On May 19th, Facebook and Instagram announced a new game-changing feature: “Shops”!
On the heels of new small business-friendly features like food delivery and gift card stickers on Instagram and the Support Small Business Sticker, Shops appears to be the next important feature for sellers!
If you’re already selling products, or if your retail business has been severely impacted by COVID-19, you’re going to want to pay attention to this FREE feature.
Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops are seamlessly integrated with each other, so you can use your shiny new storefront on your Instagram page AND sell on Facebook at the same time!
I’m talking about how to use Instagram Shop, who has access right now, and everything we know about the features being added over the next few months.
And most importantly, how you can use it to sell more on Instagram than ever before!
“With Shops, we’re adding a new way for businesses to sell directly.”
What Is the New Shopping Feature on Instagram?
“Shops” is a FREE feature for Instagram (and Facebook) that allows retailers to build digital storefronts right on their social networks.
Indulge your Insta followers in a full shopping experience without ever leaving the app!
The new feature is brought in partnership with ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor and more.
“Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify.”
This means that Instagram e-commerce accounts will be able to use their preferred platform to manage Shops and Shop ads.
“The basic idea here is that any small business can easily start a shop across our apps to sell things directly.
If you visit someone’s shop, you’re going to be able to see that small businesses story, you’re going to see their featured products and even check out and buy their items right there.”
Who Can Use the New Shops Feature on Instagram?
Access to Shops is rolling out in waves – so you may not be able to see them just yet!
Shops rolled out to the U.S. first, with more countries being added in the coming weeks.
Over 1 million business accounts are currently involved in testing online stores, including:
- Instagram Business Accounts who have Instagram Shopping set up
- Facebook Business Pages who have Facebook Shopping set up
Have one or both already set up? Keep your eyes peeled for an email from Facebook telling you that your Instagram Shop is ready!
#TailwindTip: Get a Facebook Page Shop or Approved for Shopping on Instagram ASAP
Since e-commerce businesses already using these features are getting first dibs at the Shops rollout, chances are adding them to your profile will speed up the process!
Why not create a Facebook Shop, or get approved for Shopping on Instagram in the meantime to hedge your bets?
How to Increase Sales From Instagram Shops
Shopping on the Instagram app just got a whole lot easier, for everyone involved! Here’s how it all comes together.
First, let’s talk about what Instagram app users experience when visiting an Instagram shop.
Once you’ve set up your Shop, uploaded products, cover photos, and added the “View Shop” button to your Instagram profile, the magic begins!
Instagram accounts will be able to visit your Shops storefront, learn more about your business, and even browse curated shop sections.
When they see a product image that catches their eye, they have a few options from the product description page:
- Add to Bag: This adds the item to their shopping bag. They can continue to browse or check out!
- Save to Wishlist: Potential customers may not pull the trigger on a purchase right away. Clicking the Save icon will add your product to their wish list.
You’ve still got a great chance to make a sale when this happens.
The item will be saved to a Shoppable wish list in Saved posts. Just visit this folder anytime, click on the item, and be taken back to the “Add to Bag” option!
Second, Instagram will also nudge users with empty shopping bags to add their Wish List items!
Now, let’s talk about promoting your products from Instagram Shops. There are tools to get your products in full view on all Instagram channels!
Tag Products in Instagram Posts and Stories
Like Shoppable posts on Instagram, you’ll be able to tag products directly in your Instagram social media posts.
Here’s how to use those Product publishing tools on Stories:
- Select a photo or video to upload to your Story
- Open the Sticker menu and select “🛍Product“
- Select a product from your catalog
Presto! A sticker with the name of your product that you can place anywhere on your Story.
Viewers tapping this sticker are taken to the product listing in your Shop.
You can also create a shopping post on Instagram with product tags!
Just select the photo or video you’ve chosen for your posts and pen your best Instagram caption.
Then, tag the products in the photo. Type the product names of the in the search box, and select!
It’s as easy as that – your shoppable Instagram post is ready to share.
What’s Next For Instagram Shops?
I can barely get over my excitement over the possibilities with Shops – but the good news isn’t over yet! Here’s everything we know about Facebook is planning over the next few months:
Facebook is testing ways to connect loyalty programs to your account. You’ll earn rewards with your favorite brands from Instagram by shopping in-app!
The Instagram Shop Experience
Instagram is slating another feature launch this summer, which allows users to browse products directly from the Explore page!
The next phase of this will be shopping possibilities right from Instagram app’s main navigation tab.
Live Sales on Instagram
Soon, you’ll be able to link and start selling specific products from your Facebook Shop during Live videos!
This opens up a ton of possibilities for special sales and events for your most loyal followers.
Extended DM and Chat Support
The Instagram shopping experience isn’t complete without being able to ask for help! With Shops, users will be able to ask questions, track deliveries, and get support in DMs.
Further down the line, users will be able to see an Instagram Shop and make purchases via DM!
I can’t wait for all these features to roll out on Instagram. How about you – which feature are you most excited to check out?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 👇
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