The Ultimate Guide To Instagram Shopping For Brands in 2020 cover

Instagram Shopping – The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Instagram

September 23, 2020

If your brand sells products online, you’ve probably spent a good portion of your work life building an audience and engaging your followers on Instagram.

But likes and followers can only get you so far.

Today, we show how to master the final step of your Instagram sales funnel.

auto-publishing for instagram is here

It’s time to sell products!

In this guide, we show you how to sell your products on Instagram.

Don’t procrastinate! This is one article you don’t want to put off until later because Instagram’s new Shop tab is coming soon!

When the Shop tab launches, it will dramatically boost the visibility of Instagram stores by making it easier for users to browse and shop.

The Shop tab will also give brands a chance to expand their reach and get their products discovered by people who aren’t already following them.

That means more $$$ for you if you’re prepared.

Get ready for the next level of social media and master Instagram’s new and upcoming shopping features with our guide below!

Why Sell on Instagram?

Buyers flock to Instagram for social shopping in 2020, and if your brand isn’t selling on Instagram yet, now is the time to get started!

70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram to discover new products!

130 million taps.

That’s how many times Instagrammers have followed through on shopping post links to learn more about products. And we’re just getting started!

Instagram isn’t just for marketing anymore.

Over the past two years, Instagram has relentlessly updated its offerings with features that help brands sell directly from the platform.

Now, Instagram is one of the best places to sell your products in 2020.

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Let’s take a quick look at the stats.

👉 Rated the 5th highest-traffic ranking in the world, Instagram generates 4 times more engagement than Facebook.

👉 Most Instagrammers (80%) use the platform when making decisions about whether to buy products or services, and…

👉 almost all of them (83%) have discovered new products and services while browsing the platform.

👉 More than 80% of its users follow a business, and…

👉 36% of Instagrammers surveyed in the US say they love to shop and consider it a hobby.

In this article, we show you what Instagram shopping is, how you can get started, and how to sell more products with the latest features and tools available in 2020.

In the next section, we show you the shopping features brands use to convert followers to customers.

Bonus content - Why Sell on Instagram?

Instagram Shopping In 2020 — What’s New?

Instagram continues to make it easier for brands to sell products on its platform with brand new features such as Instagram Shop, Shop Tab in navigation bar, and Facebook Pay.

Instagram Shop Launched In July 2020

The brand-new Instagram Shop began rolling out in the U.S. in mid-July 2020.

Facebook Shops popup description

Instagram Shop is a destination in the Explore feed that lets users:

  • Browse products
  • Discover new trends
  • Get personalized recommendations
  • Preview exclusive launches

Instagram Shop makes it fun to browse products by including a collection of product feeds curated users’ interests.

In the U.S., checkout arrow image icons indicate which products customers can purchase directly on Instagram (without leaving the app).

Shop Tab In Navigation Bar Coming Later In 2020

In July 2020, Instagram announced a new Shop tab, which will get prime visibility in the navigation bar and allow people to navigate to the Instagram Shop in just one tap.

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The Shop Tab feature will raise the visibility of the Instagram Store and make it oh-so-quick-and-easy! for people to browse and discover new products from brands and creators.

Instagram says the Shop tab in the navigation bar will launch sometime before 2020 ends.

Facebook Pay For Purchases Begins Rolling Out In July 2020

Facebook Pay provides users with an easy way to make secure payments across Facebook apps such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger.

Late last year, Facebook Pay began rolling out in the U.S., but only allowed users to pay for fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, and for person-to-person payments — plus purchases from select Pages and businesses.

Now, Facebook Pay will allow users to use their accounts for purchases they make on Instagram checkout.

Facebook Pay on Instagram example from IG blog

Source: Instagram

Facebook Pay will make it quicker and easier for customers to buy products on Instagram.

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What Is Instagram Shopping

There are several ways brands can sell products and services on Instagram.

Shopping Tags and Stickers

Shopping tags are actionable icons that you can add to image and video posts.

How to add product stickers to posts

Shopping stickers are actionable icons that you add to images or videos in Stories.

How to add product stickers in Stories

When users tap on a product tag or sticker, they’re directed to the product page on Instagram.

On the product page, users can tap the “Purchase on Website” button to complete their purchase on your website.

Shopping tags/stickers can be used in:

Video and image posts: you can add up to 5 shopping tags per single-image post or 20 product tags per multi-image post.

Videos and images in Stories: you can add one shopping sticker per Story.

To use shopping tags and stickers, you must open a business account, create a catalog on Facebook, and get approved by Instagram.

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Shopping Tab

Once you add 9 products to your catalog, you can create a shopping tab that’s featured on your Instagram profile.

The shopping tab allows customers to browse all of your products in one place.

Additional Shopping Features

Users can bookmark products.

On the user end, Instagrammers can tap the bookmark icon to save a product to their own collection tab.

Checkout on Instagram

Checkout on Instagram” is a native checkout experience that allows shoppers to add items to a shopping bag and make their purchases without ever leaving Instagram.

Combined with the new Facebook Pay option, Checkout on Instagram makes browsing and purchasing products even easier than many online stores.

Instagram gives you many ways to sell products, from shopping tags and stickers to swipe-up links and an Instagram Store to help your products get discovered.

Here’s How Brands Are Selling Products on Instagram

Below are some examples and tips on how brands are successfully selling products with Instagram’s shopping features.

How Stadium Goods and Pottery Barn Use Shopping Tags in Posts

The Instagram shopping tag experience, on the user end, begins with post images that allow users to tap product icons to view more information.

Stadium Goods uses stunning photography to make its shopping posts noticeable.

Stadium Goods instagram post example
Instagram Shopping tag in post example

Tapping on a product sticker takes the viewer to a collection slider. From there, they can either bookmark your product or tap it to go to the product page.

StadiumGoods product page
Source: @StadiumGoods

On the product page, shoppers can browse more information about the product and tap the “visit website” button to purchase it.

Product pages also contain a feed
Instagram product page example

Product pages also contain a feed with more of your tagged and cataloged products.

>>> Shopping tags don’t show on the desktop version of Instagram. <<<

Since shopping tags only appear on the mobile version, many brands include a CTA at the bottom of each caption directing the viewer to their bio link.

Stadium Goods desktop version

You don’t have to limit your shopping tags to just one per post. 

Many brands feature several products and collections in each post.

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For example, Pottery Barn showcases a collection of pottery in which many of the products are tagged. At first, the viewer only sees a photograph and the “view products” icon.

Instagram shoppable post example, Pottery Barn

Once a user taps the “view products” icon, all of the product tags appear.

Instagram shopping tags example, Pottery Barn

Shopping tags in posts are an excellent way to promote and sell your products from the Instagram platform.

Tip: Use your best photographs, in excellent lighting, to show off your products on Instagram.

Sharelov’s reposting tool lets you reshare Instagram content as easily as you do on Facebook.

How J. Crew Men’s Uses Shopping Stickers in Stories

Instagram Stories allows you to include one shopping sticker per Story.

In the example below, J. Crew uses one shopping sticker to promote a product in one of its Stories.

Tapping the shopping sticker in a Story takes the user to its product page and allows them to purchase your product the same way they do when following a shopping tag in a post.

How Boosted Boards Uses Swipe-Up Selling in Stories

Swipe-ups have been around since long before shopping stickers, but only brands with 10,000 followers or more can use them.

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Boosted Boards uses videos with vibrant colors to catch viewers’ attention in Stories. They add a swipe link at the bottom that reads “See More,” which directs users to the product page on its website.

Below is one of Boosted Boards’ Swipe-Up images from its “Boosted Mini” Story.

Swipe-up link in Stories

Boosted Boards uses profile highlights to pin Stories that showcase its different products.

Tip: Use Profile Story highlights to feature different products or product lines.

How Birchbox Uses Shopping Tabs

Below is a peek at what the “shopping tab” button looks like on an Instagram business profile. The “Shop” button is located just beneath the brand bio.

When viewers tap the Shop button, it takes them to a feed of products from that brand.

Users can bookmark products for future reference or tap through to the product page to begin the purchase process.

In the example above, notice how there are only a few caption words to get your point across. 

That’s because Instagram only allows a few words before it truncates your description copy.

Write short, clear product captions with the main product keywords placed near the front, so if the full title doesn’t show in every format, viewers will know what your product is.

Analyze your competitors’ ad strategy with Sharelov’s monitoring feature

Tip: Write short, clear product titles that explain your product in just a few words.

How Brands and People Are Using Other Instagram Features

Checkout on Instagram now allows customers to purchase your products without having to leave the platform. Here’s an example from Burberry:

Here’s a look at the entire checkout process, courtesy of Instagram help center, from Colourpop Cosmetics.

Once you’ve added shopping stickers to your posts and Stories, you want people to see them!

In the next section, we share some tips to help you get your shoppable products in front of more viewers.

4 Ways To Get Your Shoppable Posts & Stories In Front Of More People

Below are some tips that will help you boost  the number of people who see your shoppable posts and Stories. 

Before you get started, create an Instagram marketing strategy that focuses on one goal, so you can focus your campaign efforts on one objective.

1. Publish A Ton Of User-Generated Content (UGC)

Run contests and giveaways that encourage your followers to share photos of your products to their accounts.

Or, launch a social cause campaign as IBM did. Its website encourages visitors to pledge an aspect of equality in the workplace by sharing a pledge card and hashtag on social media.

Source: IBM

IBM gets its employees involved in pledge-sharing campaigns, which helps boost the company’s UGC.

Source: IBM on Instagram Stories

Find ways to encourage users to share your product and hashtag to their accounts Contests, giveaways, and social cause campaigns are an excellent way to boost your brand’s UGC.

Sharelov’s reposting tool lets you reshare Instagram content as easily as you do on Facebook.

Then repost the user-generated content to your account page!

While this doesn’t directly sell your products, it’s a super-effective way to grow your audience and increase engagement on Instagram – so people see and purchase your products!

2. Paid Advertising

Show off your products and boost your sales with Instagram carousel ads, collection ads, and promoted posts.

Source: Instagram Help Center featuring Addidas

Instagram for Business lets you place your own ads and target niche audiences that match your customer profiles. It also lets you set your own budget and track ad results.

3. Influencer Campaigns

If you’re a small business, take advantage of micro-influencers. They’re affordable on almost any budget, and their engagement rates are higher than most celebrity influencers.

Instagram micro influencers

Source: Heepsy

You can use Sharelov’s monitoring feature to track Influencer content and activity, which makes it easy to choose and evaluate influencers used by you and your competitors.

Find out what your competitors are up to! Sharelov helps you discover and follow top creators in your industry.

4. Make the Most of Instagram’s Tools & Features

The following tips can help you expand your reach on Instagram, so your products get seen by more new people.



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  • Study your analytics to understand how captions can boost your reach and engagement.
  • Follow Instagram Insights and analytics to track the performance of your posts, and learn what’s working best so you can create more of it.

Brands love Instagram because it offers a crazy amount of features that help you grow an audience, increase your traffic, and sell your products.

How To Sell More On Instagram

Make the most of selling on Instagram by using the best shopping tools and features available:

1. Add shopping tags to your Instagram post videos and images.

2. Add shopping stickers to your Instagram Stories.

3. Add “Learn More” product links to Stories, if you have access to swipe-up links.

4. Use Instagram ads to drive new people to your Instagram Store.

5. Use Instagram analytics to track  your performance and understand what captivates your audience.

6. Use Sharelov to make selling on Instagram easier and more efficient.

  • Create all types of Instagram campaigns and gather ideas, feedback, and approvals from your team.
  • Create to-do lists for your marketing team, to track and communicate project needs and deadlines.
  • Use Sharelov’s community feature to organize, manage, and respond to customer comments and questions.
  • Let Sharelov make analytics quicker and easier – track your campaigns and improve your content as you go.
  • Monitor your Instagram competitors and industry influencers with Sharelov’s monitoring tool.
  • Expand your brand reach with hashtags in your posts – Sharelov’s hashtag tool instantly builds hashtag suggestions from your keywords.

How to sell more on Instagram

Sharelov is an online collaboration software that helps marketers work together. You’ll love all the tools and features that make Instagram campaigns quicker, easier, and more efficient!

Your team can try Sharelov for free right now. 

Find out why Selling on Instagram is better with Sharelov — try it free today.

Start Selling Your Products On Instagram!

Over the past couple years, Instagram surprised us with an overflowing well of new features and tools to help brands succeed on its platform.

One of the best new features of Instagram is its Shopping tools, which let brands sell products directly on the platform.

If you haven’t tried selling on Instagram, now is the time! It’s latest features and tools provide a better shopping and checkout experience than many online stores. Instagram’s massive audience, plus its new Instagram Store interface, will tempt users to shop and buy products every time they login.

Have you tried selling on Instagram? We’d love to hear what’s working – or not working – for you. Share your experience in the comments below!

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