With the launch of Instagram’s shop feature, it’s become much easier to promote and sell your products. If you’ve already started your small business on Instagram, then setting up your shop could be the perfect next step. 

In this guide, we’re going to look at:

  • What is an Instagram shop?
  • Why should you use an Instagram shop?
  • How do you set up an Instagram shop?
  • How can you manage your Instagram shop?

What is an Instagram shop?

Instagram Shopping is a digital storefront that lets you use social media to promote your products. Just like standard users can tag people in their posts, if you have a shop account, you can tag individual products. 

By tagging your posts, you can let customers know exactly which item is in which image. If the customer is interested, they can click the tag, view the product details, and then make a purchase all while staying in-app.

Why should you use an Instagram shop?

If you’re on the fence about starting an Instagram shop, we’ve listed some excellent ways it can help your business.

Makes purchasing easier for the customer

As a business owner, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy your products. 

Instagram Shopping makes everything easier by giving customers a direct link to a specific product. If the product link comes from a tagged post, they can even save the post and refer to it later. While it may be some extra work on your end, bringing the shop to the customer can cause higher revenue than forcing them to come to you.

You can promote specific products with ease

Including a ‘product tag’ feature in your posts is an excellent way to direct customers to specific products. You can promote a current bestseller, or try to boost the sales of a product that isn’t performing too well. 

It targets people who want to buy

Advertising to everyone can mean consumers outside of your intended market are shown your products. Using the Instagram shop feature allows you to target your advertising. 

Since Instagram Shopping is a specific section of the app, people in that section are already looking to buy something. By displaying your products in this section, you’re helping to market your products to people with a higher buying intent than the typical user. 

It can provide purchasing confidence

Some customers may be wary of purchasing a product from a brand they’ve never heard of or putting their card details into an unknown website. By setting up an Instagram shop, you can benefit from the trust that the average user places on Instagram.

How do you set up an Instagram shop?

Now you’ve decided you want to set up an Instagram shop, how do you do it? Since Instagram and Facebook are part of the same group, you’re going to need pages and accounts set up with both services. We’ll go through exactly which pages and accounts you need to set up, and when you need to make them.

Check your eligible

Currently, the Instagram shop feature only allows you to sell physical items. This means if your business offers services, you won’t be able to sell them via Instagram. Your business also needs to be in a country that allows Instagram Shopping. If you think you’re eligible, you can continue onto the next step. 

Set up the basics

Before you can start, you need to make sure a few different pages are properly set up. The pages are quite self-explanatory, and if your business is on social media you might have them set up already. The pages you need to set up are:

Convert your Instagram to a professional account

By default, when you create an account, it’s set as personal rather than professional. Since you need a professional account to begin selling, you’ll need to change this in your settings.

  1. Open the profile for your business.
  2. Open the account settings.
  3. Tap on “Account”.
  4. Tap on “Switch Account Type”.
  5. Select “Switch to Business Account”.
  6. Confirm the switch.

You’ll also need to connect your business account to the Facebook page you set up earlier. To do this, you’ll need to go back to your account settings.

  1. Tap on “Account”.
  2. Select “Linked Accounts”.
  3. Tap on “Facebook” (which should be at the top).
  4. Connect it to the Facebook page associated with your business.

Once you’ve connected everything up, you should be ready to connect your eCommerce website.

Connect your eCommerce page

Out of the different eCommerce websites, Shopify is one of the easiest to connect and has great compatibility with Instagram Shopping. An additional benefit is that it’s possible to sync all your Shopify products with your Instagram shop. Syncing the two means you won’t have to manually input each product or manage varying inventory levels.

  1. Open your Shopify dashboard.
  2. Click the plus (+) icon next to “Sales Channels”.
  3. Click the plus (+) icon next to “Facebook”.
  4. Go to your Shopify’s product manager page.
  5. Tick all the products you want to sell.
  6. Open the “Actions” menu.
  7. Select “Make products available” and choose “Instagram”.

After you’ve completed the steps above, you’ll just need to wait for your account to be approved. The time it takes to approve your account can vary, but once it has been you should receive a notification. When you get the notification, you’ll just need to select your Facebook shop.

  1. Open your Instagram account’s business settings
  2. Select “Shopping”
  3. Pick the Facebook shop you set up for your business

And you’re done! Now you can start selling your products on Instagram, and even tagging individual products in your posts.

How can Countingup help manage your Instagram shop?

Trying to manage different revenue streams can be confusing, especially when it comes to your taxes. Fortunately, the Countingup app is compatible with the Government’s new Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative. As long as you’re registered, this can dramatically simplify your taxes and mean much less financial stress for you. 

They also offer a useful three-month free trial, so you can give it a go before you make up your mind. 
Find out more here.