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Shoppable Product Tags, Instagram and eCommerce
Instagram’s niche as the social media platform most concerned with beautiful imagery has long made it popular with those looking for inspiration. Businesses and brands with their own Instagram accounts are able to leverage the platform to raise awareness and promote their own products or services and put them in front of users who might be inspired to buy. Essentially, Instagram acted as the shop window, but the shop was somewhere else and the shopper had to go looking for it.
This all changed from 2016 onwards where in the US (followed by a select few other countries), Instagram users,with a business account were able to tag products as ‘shoppable’ in the posts on their own Instagram feeds. Clicking on a post containing a tagged product allows the user to see more information on the name and price of the product (or products) leading them, ultimately, to a point where they can buy.
Clicking a post showing a product which has shoppable product tags enabled, presents the user with more detailed information, including cross-selling options, such as other available or similar products, as well as a ‘Shop Now’ option which links to the listing for that product on the sellers own site.
Naturally, this option has taken away much of the friction from discovery via Instagram to sale by removing the need for the user to go searching for something they’ve been inspired by, instead, they can simply click through, find out more and ultimately buy without having to look anywhere else.
How Do I add Shoppable Product Tags to my Instagram Posts?
There are a few prerequisites for adding shoppable product tags to posts containing the things you sell.
- Your business account must be located one of the supported countries – a list which is being gradually expanded from the world’s larger economies to the smaller ones.
- Only Instagram accounts that have been converted to business profiles can use shoppable product tags so if you’ve not yet converted to a business profile, you’ll need to d this first.
- Your business must, for the most part sell physical products. Services cannot currently be tagged.
- You must have a Facebook page with a catalogue, which is not be restricted for either age or country. This page must then be linked to your Instagram account.
That last step of linking your qualifying Facebook page to your business Instagram account should trigger the approval process for being allowed to have shoppable product tags on your Instagram account. According to Instagram, this process should take a couple of days, but they add that it could take ‘longer’ without defining how long that might be.
Once your account has been approved, you’ll be able to see the option to enable shoppable tags and can then go about adding the tags themselves. So how is this done?
How to Enable Shoppable Product Tags Once Approved
When Instagram approves your account to use shoppable product tags, you first have to switch them on before you can use them.
- If you’ve not done so already, update your Instagram app to the latest version
- Tap the ‘hambuger’ (three lines) in the top right corner to open up your menu
- Select the settings cog at the bottom
- Find and tap the ‘Shopping’ option and tap continue
- Finally, select a catalogue to use and tap ‘done’ to confirm.
Following these steps should allow you to tag products from the Facebook catalogue you chose to your stories and posts on Instagram. Bear in mind that each individual product is reviewed for suitability, so if it’s in the cataloge on Facebook but isn’t available to tag on Instagram, there may not have been approved or may be a duplicate.
You can add up to five tags on a single Instagram image and if your post contains multiple images, you’re permitted up to 20 tags overall so long as no individual image within it exceeds five tags. For Instagram stories, you can create and add a single sticker showing the product name.
How to Tag Shoppable Products on Posts and In Stories
The process of adding shoppable product tags is fairly straightforward.
- Assemble your post or story as you would do normally
- For regular posts, you should be able to select ‘Tag Products’ from the share screen and select the product from your catalogue.
- For stories, go to the option to add a sticker and select ‘product sticker’ from there, once again, simply choose the product from your catalogue.
- Either way, once you’ve picked the product to tag, continue to share your post or story as normal.
It’s worth knowing that you can go back through posts you’ve already shared and tag products retrospectively, but you’re unable to do this with previously published stories.
If you’d like your business to start taking advantage of the incredible power of Instagram when harnessed as part of your eCommerce strategy, contact us to find out how we can help you get the most out of your Insta following.