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How To Sell Products on Instagram


Did you know that one billion people use Instagram every month? If you’re a marketer, that gives you a large active user base that you can potentially reach with your promotions.

So how can you leverage the reach of one of social media’s biggest platforms and effectively sell your products on Instagram? It’s easier than you think.

How it Works

If you’d like to sell on Instagram, you should be familiar with two words: shoppable posts. This amazing feature is an efficient way for online stores to feature their products for sale.

Through the posts, businesses can tag specific products for sale in any of their images. When users tap an image with the shopping bag icon in the bottom left corner, they’ll instantly see the name and price of the product they’re looking at.

For online businesses, shoppable posts are becoming an essential part of the buyer cycle. And because 75 percent of users on this platform take action after looking at a brand’s post, it’s important to simplify the process for them.

Get Started with Shoppable Posts

1. Ensure you have a business profile.

To set up your shoppable posts, you’ll first have to set up both a business Facebook page and a business Instagram profile. Once the two are set up, link them via the Instagram app. You’ll find this option by going into your account settings and selecting “Linked Accounts.”

Instagram Settings

2. Set up your product catalog.

To sell products on Instagram, they’ll need to be listed in a Facebook catalog. (It’s important to note that your products must be physical retail items and not services or digital assets.)

To set up your product catalog in the Facebook platform, follow these steps:

  • Go to Catalog Manager
  • Select “Create Catalog,” and select the type that best describes your business
  • Choose how you’d like to add inventory items to your catalog (you can add items on your own or add them from an external platform)
  • Enter a name for the catalog you’ve just created, and select “Create”

If you’re adding items on your own, you need to upload a data feed. However, a popular alternative option is uploading from an external platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Google.

After you complete these steps, Instagram will have to approve the account. According to the platform, this process can take a few days, so sit tight and wait for that notification on your business profile!

3. Tag your products.

Posting an image on your Instagram business profile will be similar to posting on your personal profile. The only difference is that you’ll have more options, like tagging your products.

Tagging Products Feature on Instagram

4. Select where to place the tag.

Once you’ve selected the products, the next screen will allow you to select where on the image you’d like the tag to appear. For example, see how Lauren Conrad placed three separate tags for her shirt, pants, and shoes:

It’s important to note that there are some guidelines to the tagging feature:

  • You can tag up to five products per single image, or twenty per carousel post.
  • You cannot tag products in videos or any animated posts.
  • If you share your posts directly to Facebook, the shoppable functionality won’t transfer over; to make this happen, you need to upload directly to Facebook.

What’s Next for Instagram?

This past March, Instagram came out with its newest feature: Checkout. This allows users of the platform to buy directly through the app, never having to leave. Once the product is selected, users input their information, which is then saved on the app for all future in-app purchases. While this feature is still in beta, keep an eye out for wider adoption. To try it out from the consumer end, check out this list of businesses that currently have access to the feature.

With so many people using Instagram’s platform every month, it’s important for businesses to take advantage of the audience reach. To gain more followers on your page and garner even more of an audience reach for your Shoppable Posts, activate the AddThis Instagram follow button on your site.

Last modified:  May 1st, 2019