You’re waiting for the bus, and you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed. Suddenly, you see a pair of pants pop up, and you know that you can’t rest until you’ve bought them.
You click on the link to the website and find yourself on the homepage. You try to find the ‘pants’ section, but it’s difficult to see on your small screen.
Finally there, you go through what feels like thousands of pairs of pants until you find the ones that kind of look like what you first saw.
There’s no way of knowing for sure, though, and now your bus is here. You put your phone away, and by the time you remember to buy those pants hours later, you’ve figured out that’s it’s not worth the hassle.
You missed out on purchasing the pants of your dreams, and the brand missed out on taking you on as a new customer. Instagram understands this issue.
They want you to be able to get the things that you love, or at least have the information that you need to get them.
This is why they have gone to great lengths to understand the journey of the customer. You can think of it as a completely new generation of shopping.
Let’s do a deep dive into the Instagram shop now button, and everything you need to know about purchasing your items one of the world’s most popular social media sharing apps.
The Instagram Shop Now Button: A Quick Overview
Instagram was working on their new shoppable posts feature back last year, with companies like Kate Spade.
Because Instagram won’t let you include a clickable link in your captions yet, a shoppable tag is your next best bet, and it’s a great way to get people to shop for your products on Instagram without actually having to leave the app.
Why Shoppable Posts are Good for Brands
A shoppable post lets retailers connect with their customers and share vital information with them.
Brands that make the most of shoppable posts can also make the most of analytics, which include the number of people who have seen their product, and who has clicked through to the product page.
Instagram isn’t going to monetize the new feature, which means that they won’t take a portion of the purchase amount.
Instead, they are going to let companies set up ads for their shoppable posts. They don’t have to – but it is encouraged.
Why Consumers Love Shoppable Posts
Before shoppable posts on Instagram, it was pretty challenging for Instagrammers to find more information about a product if they liked it.
Now, they can know everything there is to know about what they want to buy, and they don’t even have to leave Instagram to get this information.
Instagram through a survey discovered that most purchase take at least a day to make, which means that most consumers need a discovery period in the beginning to get warmed up, so that they know they are making the right decision.
Requirements for Brands
There are a number of things that you need to tick off your list if you want to use shoppable posts as a brand.
If you don’t have a Shopify account set up yet, then the process is going to be a bit clunky. However, even if you do, this doesn’t mean smooth sailing all the way.
As an example, if you want to change any product information on Instagram, the first thing you need to do is edit the listing on your website, and then make the change on Facebook.
Here are a few things that you need to have to gain access to shoppable posts:
- An active Facebook shop
- A business profile with Instagram
- The latest version of the app
- Physical products
- Product categories
- American-based seller
- American currency
- American English language settings
It is also important to realize that if you have more than one catalogue set up with Facebook, you can only attach one to your Instagram profile.
Shopify and BigCommerce
Shopify and BigCommerce were the first two platforms to make the most of shoppable posts.
Both sites make it super easy for a seller to set up an online store with tools that you can use to promote your products, default themes, a payment processor, shopping cart, and additional apps to enhance your business.
Both BigCommerce and Shopify are reputable sites in the industry and are worth checking out if you want to increase your product revenue this year and make it that much easier to create shoppable posts on Instagram.
Getting Started with Shoppable Posts on Instagram
Remember, you can only sign up for this feature if you are currently a BigCommerce merchant. If you want to use a shoppable post, then you have to have a Facebook page for your shop.
Once you’ve got this, you will need a Facebook catalogue, which is going to make it easy for you to tag your products in your Instagram posts.
You will also need to have a business page on Instagram. You can start with a personal page, and then make the switch.
Lastly, you will need to be able to link your Instagram account with your BigCommerce page.
How Shoppable Posts Work on Instagram
You can tag up to five products with their prices in a single post. When you look at someone’s feed, you will see a shopping bag icon at the top right if they have tagged a product, like in the image below.
When you open the post, you will see a tab that says ‘tap to view products’ at the bottom left.
Selecting this is going to show which products have been tagged.
Selecting a tag is going to open a view of the product, and it will include a description as well.
From here, you can choose ‘shop now’, which is going to take you to the website, where you can buy the product.
What This Means for Influencers and Third-Party Tools
Before shoppable posts were a thing, anyone who wanted to offer product information had to recruit the help of a third-party tool.
Now that Instagram is closing the connection, these third-party providers may start to disappear.
However, brands that aren’t allowed to use shoppable posts will have no choice but to still use third parties like this, but it seems that there is a bit of a revolution going on when it comes to buying products online.
Influencers also aren’t allowed to use shoppable posts, so they will have to keep relying on third-party tools. Only merchants and brands can sell their own products.
This means that an influencer can promote the products of a brand they are working with, but they can’t sell the product directly through their feed.
The Future of Shoppable Posts
When Instagram introduced this feature, they wanted to be able to implement global expansion, product recommendations, and saving content so that you could buy those pants later without issue.
Now, this is all possible.
To save a post, all you need to do is select the small flag icon at the bottom of your screen to the right.
If you want to access your saved posts, go to your profile, select the same flag icon, which you will see underneath your profile to the right.
You can also come up with collections of your posts, so that you can keep them nice and organized.
It is likely that in the future, Instagram is going to continue to integrate more and more with e-commerce platforms, which will mean that companies can make the most of the feature.
Of course, it should also become available to people located outside of America.