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Instagram Shopping is one of those features that you don’t realize you needed until you start using it. Shopping via Instagram isn’t new. Brands have been using the platform to showcase products and share information with consumers. More than 80 percent of Instagram users have relied on the available content to make purchasing decisions.

With Instagram Shopping, users no longer have to click the “link in bio” and can purchase products from almost every part of the app. That may be one of the platform’s best functions. Keeping customers in the app instead of sending them to your website reduces the number of clicks it takes to get to a sale. And it should lead to a higher conversion rate.

Who Can Use Instagram Shopping?

Instagram shopping is available to eligible creators and Instagram business accounts. Your business may qualify if it has an Instagram business account and meets the following requirements:

  • You are located in a supported market.
  • Your business has eligible products.
  • You have an eCommerce website.
  • Your website is linked to a Facebook page.
  • You have a product catalog set up on Facebook.

If you don’t meet the current eligibility requirements, keep checking for updates because they may change. When Instagram released Guides in 2020, it was available for a select group of content creators. The platform eventually opened the features to all users. The same may be true of Instagram Shopping.

Whether you’re already eligible or still trying to decide if Instagram Shopping is right for you, check out how it works and how you can use it to drive sales. Here’s a look at the current Instagram Shopping features.

Instagram Shops

Instagram Shops is a customizable, interactive storefront. Here you can group products to showcase special collections, highlight new items and encourage users to explore your inventory.

When customers click on the shop tag on your profile, they go to a landing page. From there, they can explore the highlighted collections you select. They can browse the inventory to see what’s available now and has been offered in the past.

Here is fashion retailer H&M’s Instagram shop:

Customers can click to view the selected collection or scroll through the page to see what products are available. They have the option to sort and filter items by relevance, price and availability. When they find something they want to buy, they add it to their cart and click through to complete the purchase.

Key Uses

  • Showcase curated collections of products
  • Simplify the purchase process for customers
  • Create an online product catalog

Shoppable Feed Posts

Shoppable Feed Posts are posts on your account feed that contain product tags. This lets you highlight specific items from your store and link directly to the page where customers can purchase them. These posts appear in your follower’s feeds, where they can see them automatically as they scroll.

When you click on this H&M shoppable feed post, you see the tags for the hoodie and sweatpants. You also have the option to click View Products to see all of the tagged items in the post. You can also see items from similar collections not tagged in the original post.

Live Shopping

Live Shopping on Instagram offers a way to do more than promote products for sale. It’s a way to connect with other users in an authentic way. The Live Shopping experience works similar to QVC. You start a live stream where you can talk directly to customers, show them how to use specific products and answer their questions.

Before you start the live stream, you can tag products from your shop and feature them at the bottom of the screen. Viewers can tap the tags to purchase them as they watch the live feed. You’ll need access to Instagram Checkout to use this feature.

Key Uses

  • Introduce new products
  • Q&A sessions about product lines
  • Community building between brands and followers

Shopping on IGTV

IGTV’s long-form video creates interesting marketing opportunities for brands. They can upload tutorials and educational content or videos of customers using their products. Brands can also stream promotional events or take viewers behind the scenes of the company. Now you can add shopping tags on your IGTV and showcase your products in a new way.

One great advantage of Shopping on IGTV is that it gives you time to show viewers the benefits of your product. Give them useful content that helps them make a purchasing decision and make it accessible whenever they need it.

Key Uses

  • User guides and tutorials
  • Testimonials and reviews
  • Promoting local events

Shopping on Reels

Reels is Instagram’s answer to TikTok, a place where you can share video clips set to music. It’s also a new spot to promote products similar to the way you do on IGTV. Creators and brands have the ability to tag items in Reels. If you have Instagram Checkout enabled, viewers can purchase products directly from the video clip.

Reels stands out because of the easy way it facilitates partnerships between brands and creators. This gives you greater reach on the platform as it automatically promotes your products to your partner’s followers. The branded content tag lets everyone know that your post is a collaboration.

Key Uses

  • Generate buzz about a new product
  • Collaborate with influencers and brands
  • Demonstrate real-world uses for your products

Shopping From Creators

Instagram’s Shopping from Creators feature lets content creators link items in their posts to online stores. The creator adds product tags to the post. A viewer who wants to know where to buy a watch or pair of shoes, can tap the tag and go directly to an online store to buy the item.

Like Shopping from Reels, Shopping from Creators encourages partnerships and collaboration between brands and content creators. You can use the feature to generate buzz about new products. Having the ability to purchase items directly from a post users see in their feed can increase conversion rates.

Key Uses

  • Extend reach through partnerships with influencers
  • Persuade viewers to purchase items on the spot
  • Collaborate with influencers and brands

Figuring out how to use Instagram for business has been a challenge for some companies. Instagram Shopping changes the game. It offers a direct way to monetize Instagram accounts and turn them into a tool for boosting sales.