Instagram Shop: The Ins and Outs of Building and Managing Your Instagram Store

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Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Oct 21, 2022

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

There are many ways to sell on Instagram; setting up an Instagram Shop may take a bit more work than simply selling through regular posts from a personal account, but the effort definitely pays off — literally and figuratively! Here’s everything you need to know about setting up shop on Instagram, managing your store, and making the most of all the Instagram Shopping features available to you.

Instagram Shopping page introducing how Instagram Shop works.

Why set up shop on Instagram

So why should you bother with the additional work of opening an Instagram Shop when you can simply sell products using your personal account and through regular posts? Here are the top reasons that shouldn’t and can’t be ignored:

  • Instagram Shopping features are essential tools of the trade. Not using them when they’re already there is like doing carpentry work with an empty toolbox.
  • The platform will only continue to become more commerce-oriented. This means they will keep developing more advanced tools for IG shopping, and you wouldn’t want to get left behind and stuck in an outdated selling platform.
  • You need to keep up with the times to stay competitive, because your competitors are definitely using every new tool that becomes available to stay ahead.
  • Instagram Shopping offers the best customer experience. If you’re serious about making money on Instagram, then delivering customer satisfaction should always be one of your top priorities. 

Instagram Shopping page showing sample products with small shopping icons.

Instagram Shopping features

Here are the Instagram Shopping features designed to give your customers a convenient and immersive shopping experience and give your business a professional advantage and bigger profit margins.

  • Shops. This is your customizable storefront that allows your customers to shop directly from your profile.
  • Shopping Tags. When used on products featured in your catalog, Shopping Tags allow your customers to purchase the tagged products directly from the app (your shoppable content) or your website. 
  • Shop in Explore tab. The Shopping tab allows people to browse through tagged shoppable content featured in Explore.
  • Collections. You can organize your products into Collections, so that customers can have an easier time browsing your products and you can highlight new products or products on sale.
  • Product Detail Page. The PDP displays a product’s description, pricing, and other relevant information.
  • Ads with Product Tags. You can create a new ad with product tags or boost an existing shoppable post to turn it into an ad.

Instagram Shopping page showing a product with “See details” sticker.

For some businesses in the U.S. that are eligible for Instagram Shop Checkout, these additional features are also available:

  • Product Launches. You can create an official product launch post and people can set a reminder for when the product becomes available so they can immediately make a purchase.
  • Shopping Partner Permissions. You can allow other accounts you’re partnered with to tag your products or link their account to your shop to increase the reach of your products.
  • Live Shopping. You can go Live and tag your products during your stream for an interactive selling and shopping experience. 

What is Commerce Manager?

Commerce Manager is a platform for managing your Instagram Shop. Take note that you don’t need a shop to use Commerce Manager. When you set up your Instagram Shop, you’ll unlock additional Commerce Manager tools for selling products, which includes:

  • Overview. This gives you a summary of your sales activities.
  • Catalog. You can view the items in your catalog; create and manage sets of items in your catalog; view and fix any catalog issues; manage the data sources for your products; and manage your catalog’s connections to events data sources.
  • Shops. This is where you can set up and customize your shops. You can create and manage more than one shop in Commerce Manager.
  • Ads. This tool lets you advertise items in your catalog.
  • Insights. This tool is only available if you have an Instagram Shop and provides performance insights on your sales, products, etc.
  • Settings. You can change certain commerce settings for your shop.

Instagram Shopping page showing samples of Shop collections.

How to set up Instagram Shopping

Here are the nuts and bolts of setting up Instagram Shopping for your brand.

How to be approved for Instagram Shopping

First things first, make sure you’re eligible to create a shop on Instagram. Here are the eligibility requirements you must meet:

  • To be able to tag products, your Instagram account must be in an eligible country for Instagram Shopping.
  • You must be in compliance with their policies as part of the platform’s Commerce Eligbility Requirements.
  • You must have an Instagram professional account. If you’re a creator with a separate personal account, you can link your personal account to your business account to be able to share shoppable content.
  • The products in your Instagram professional account must also be available for direct purchase from your website. Your Instagram professional account must also represent the website domain where you’re selling your products.
  • Your Instagram professional account must demonstrate trustworthiness, which includes having an established presence on the platform and a sufficient follower base.
  • You must provide accurate information and follow best practices.
  • Make sure you have updated your Instagram app to the latest version which includes the Instagram Shop feature. You should be able to see the small shopping bag icons on shoppable posts.

If you haven’t done so yet, you must switch your personal account into a business account to make your shop visible on Instagram; this only takes a minute. If you only want to sell on Instagram Shops, you don’t need to create or provide a Facebook business page when creating your shop in Commerce Manager.

Screenshot of Instagram Settings showing the option to switch to a business account.

Create your Instagram Shop

Setting up an Instagram Shop may already seem like too much work, but it’s worth the hassle. Here are the steps to creating your IG store:

  1. You will create your shop in Commerce Manager. Tap Next. If you’re already selling on a partner platform, like Shopify, you can import and sync your products to create your shop.
  2. Choose your Checkout method and click Next.
  3. Choose your sales channel/s. Because you’ll be selling on Instagram, select your Instagram business account. Click Next.
  4. Select your Meta Business Manager account or create a new one. Click Next.
  5. Select the catalog that you want to use for your shop. You can’t switch this catalog later, but you can edit/update its contents. Click Next. 
    Note: If you don’t already have a catalog, you won’t see this step. We’ll create a catalog for you automatically in Commerce Manager called “Items for (name and ID of your Page)”. You can add your items later when you’ve finished setting up your shop.
  6. Look over your shop details, review and agree to the Seller Agreement, and click Finish setup.

There you go! You’ve created your Instagram Shop! Next, you can start updating/customizing your catalog, create a collection, and customize the look of your shop. Take note that Instagram will still have to review your shop for approval. Once approved, you can publish your shop and start selling! 

A woman on her phone watching a video showing how to tag products in feed posts for Instagram Shop.

How does Instagram Shopping work

When your Instagram Shop has been approved, you can start tagging products. Here are your many options:

  • Add shopping tags to Instagram posts — both photos and videos. You can tag up to 20 products in a post. You can add product tags to existing posts. If you are managing your inventory on a third-party platform, you can also tag products directly from this platform.
  • Add shopping stickers to Instagram Stories. You can also add a link sticker to your Story to direct customers to your website or a shoppable post. You can only use one Instagram shopping sticker per Story, with up to 5 products tagged. You can use other Story stickers alongside the shopping sticker.
  • Tag products in Reels. You can tag up to 30 products or one collection in a reel.
  • Tag products in Instagram Videos. You can tag up to 30 products or one collection in your video during video creation.
  • Tag products in an Instagram Live. This is only available to businesses that are eligible for Checkout. You can tag up to 30 products or a collection before going live, or you can pin 1 product at a time during your live.
  • Mention products in the caption of an Instagram post. You can mention up to 5 products in a caption.
  • Mention products in your Instagram bio. You can mention up to 5 products in your bio.

Two men on a sofa watching an Instagram video showing how to tag products in Stories.

Grow your business faster and attract more customers on Instagram

Instagram has quickly evolved into an awesome platform for businesses. In fact, it’s thanks to Instagram that tons of ecommerce startups were born and became successful. Instagram Shop only solidifies the platform’s standing as a convenient and immersive digital commerce solution even further — for both sellers and shoppers. If you’ve been on the fence about setting up Instagram Shopping for your business, then you better get on board soon because you’re missing out on enormous growth and earning potential.

Setting up a shop on Instagram is one of the most effective ways to get more Instagram followers and make your business standout at the same time. You can accelerate your Instagram growth even faster with the help of an expert in Instagram growth strategy, a company like Path Social. Leverage Path Social’s advanced AI targeting capability and in-house team of social media experts to gain real followers who are genuinely interested in your products. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!