How to Setup a Store on Instagram

Isaac Hayward
Isaac Hayward
HK Digital Co-Founder
21st October 2022

With 2 billion active users and over 60% of the user base under the age of 34, Instagram is a wonderful place to advertise to a young, digitally-active, audience. However, Instagram has more than just advertising solutions for businesses.

On top of enabling businesses to reach their target audience, Instagram also allows businesses to sell directly from its platform. If you are wondering how to setup a store on Instagram, you came to the right place. 

In this article, we will gloss over what an Instagram Shop is, from both the perspectives of your business and customers, as well as dive into how to setup a store on Instagram.

What is an Instagram Shop?

Instagram offers a service that enables businesses to integrate their product catalog with the app and reach new customers, all from their platform. As soon as a potential customer lands on your page, all they have to do is click the "View Shop" CTA and they gain direct access to your offer: no need to leave the app!

From your customer's perspective, they may click the shopping bag icon on their bottom menu in order to browse through products that are offered on Instagram Shop.

If you setup your store on Instagram, you will be able to showcase your products on these listings and begin selling to this specific, new segment.

In a nutshell, an Instagram shop can either enable you to capture an audience that otherwise wouldn't be searching Google or clicking ads (i.e. when customer goes directly to shop via their app), or make shopping easier for your most engaged followers by curating their sales without them ever having to leave the app.

Instagram as a Sales Channel

When it comes to using Instagram as a sales channel, not too much changes from what you would normally be doing: it largely relies on your page's ability to create buzz around your brand. This is great if you:

  • Have an engaged social audience,
  • Are able to produce a lot of regular, high-quality content,
  • Have hit an ROI wall in your other channels,
  • Want to secure the sales opportunities lost on the user's 'Explore' or shopping tabs.

Instagram also offers Instagram Shop participants novel methods of posting content that increases conversions through their online platform. We will jump into those now!

The Most Important Factors of Selling on Instagram Shops

When it comes to selling on Instagram, there are a few changes, however, everything else about the platform remains constant: it is still very much your top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content distribution center.

Here are some of the things that you should consider if you are going to go the route of selling on Instagram:

  • Keep up on your regular content,
  • Showcase products in 'Explore,'
  • Integrate social media managers that allow for shoppable post management (e.g. Hootsuite),
  • Try live shopping (US only - recommended for highly-engaged audiences).

Essentially, make use of all the new features that are available with your Instagram store and stick to what you have done in terms of content related to your site's funnel.

Here's how to Setup a Store on Instagram

If you’re looking to get started with Instagram as a marketing platform, setting up a store is the first step. Here’s everything you need to know about how to set up your store and get started promoting your products.

What is a Store on Instagram?

A store on Instagram is a collection of photos and videos that you post about your products and services. You can use it to show off your products, share sales information, and connect with potential customers.

How do I set up my Store on Instagram?

To set up your store on Instagram, first create a new account. Then, go to the “Settings” page and click “Apps” in the top left corner. On the Apps page, click “Instagram” in the top left corner and then select “Create Store.”

You will be asked to provide some basic information about your store, such as its name and description. Next, you will need to choose a category for your store (e.g. fashion, food, home goods). You will also need to select which countries you want your store to be available in.

Switch to a Business Account and Connect Your Facebook Page

In order to start selling products on Instagram, you first need to switch to a business account. This is something that we recommend if you haven't done it already; even if you aren't intending on selling on Instagram: it is a killer place for ecommerce content.

You can do this by going to your account settings and selecting the “Business” tab. Next, you’ll need to connect your Facebook page (it is necessary to have one for an Instagram shop).

Once you’ve done this, Instagram will allow you to apply to have your business's profile converted to a shop. This will also enable you to better display your business contact details on your profile.

Ensure That your Business Meets the Minimum Requirements

While the bare minimums aren't necessarily difficult to meet for Instagram shops, you will want to ensure that you won't have any roadblocks before you put out the effort to complete the following steps. Here, we will gloss over the criteria that Instagram will evaluate your business upon:

  • You have to have your own site domain,
  • Your market has to support Instagram Shopping,
  • Your product selection has to be eligible for sale on Instagram,
  • Your company needs to comply with Instagram's sales policies.

One of the key takeaways here is that you must have your own site in order to be able to sell on Instagram: this is not Amazon.

Integrate your Product Offer into your Instagram Product Catalog

Integrating your offer into an Instagram product catalog allows you to showcase your products in an easy-to-use interface, and help you connect with potential customers.

There are two ways to go about this, however, only one of these methods is sustainable in the long-run.

Unsustainable (Management via Meta Business Manager)

The most hectic method for keeping your Instagram product catalog up to date is managing your catalog via the Meta Business Manager platform. This will require manually updating your offer and can become very time consuming in the long-run. Luckily, there is another, much simpler option.

Sustainable (Integration with Ecommerce Platform)

If you want to do things the right way, you will want to integrate your ecommerce platform's product catalog with Instagram. As you update your site's offer, your offer on Instagram Shop will be automatically updated.

It is as simple as that. Just do this and forget about doing twice the work with Meta.

Have Instagram Review your Account for Shop Approval

Once you have your product catalog in place, you are ready to have your account approved to run on Instagram Shop! It is a simple, 3-step process that may take a few days to process:

  1. Go to your profile menu and select 'settings,'
  2. Sign up for your shop,
  3. Submit for review.

You can always check the review status in your settings, and if there are any issues with your account review, you may be required to prove ownership over your domain.

Activate the Shopping Features

Instagram is a social media site that allows users to share photos and videos of their life. The site has over 500 million active users, and many retailers are using it to promote their products.

If you want to open a store on Instagram, the first thing you need to do is activate the shopping features. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen,
  2. Navigate to your settings,
  3. Click "shop" and enable shopping,
  4. Select your desired product catalog.

After you have submitted, you are ready to sell on Instagram!

The Big Picture

With the ability to sell to a market that remains in the app at all times and the opportunity to be showcased in the 'Explore' tab (the Holy Grail of Instagram selling), it is worth exploring whether your brand could benefit from reaching a young audience of 2 billion people in a manner that suits them best. 

Either way, now you know how to setup a store on Instagram, and you know that it is quite the easy task, assuming you already have your own website in place.

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