Selling on Instagram: New Year, New Options

Selling on Instagram: New Year, New Options

With more than 500 million active daily users, Instagram has become the social platform of choice for many of your customers. Crafters of all kinds look to Instagram for inspiration and information. And Instagram users are the audience you want to reach – 90% of users are younger than 35, and 68% of users are women(1).

You’re probably already using Instagram as part of your overall social media strategy. But can you leverage your Instagram account to produce more sales? Can you make it easier for customers to move from inspiration to pressing the buy button?

In 2016, we gave you a rundown on various third-party tools available to make your Instagram posts shoppable. Not surprisingly, the landscape has changed in the past 2 years. In this post, we’ll update the currently available options. We’ll also peer into the future to see what’s in the works.

Third Party Update

Remember, Instagram was designed to keep users in Instagram. Your bio page allows for a single clickable link. Captions on individual posts do not accommodate links.

Third party tools were developed to work around these limitations. Soldsie let’s your customer trigger a purchase by commenting “Sold” on your post. Spreesy requires customers to comment with their email address. Have2HaveIt and Like2Buy use the link in your bio to direct customers to a shoppable gallery of products that looks like your Instagram feed. Linktree uses the link in your bio to send customers to a separate web page which displays any number of clickable links to your website or blog.

These tools are less than perfect. Each adds friction to the buying process. They require that the customer leave Instagram to get additional product information, as well as to make the purchase. And we all know that the farther the journey from impulse to purchase, the less likely we are to buy.

Shoppable Instagram Tags

Shoppable tags are the solution for a truly native Instagram shopping experience. Shoppable tags pull product information from the product catalog in your Facebook Shop. Tapping a tag opens a new window which contains product details, along with a “shop now” link. This link leads to your website. To see how it works, take a look at this video.

Instagram began testing shoppable tags in 2016, starting with just a few brands. During 2017, the test was expanded to fashion and beauty brands. Shopify and BigCommerce worked with Instagram to ensure integration with their e-commerce platforms. As of this writing, the ability to use shoppable tags in Instagram is available for all companies who use BigCommerce. For Shopify users, Instagram product tagging is still in testing. Participants for the test were selected by Instagram last Fall.

There is no word from Instagram or Shopify on when this feature will be available to all, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a wide roll-out before the end of 2018.

Getting Ready

What can you do now to position yourself to take full advantage of shoppable tags?

– Set up a Shop page on your Facebook account. You can use Shopify to create this page.

– Be sure you have an Instagram Business account.

If You Build it, Will They Come?

Now, more than ever, increasing your engagement on Instagram needs to be a key component of your social marketing plan. If customers are already accustomed to interacting with you on Instagram, they’ll be primed to take advantage of making a purchase through shoppable tags.

Stitchcraft Marketing can help you develop and implement a plan to gain followers and drive traffic from Instagram to your website. From our 30-day Instagram Power-Up to a comprehensive social media strategy, we’re here to support your success.

Contact to learn how we can help you grow your craft business.


Leanne Pressly
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