How to Set Up an Instagram Shop

Instagram is a great place to share your creativity through posts and videos with your followers, see what your friends are up to and discover new content. But since last year, Instagram has also become a place to buy some cool stuff. In 2020, Instagram announced Instagram Shops - a new shopping experience for small businesses to help them deal with online challenges during the COVID-19 crisis.

Instagram Shop is a great way for brands to promote their products to people directly in the Instagram App. If you have a small business, Instead of directing people to your website, they can browse and buy directly in their favorite feed.

If you have a small business selling handmade products or you have a bigger e-commerce website, you should definitely open your own Instagram Shop. More than 130 million users tap on an Instagram Shopping post each month. Also, more than 500 million Instagram users use the platform daily and 50% of them follow at least one business.

Screenshot 2 Instagram Shop StoreFront

With these stats, it’s clear that Instagram is moving more towards e-commerce and setting up your Instagram Shop is a must if you are a small business owner or creator that sells your own products.

So if you’d like to know more about how to set up your Instagram Shop, continue reading. In this guide, we’ll explain what exactly Instagram Shops are, how you can use Instagram Shopping to sell your products and how to set up your own Instagram Shop.

Bonus: Did you know that you can also find Guides in the Instagram Shop tab? Check out where else to find and how to create Instagram Guides.

What is Instagram Shopping

The best thing about Instagram Shopping is that it allows brands to create digital and shareable catalogs of products directly on Instagram. Users can see and buy products in the app, or they can choose to go to the brand’s site to make the purchase.

However, promoting products is nothing new on Instagram. 87% of users say influencers have inspired them to make a purchase, and 70% of shoppers go to Instagram to discover new products, reports the social media giant. Nevertheless, before Instagram Shopping, brands had to share a link to their online shop in the Instagram bio to make a sale, or use clickable Instagram Stories.

With Instagram Shop, the whole shopping process is done in a few clicks, in a customizable digital storefront, right on your Instagram profile.

Screenshot 1 What is Instagram Shopping

How to get approved for Instagram Shop

Before you set up your own Instagram Shop, there are several eligibility requirements your business needs to check before you can set up Instagram Shopping.

  1. Your business needs to be located in a market where Instagram Shopping is available. Check out the list of available markets.
  2. You have to sell physical, eligible products.
  3. Your business must comply with Instagram’s commerce policies.
  4. Your business needs to have an e-commerce website.
  5. And lastly, to be able to use Instagram Shop, you need to have a business profile on Instagram.

If you already have a business profile, but wish to switch it back to a personal account, learn how to do it in a few easy steps.

Screenshot 3 Instagram product catalog

How to set up Instagram Shopping

Step 1: Convert your Instagram account into a Business or Creator Account

Besides allowing you to set up and use Instagram Shopping, having a Business account also gives you access to business analytics and tools such as Action Buttons, Instagram Insights, and Instagram ads.

  1. Go to the options hamburger menu in the top right corner of your Instagram account.
  2. Tap on “Settings, and then Account.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the list, and tap on Switch to a Professional Account.

Screenshot 4 Switch to a Professional Account

  1. Choose a description for your business, for example, a grocery store, an artist, a band, or a clothing brand. You can choose whether to display this on your profile.
  2. Next, you’ll be presented with the option to identify as a business or a creator, if you’ve selected a category that may be considered a business. Select “Business”.
  3. Review your contact information, including your phone number, physical address and email. This info will be publicly visible on your profile, but you can edit or remove it at any time.

Step 2: Connect your Instagram business profile to a Facebook Page

  1. Go to your business Instagram profile.
  2. Click on “Edit profile”.
  3. Under Public Business Information, select “Page”.
  4. Choose a Facebook Page that you’d like to connect it to.
  5. If you don’t have a Facebook page, click “Create a new Facebook Page”.

Tip 1: You don’t need to have a Facebook Shop page, only a Facebook page.

Step 3: Upload your product catalog

To sell with Instagram Shop, you need to have a product catalog, which is a list of all your products, inventory, and descriptions.

You can upload your product catalog in two ways:

  1. Input every product manually with Catalog Manager found in the Facebook Business Manager.
    1. Log into your Facebook Business account, go to Commerce Manager.
    2. Select “Create a Catalog” and click on “Get Started”.

Screenshot 5 Product catalog

    1. On the next page, select “Ecommerce (products)” and click next.
    2. Next, in the Upload Method section, choose “Upload Product Info”.
    3. Under the Catalog Owner field, assign this catalog to your Business Manager account.
    4. Enter a name for your catalog.
    5. Click “Create”.
    6. Go back to the Commerce Manager, select your catalog and click on “Items”.
    7. Select “Add Items”, then “Add Manually”, and click “Next”.
    8. Upload an image of your item, which should be at least 500 x 500 pixels.
    9. Enter a name, description, and other details.
    10. In the “Item Category” section, select your specific category.
    11. If your products have different sizes and colors, add them under “Create Variants”.
    12. When you’re done, click “Finish” or click “Add Another Item” and start again at step 11.

Screenshot 6 Product catalog 2

  1. Upload your products by integrating an E-commerce Platform Partner.
    1. Go to “Commerce Manager”.
    2. In the Catalog tab, go to “Data Sources”.
    3. Select “Add Items”, then “Use a Partner Platform”, then click next.
    4. Select any of the platforms: Shopify, BigCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CommerceHub, Feedonomics, CedCommerce, adMixt, DataCaciques, Quipt or Zentail.
    5. Follow the link to the partner platform website and follow the steps there to connect your account with Facebook.

Screenshot 7 Product catalog 3

Step 4: Submit your account for review

Once you’ve uploaded a product catalog to your Instagram account, next you will need to submit your account for review.

  1. Go to your business’s Instagram profile and tap the menu icon.
  2. Select “Settings”.
  3. Tap on “Sign up for shopping”.
  4. Follow the steps to submit your account for review.
  5. Visit “Shopping” in your “Settings” regularly to check your status.

Tip 2: Account reviews may take a few days or longer.

Tip 3: Some businesses may be notified to submit additional information to prove ownership of their website domain. If you receive this notification, follow these steps to complete a domain verification process to submit your account for review.

Step 5: Turn on Instagram Shopping

When your account has passed the review process, it’s time for the last step to connect your product catalog with your Instagram Shop.

  1. Go to your Instagram profile, click on the “Menu” icon, and then “Settings”.
  2. Tap “Business”, then “Shopping”.
  3. Select the product catalog you’d like to connect to your account.
  4. Click “Done”.

The process for setting up your Instagram Shop may be a bit longer, but it’s nothing compared to the benefit you will get from presenting your products to your followers directly from your Instagram business profile.

Additionally, if you have a Business or Creator account and you live in the U.S., you may be eligible for Instagram Checkout, which allows users to complete their purchases directly through Instagram.

Instagram Shopping is just starting out and it’s just a matter of time it becomes global. Now is the perfect time to include Instagram Shop as part of your overall social media strategy.