For years Instagram has kept up with the trends by introducing new features frequently. From Stories to IGTV to Reels, Instagram seems to be the platform with the most content creation capabilities. That is why it is no surprise that Instagram’s latest feature is a game-changer for artists and musicians. Instagram introduced Shop in their latest app update and Cyber PR is here to break it down.
What is Instagram Shop?
Shop was introduced to Instagram as a solution to businesses struggling due to the pandemic. Shop creates an immersive storefront that allows shoppers to browse and purchase products with ease. There are three ways to enter a business’s shop: through their profile, Feed, or Stories. Once a customer is finished shopping, they can check-out seamlessly without having to leave the app.
The Other Shop Features
There are other tabs that exist under the Shop feature that allow for creators to brand themselves even further. First, there is Shops. Shops breaks down companies you already follow or companies you might have interest in exploring. You can view the shop to see what that company sells that might interest you.
Next is Drops. Drops is a valuable feature that can also help musicians getting ready to launch new products. Essentially, Drops is a launching page where companies share Instagram exclusive products and count down towards its release. Customers can also set reminders for when the product “drops” in order to be the first to purchase it.
One of the best categories in Shop is Collections. Collections is here to help businesses and creators maintain their aesthetic and brand by creating unique bundles of products. Typically, a business would use Collections to tell their brand story by implementing a theme and adding products that go with it.
Another AMAZING feature brought by Shops is Guides. With Guides, anyone can create a guide to recommend favorite places, products, and more by using posts from all around Instagram. This is a very creative guidebook as it encourages people to buy products or explore recommended places. Whoever creates the Guide can add their own commentary and annotations to the posts they share.
Who Can Open Shop on Instagram?
Short answer is: anyone! There are a few requirements your account needs to meet, but if those requirements are met, then you can open shop! In order to open shop, your business must be located in a supported market and has an eligible product. In addition, your business must be compliant with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. Your business has to also own a website domain in which you intend to sell products from.
If your business checks all these boxes, then you are ready to move on to the next step.
How to Open Shop
First things first, if your account is not already set as a business or creator account, do that. Once Instagram recognizes your account as a business, you may proceed. Shop requires connecting to a Facebook Page so your next step is linking the two accounts. Under your account settings, select “public business information” and then click on “pages”. From there you should be redirected to Facebook to choose which page you want to link to your Instagram business account. If you don’t have a Page, you will have to create one.
Finally, you can upload your catalog. You have two options for uploading. You can go the DIY route and use the catalog manager found on Facebook Business Manager. Or, if you don’t have the time or energy to do all the work, you can request help from a third party. This is an integration using a certified e-commerce platform partner.
Once you have all the basics down, you’ll have to submit your shop for review. To do this you just go to settings and sign up for shopping. After submitting your account for review, you might have to play the waiting game until they approve your shop. Once you receive approval, go into settings one more time, tap “businesses”, then tap “shopping” and select the product catalog you want to link to your shop. Click done at the bottom of the page and your Shop is live!
The Importance of Tagging
Having a shop alone will not draw much attention to your business, but tagging can help with that. Product tags give customers an easy way to shop and purchase exactly what they’re looking for. You can highlight items from your catalog directly in your photos and videos to draw your customers to your Shop. When adding a photo, after creating your caption, you have the option to tag products. When you choose this option, you can pick anything from your catalog that you want to tag in your photo. This provides customers with easy maneuver and capability of ordering what they want.
Instagram also introduced adding shop tags on Stories. WIth Stories, these tags are called a shopping sticker, but they essentially work the same way. You can advertise what you’re wearing or using by adding a sticker that links directly to your product. This easy access tool will be very beneficial in catching traction with customers since now they don’t have to leave the app to do their shopping.
Who’s Using Instagram Shop?
There are many artists that are starting to take advantage of Shop. Artists such as Kehlani and J. Cole participate in ads where they can tag the company that manufactures the article of clothing they’re wearing. With Shop still being relatively new, there hasn’t been much usage with artists putting their merch on, but we believe it is coming soon. For now, we can just enjoy the ability to browse and purchase products seen on posts without ever having to leave the app.
For more tips and tricks on engaging your fans and business branding, be sure to check out Ariel’s latest book The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity out now!