Instagram Shopping - a subtle product placement strategy?
Updated: Mar 30
Last year, Instagram introduced the Shopping Feature in stories and posts. Since then, businesses all over the world have been able to connect with customers in a more commercial way by showcasing their products and offering their consumers the opportunity to buy them directly from their Instagram page.
Instagram obviously planned to expand in the e-commerce business. And isn’t the development of an operating B2C marketplace and a B2B marketing business after all very similar to what Amazon does? Yet, being famously identified as a photo and video-sharing social networking service, on which users are browsing through visual content of businesses and individuals, gives Instagram a big advantage. The fact that businesses on Instagram are using pictures which would have been posted either way, e.g. influencer content, to promote items is a smart and subtle product placement strategy. This idea of product placement leads users to shop and buy products without having the intention when viewing the content at first.
Yet again, Instagram has found a way to entice its users to spend more time on the platform.
HOW DOES IT LOOK
When the users tap on a product tag in a post or on a product sticker in a story, they'll be taken immediately to a product description page where they will see:
An image of the product from the post
A description of the product
How much the product costs
A link that takes them directly to the website, where they can purchase the product
Do you have a business profile and want to make use of the Shopping Feature?
Then read on and we’ll explain you how!
HOW TO MAKE USE OF THE SHOPPING FEATURE
1. Connect your Instagram business profile to a Facebook catalogue by using a Catalogue Manager.
This is the do-it-yourself method. You can create yourself a new catalogue, or connect to an existing one. Note: If you want to use product tags and stickers (suggested), choose an e-commerce catalogue.
2. Sign up in the app.
Once your account and catalogue are connected, go to the Instagram app to sign up for Shopping. Go to your profile's settings, tap Business and tap Instagram Shopping. Follow the steps to make sure that everything is good to go and to submit your account for review. Usually the process takes a few days, but sometimes it can take longer. Once you've been approved, you will receive notifications from Instagram and complete setup in Shopping in Settings to start tagging products in your posts and stories.
3. Create your first shopping post or story.
Now that you've set up shop, you can start adding product tags and stickers to your Instagram posts and stories. Start creating a post as usual and tap 'Tag Products' to add a product from your catalogue. You can feature up to five products per image or video post, and up 20 products on multi-image posts. You can also go back and add shopping tags to old posts on your business profile. Stories can feature one product sticker per story. And you can adjust the color and text of product stickers.
Now you’re ready to share your products!