up a business profile. By doing this, you can let everyone know that your brand is out there and open for sales. However, if you’ve been using a personal profile for your online store up to this point, you’ll need to get it swapped to a business one.

Next, you want to connect your product catalog to Instagram. This can be somewhat of a tricky process, but it isn’t too difficult. Here’s a good official guide to help get you started.

Finally, look over Instagram’s shopping guidelines. If your profile meets these standards, you can go to settings, business, and then Instagram Shopping to request a review. Once approved, your profile can start to use all of the awesome features we’ve detailed here.

Why Hire a Social Commerce Agency?

While you’re certainly free to learn the process on your own, it’s always better to work with a social commerce team that truly understands the unique nuances of Instagram for eCommerce. Not only does this cut down on the learning curve and amount of time spent trying to come up with a winning strategy, but it ensures you’re getting results right away instead of just trying something new and seeing what sticks.

At CAKE, we’re more than just eCommerce strategists. We’re Instagram experts that understand how to use the platform’s best features to grow your online brand. Our omnichannel marketing strategies can help draw attention to your store, bring in more customers, and scale your sales while reaching your unique goals. Please contact us today to discuss your needs and learn how we can jumpstart your Instagram campaign.