Shop Via Instagram…Now You Can
From today, Tuesday 20 March, Instagram has launched Shopping in the UK, which allows businesses to tag products in their organic posts and for people to seamlessly shop them.
The UK launch of Shopping follows a successful introduction in the US last year. Businesses there are seeing positive results, from a rise in website visits to physical product orders. For example, @Lulus, an online clothing retailer, has seen over 1,200 orders and 100,000 website visits attributable to Shopping to date.
Jim Squires, Head of Business, Instagram said: “People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses. We want that to be a seamless experience. Whether it’s a local artisan, florist or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier.”
To trial the new experience in the UK, three beta test partners, Marks & Spencer, luxury swimwear brand, Heidi Klein, and revolutionary slippers brand, mahabis, were given special access to the functionality. During test phase, each brand experimented with creating Shopping posts; from flat lays showcasing multiple products, to single-product close ups containing details such as product material and sizing.
Erin Roy, Head of Media and Digital Marketing at Marks & Spencer said: “Instagram Shopping offers us the opportunity to realise the huge potential of our 760,000 followers. Instagram has always been a great platform through which to showcase our products and engage with customers. Shoppable posts take this to a whole new level. They are simple to create, easy for our customers to use and enhance the Instagram experience.”
Shopping: a 10-step guide
UK brands that that have a business profile on Instagram, sell physical goods, and have a product catalogue through Facebook or an integration partner are eligible to use Shopping on Instagram.
To enable Shopping and create Shoppable organic posts on Instagram:
- Make sure the Instagram app is updated
- Sync a product catalogue with Facebook Shop (Instagram pulls the Facebook product feed through)
- Click ‘options’ on your Instagram business profile, scroll down and select ‘products’
- Authenticate your Instagram business account via its Facebook account
- Choose a product catalogue to sync with Instagram for Instagram Shopping
- Once set up, upload a photo as normal. On the caption page there will now be options to tag both people and products
- Select ‘tag products’ and in the search bar type the name of the product
- Move the tag to the correct spot on the photo
- Instagram will pull in all product catalogue information from Facebook, including a link back to your website from the photo. Up to five product tags can be added per photo.
- Click ‘share’ to set your shoppable Instagram post live!
Five top tips for getting the most out of Shopping:
- Create at least nine Shopping posts on an Instagram business profile to activate the Shop tab for audiences.
- Tag multiple products to help audiences explore and browse.
- Use Stories to show your audience that they can now shop your posts – around 250 million people use Stories every day and a third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses, so it’s one of the best ways to get your business seen.
- Leverage different Shopping formats—tag a single image or a use the carousel for multiple product shots.
- Make sure each tag touches the correct product, so shoppers know which product the tag refers to.
Launched just seven years ago, Instagram is already home to a global community of over 800 million, including 25 million businesses and two million advertisers. Since launch, Instagram has been a place where people come to discover new brands and products. In the UK, the Instagram community is now 23 million strong and made up of people and businesses connecting around their passions and interests.