The Ultimate Guide to Instagram E-commerce

“If you have got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going.”
ーKevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram

Table of Contents

  • What is Instagram E-commerce?
  • Why is Instagram E-commerce important?
  • How to set up Instagram Shopping?
  • How to Promote your E-commerce Business on Instagram?
  • Examples of E-commerce using Instagram Shopping
  • Conclusion

You might be thinkingーwhy use Instagram for a business like yours? Here are a few stats that will answer this question.

Key Instagram Statistics

  • Instagram has over 1 billion users, and 90% of them follow at least one business. (Statista)
  • 96% of fashion brands based in the US use Instagram to gain customers.(eMarketer)
  • Instagram helps 80% of its users in their buying decisions.

What is Instagram e-commerce?

When Instagram was first launched back in 2010, it was just a photo-sharing social app. Now, it has evolved into an e-commerce marketing channel.
Instagram has also launched several new features and tools for businesses like shoppable posts and advanced analytics. Here are a few key elements of Instagram:

Instagram Shop: It is a brand’s personalized online store that lets customers buy directly from their Instagram profile. It integrates your Instagram profile with your product catalog. In addition, it works as a landing page, where customers and prospects discover or browse all the products.

Shoppable Posts: Shoppable posts are posts having a clickable shopping icon that displays the product information. When you tap on the icon, the tagged items appear with more related products.

Collections: It is a way of showcasing products in a digital window display.

Product Details Page: It displays all the essential information about a particular product, from the pricing to the pictures.

Shop Discovery Tag: This is a new tool that helps your potential targets discover your brands and products. It is similar to online window shopping.
Shopping Tag: It tags products from your catalog in Instagram posts or stories.

Instagram’s latest feature: ‘Checkout on Instagram’
Instagram has spared no effort in converting into an e-commerce friendly platform. This new feature allows users to buy their chosen products without leaving the social network.
Users will only need to enter information like payment information, shipping address, name, and email once, which gets stored in the database. After that, they can track their order and get delivery notifications through the Instagram app itself.
This new feature is a great tool to gain more customers. It allows a seamless buying experience to the customers without the hassle of switching to websites to shop. But it is still undergoing beta testing outside the United States and is available to selected businesses. It will be available for all brands and cover more regions soon.

Why is Instagram eCommerce Important?

Instagram has over 500 million users who use Instagram Stories every day, and an average Instagram user spends 53 minutes on the platform daily.
Think about the extensive range of products and new brands you discovered through Instagram. The main objective of social media is to connect the surrounding people, which several businesses use to create new connections, generate leads, and gain customers.

You should consider Instagram Shopping for your business since:

  • Presently, it is the fastest growing social platform and a remarkably active network.
  • Their users are more engaged than other average social media users, and they are regular online shoppers.
  • It has created various tools, especially for businesses and their promotions.
  • The format of Instagram makes it suitable for creative branding and visual marketing. In addition, it allows you to showcase your products.
  • The mindset of Instagram users makes them the ideal audience since they are high-intent and quickly convert to customers.
    Here are a few benefits of using Instagram for E-commerce:

Reach Potential Customers with High-Buyer Intent

Instagram has a unique way of setting new trends and making users feel that they need new stuff. From trendy boots to a yearly planner, the visual content is quite convincing.
Because of the impressive persuasion, Instagram has grown most friendly to e-commerce enterprises and captured a massive share in impulse buying. Impulse buying is one of the most powerful marketing techniques. Rather than marketing the product’s importance, it focuses on how it will change their lives.
You can also boost your Instagram engagement for your business so that your products appear in the Shopping Explore tab. Posts in this tab are personalized, unveiling your products to your ideal market. Also, people browsing this tab have high buying intent, making it an excellent way to get more customers.

Promote your Products Directly on the Platform

When you integrate your Instagram account into your Instagram Shop, tagging your products becomes as simple as tagging people. For several brands, Instagram is where customers first connect to see the social network side before anything else. Creating a presence on Instagram will allow you to market your products directly.

Seamless Shopping Experience

Users are so engaged in social media networks that it is tough to convince them to leave the platform to visit your e-commerce website. So, the best way to solve this is to take your shop to them.
An Instagram shop allows users to browse through your catalog. Then, when they’re ready to buy your product, all they have to do is tap and proceed to purchase. Your potential prospects also get the option to save your products so that they can consider buying them later.

How to Set up Instagram Shopping?

You will have to check if you’re eligible to set up an Instagram Shop. Ensure:

  1. Your business is established in a supported market where Instagram Shopping is present.
  2. You sell a tangible product.
  3. Your business’s policies comply with the merchant agreement and commerce policies of Instagram.
  4. Your business has an active website.
  5. You have a business account on Instagram, and it’s connected to your Facebook Business page.

Change your account into Business or Creator Account

When you create an account on Instagram for your E-commerce, switch it to a Business or Creator account through settings. This will qualify you for shopping features and get you various tools like action buttons, Instagram Insights, Instagram Ads, and so on. Moreover, most of these features are free.
For a business account, you will have to link your profile to your Facebook page.

Create your Product Catalog

Instagram Shops extract product catalog from Facebook Shops. So, you will have to create a Facebook shop, make a product catalog, then sync it to your Instagram business account. You will also need to enable Instagram as a sales channel.

Turn on Instagram Shopping

After configuring the above steps, you will have to apply for Instagram Shop through your account and wait for a few days for it to get approved. You will get notified once you’re approved. You can then complete your shopping settings and begin tagging your products to your stories and posts.

How to Promote Your Business on Instagram

Here are a few tricks to gain more reach and engagement in your Instagram shop.

Visual Content Creation and Engagement

Since Instagram is a visual medium, prefer high-quality videos and pictures for an appealing and professional outlook. Make use of editing tools with catching captions to draw the attention of users.

Share User-generated Content

User-generated content is posts or stories from your customers that feature your products. By re-posting such content, your customers will see your product in action. It will gain you credibility, draw more sales, and make your customers feel special.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags boost the reach and engagement of your content. Choosing hashtags relevant to your content targets a personalized audience that could be interested in your product. Ensure that you use five or fewer hashtags for the best engagement on your content.

Contests and Giveaways

Everyone likes free products. Offering freebies through giveaways and contests is one of the easiest ways to draw users’ attention. As a result, they have become a new trend for brand promotion.

Collaborating with Influencers

By collaborating with influencers, you gain more loyal customers. They will trust your brand because of the positive reviews and recommendations from influencers.

Run Instagram Ads

You can expand your reach and engagement through paid advertisements on the social network. Through Instagram’s Ads, you can reach your target audience based on demographics, gender, interests, and behaviors. When users tap on your Ads, they will get redirected to the product description page.

Examples of E-commerce Brands using Instagram Shopping

Talking about shopping digitally, you cannot touch your products or see them like you could in a physical store. So, you must fill in all product details and specifications with pictures from all angles for your customers so that they can easily make a confirmed decision.
Here are a few examples of E-commerce brands that use Instagram shop the right way.


Nike is among the top twenty most-followed accounts on Instagram, with over 150 million followers. The reason for Nike’s massive growth on social media is because of its personalized approach to engaging with the audience even though it’s one of the world’s largest brands.
Besides sharing high-quality visual content, Nike made its content shareable so that people from across the world share their athletic journey with them. This has built a global community of athletes through Instagram.
They also talk about lifestyle, hustle, and victories, creating an inspirational stir in the community. When they talk about their products, they do it with a twist, like giving a teaser or envisioning it as an innovation.


H&M has an Instagram fan base of over 36 million followers. The brand knows that people buy solutions, so they upload video tutorials and DIYs to explain how to use their products.


Sephora is a cosmetic brand with over 20 million followers on Instagram. The success of its Instagram shop is because it engages users in micro-commitments. Sephora regularly polls their customers about their opinions and choices, gaining free research, directly connecting with them, and engaging them through participation, making them easy to convert.


Through Instagram, Levi’s keeps interacting with its customers through Q&A sessions to understand their customers. These sessions help them understand the problems of their customers, to which they respond with prompt answers.


Besides featuring user-created content and product catalog, Gap has launched campaigns like ‘Stand United’ to raise awareness on social issues like inequality. It also creates a series of Instagram Stories in favor of its movements.


Since Instagram has over a billion users with a high-buying intent, it is the best network to open your E-commerce business. People of this digital era are always looking out for seamless online experiences. Setting up Instagram Shops is one of the best techniques to provide your customers with a personalized buying journey.

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