How to set up Instagram Shopping

Social Media Specialist
Updated July 05, 2023
Lauren Taylor
Social Media Specialist
Online sales had never been as easy as they became when the Instagram Shopping feature appeared. At least it became easier for people who buy. But people who sell may still be baffled by the feature. It confuses you from the very beginning when you have to connect a shop that you might not even have. But don't worry we'll hand you through step by step so that you set it up. We will also share a way of how to sell on social networks as much (or even more!) without a shopping feature that you have to study first.
Reading time — 12 minutes

Instagram is a huge social platform with more than 1 billion monthly users. They’re not only people who view photos and videos but also target audiences who buy products online. 

Instagram is a perfect place for find customers. Read the best business ideas to launch on IG. Now it’s more simple than ever to promote your brand and sell. Let’s find out how to set up Instagram Shopping and how to use this feature. 

How does the Instagram Shopping feature work?

Instagram Shopping is a way to promote your products for free in the feed and the Explore tab. You show your product from different sides and in use. At the same time, you give links for buying the product. These make the promotion more engaging and less annoying.

After you set up Instagram shopping, you can tag products on your posts and in Stories. The added tags direct users to the product pages on your website. This can also be your catalog page on Facebook or a partner's website like:

  • Shopify;
  • BigCommerce;
  • Magneto;
  • WooCommerce.

You can tag add up to 5 shopping tags on an Instagram photo or video. You can do this when uploading a new one or when editing an old one.

Shopping tags are also available in Instagram Stories. You can add only one Product sticker. But you can tag up to 5 products using it according to Facebook Help Center.

How to set up Instagram Shopping in your account

You must have a catalog on a marketplace or Facebook to set up Instagram shopping. If you have one, follow the steps below. If you don't have one, we recommend creating it in FB Commerce Manager.

Have no website? Your account is not approved for Instagram Shopping? Have no time to figure things out? You will like this way to sell on Instagram and other social networks!

Here is how you can set up Instagram Shopping in your account:

  1. Make sure you have an Instagram business account. You can switch to it in the settings, here is a guide
  2. Check whether you’re eligible for Instagram Shopping. First and foremost, your country must be here on the list. Also, your account should meet the platform's terms of use. 
  3. Add a shop to your Instagram account. 

Below you will find the instructions on how to add and set up a shop in your Instagram account.

How to add a shop to your Instagram account

The steps you should take to add a shop to your Instagram account depend on the platform you chose for your shop. That's because most of the steps are taken on it. We will show only what you should do in the Instagram app.

So, you are sure you have a Business Account, now you should follow these steps to set up Instagram Shopping:

01. Go to your profile page.

02. Tap Add shop.

03. Tap Get started.

04. Continue by tapping Connect Facebook account.

05. Choose a Facebook account.

06. Specify your email.

07. Tap Next.

08. Choose a catalog from the available options. These may be catalogs you created on Facebook or a partner's platform. You can well create a new catalog at this point.

09. Tap Next.

If you can't see a catalog you need, make sure it is connected to your Instagram account. If you created it on a partner platform, you can see the instructions on this page. If it is on another market platform, you should contact the support on this market platform.

10. Choose a website your products are placed on.

11. Tap Next.

12. Check the details and confirm you agree to Seller Agreement.

13. Tap Submit for review.

14. Tap Done.

Your account will be reviewed, once Instagram approves it for Shops, you can continue.

How to get your account approved for Instagram Shopping

You may not get approval for using the Instagram Shopping feature. This happens even to those who have never posted anything controversial. And don't expect the platform to explain it. The irony is that being a platform for close communication with the audience, Instagram is not quite willing to communicate with its own audience.

If your Instagram account was not approved for Shops don't fall into frustration! You can request another review. But before that, make sure your account is ready for it.

Check your Instagram account for meeting the platform's rules before you submit it for the review. We know there are a lot of them, so check the most crucial for the first and hopefully the last review. They are the same that help you to avoid shadowban on Instagram:

  • avoid mass following and liking, buying likes and followers.
  • avoid posting false and misleading information.
  • keep the limits. Post no more than 40 Stories and 9 posts a day. Interact with no more than 60 posts a day. Subscribe and unsubscribe from no more than 60 profiles an hour.

Also, note that accounts using messaging as a checkout on Facebook are not approved for Instagram Shopping. Make sure you have another option chosen.

If you meet all the requirements, submit for Instagram Shopping again. Tap request another review in the message you've got from Instagram. 

How to add shopping tags to Instagram posts and Stories

When you've added a shop, you can say you've set up Instagram Shopping in your account. Now you can use the feature and tag products from the connected catalogs in your posts and Stories. Also, you can create collections of your products in the Guides tab on your profile page. You will see new shopping settings for this. 

How to add shopping tags to Instagram posts

You can add up to 5 shopping tags to a photo or video on Instagram using the shopping feature. So, if you post a carousel, you can tag 20 products in total. 

Tagging products is as easy as tagging people on Instagram posts. You can do this when posting or when editing a posted pic or video. The feature for adding a product is in the same menu you usually tag a person.

When you want to add a shopping tag to a new post on Instagram, start posting as you usually do, and tag your products in the last editing menu. After that, just tap done and see the post appear in the feed.

Here are a few tips on how to use Instagram shopping tags in posts effectively.

  • Add shoppable posts that are relevant to your Instagram account. They should engage people, not hard sell. 
  • Add hashtags to reach more prospects on Instagram.
  • Make sure the image is visible under the tags. You can add up to 5 shopping tags to an Instagram post, but you don't have to add 5. If the tags cover more than half of the photo or video, add some of these tags to another slide or post instead.

How to add shopping tags to Instagram Stories 

Instagram shopping tags in Stories are added with a sticker. You can add one shopping sticker to one story only. But one sticker lets you add up to 5 products from your catalogs. 

Start posting a story like you usually do on Instagram. Then, open the sticker menu in the editor menu and choose the shopping sticker. Choose products and finish posting the story. 

Note that you can't change product names when tagging products on Instagram. The names will appear as they are in the catalogs. If you want to change them, you should do it in the catalogs.

Advertise your Instagram shopping posts 

Instagram allows promoting your shopping posts. You can boost them using the IG tool or launch ads in Commerce Manager. Do this to reach more prospects on the social network.

Boost posts in the Instagram app

Read our guide on how to boost posts on Instagram. There you can find step-by-step instructions on how to promote your content using the app tool.

Launch ads in the FB Commerce Manager

If you want to create an ad for your Instagram shopping post in Facebook Commerce Manager, follow these steps:

01. Tap Create Ad.

02. Choose Boost existing content.

03. Choose Instagram.

04. Tap Boost post near a shopping post you want to advertise on Instagram.

05. Fill in the fields. You can set a goal, audience, duration, and budget, read how to do this in the guide we mentioned above. If you are a beginner, we recommend changing only the budget and duration. Tap Boost post now

Measure the success of your Instagram shopping posts and Stories

Instagram Shopping is not just for fun that you might have when setting it up, you use it to do business. That's why you may want to be sure your business is doing great and it will pay off. Use Instagram Insights and Google Analytics for this. 

Track metrics in these tools to tell how your Instagram shopping posts perform. The figures and their changing give an understanding of whether you are going in the right direction. They also tell what posts and Stories sell best in your account. 

When you know which Instagram shopping posts and Stories make your audience buy, you can make your marketing strategy more effective. Post more alike content to get more sales. 

When you see the statistic numbers corresponding to your Instagram shopping posts getting worse, you can immediately take measures to reverse the situation. Maybe, you watch the engagement and reach falling, then you can use tools for growth and content to make them go up again.

Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights is an inbuilt tool that allows you to learn more about your audience and content. You can see the statistics to understand the success of your campaigns. What more, you can see the figures for each of your Instagram shopping posts and Stories to understand what sells better. 

Instagram Insights provides you with such information as the number of followers and their growth, user activity (the number of profile visits, likes, comments, views, and users’ source of content), and information about your audience (age, gender, etc).

There are also metrics for how many people tapped your Instagram shopping tags in the feed and Stories. You can see the number of taps on the product page.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics also tells you which Instagram shopping posts and stories sold more and which products are more popular among your audience. This tool will give you a lot of new insights if you provide payout out of Instagram.

What you should do is generate links with UTMs for each of your products. You can do it in google Campaign URL Builder for example. You use these links to navigate users from your Instagram shopping posts and Stories to the catalog or payout page. 

The information UTM links give you will be your key to Instagram Shopping strategy optimization. You can track traffic and conversion, and by analyzing them, you will figure out what works for your audience best. 

Let's say you added a post and a Story showing the same product. Both of them have Instagram shopping tags. These tags are links with UTMs. Some people have already followed these links and bought the product.

In this case, Google Analytics has an advantage over Insights. In Insights, you can see how many people followed the links, which is quite usable, of course. The UTMs in Google Analytics can tell you this too. But the UTMs can also tell you who exactly bought the product — those who come from the story or those who come from the post. 

Instagram Checkout for US shops

Instagram Checkout allows you to receive payments right in the app. Fewer clicks mean there are fewer chances your prospects slip away. And that makes running a business on Instagram more profitable for you.

Instagram Checkout is still a beta feature. Only eligible US shops can use it. But if you are one of them, you definitely should try it!

How to set up a shop on Instagram without Facebook or other market websites

We have to admit Instagram Shopping feature is quite usable. But only if you meet all the platform's eligibility requirements. And only if you've got your head around setting it up, which is quite a challenge! That's why we want to suggest an alternative.

The good news is that you don't have to set up Instagram Shopping to sell online. Having an account is more than enough. Here is what you should do:

  • Present products on your Instagram profile page. Show all your products in Instagram posts and Stories. Add post reminders to announce new products. Use Highlights to give up-to-date and useful information at the top of your shop page. Give directions on how to buy in your bio.
  • Create a link in bio page. On the page, you should show your products and give users a choice on how to shop. You can add Messaging app buttons, then you can receive orders and give bank details for payouts in the chats. Or you can add opt-in forms and connect a payment processor for these. 
Building a link in bio page is not rocket science, no worries. Use Taplink, you only need to tap a thing you want to add to your page there. It also provides ready-made templates, where you only need to replace text, photos, and contact details. Here is a template example that you can get after you sign up:
  • Let people know about your Taplink page. Tell about it in your bio, posts, Stories, Reels, and ads. Say they can see all your products and buy them by following the link in your bio. Use all possibilities to set up and promote your shop on Instagram! 

To sum up

There are two ways to set up a shop on Instagram. You can use the Instagram shopping feature or make your profile page into a shop.

The Instagram Shopping feature can be set up in a Business Account: 

  • Create at least one catalog. We recommend doing this on Facebook, but you can do this on any website.
  • Add your shop with the catalog to your Instagram account. Follow these instructions. Then your account will be reviewed for eligibility.

When your Instagram account is approved for shops, you can use the feature and tag products in your posts and Stories. 

Turn your Instagram profile page into a shop. You need no shop website and catalogs, and no eligibility approval for this way. 

  • Use posts and Stories to show your products. 
  • Create a landing page for better Instagram shopping experience. Add its link to your bio and regularly post it in Stories. Encourage users in posts to buy on this page.