fbpx Beginner’s Guide to Instagram E-Commerce + 5 Best Practices


Beginner’s Guide to Instagram E-Commerce + 5 Best Practices

So long, paper catalogues and hello online shopping. If you haven't been living under a rock for the past ten years, you've probably noticed by now that online shopping has taken the consumer market by storm. The newest advancement in online shopping is to shop through social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.   This means that if you're an owner of a small business, it's high time you get on top of this new trend and figure out how to make Instagram E-commerce shopping work for you.  

Darya Jandossova Troncoso

Guest Blogger

How Do Instagram Shops Work?

Instagram Shops

Image Source: Instagram 

Instagram Shop is a new way for users to discover products on Instagram through targeted posts and search history. When users engage on the shopping site, they can browse shops, see editors’ picks, explore guides, and shop collections. 

The Instagram Shop is a new feature created by Instagram that allows users to shop and browse your store no matter where they are on the app. 

With a handy algorithm, Instagram Shop targets Instagram users based on their previous search history to find shoppers and bring them to your shoppable storefront. 

Instagram has paired with Facebook Business to make shopping more accessible than ever. 

Since Instagram and Facebook are within the same company, they could pair them together. Facebook Users can use Instagram Shopping to drive sales and website traffic way up. Link to Facebook.

With this latest feature, there’s been a significant rise in e-commerce on Instagram. Because users can discover shoppable products from the main navigation menu, Instagram users utilize the platform for profit in a way like never before. 

Because of Instagram checkout, users can purchase their items there and complete the total sale without leaving the app. 

Like everything with Instagram, the design and features of the shop experience are easier than ever, the simplicity in design is both beautiful and welcoming. 

Then, tap on the product and click on “buy on Instagram” to complete your purchase directly on the app. 

Instagram Shop Features

Instagram Shop Features

Image Source: Instagram 

Instagram employs several cutting-edge features that make Instagram Shop so successful for both buyers and sellers. 

Here are some of Instagram Shop’s best features: 


The shopfront acts how you’d imagine it: it’s the point of entry for your shoppers. The immersive full-screen shopfront allows you to create a space to host your business, build a brand, and promote product discovery. 

Users can enter your shop through your business’s Instagram profile, through stories, or their feed.  

Product catalogue:

Your product catalogue powers Instagram, so you must upload your product catalogue when creating your shopfront. 

Product details: 

Each product has its product detail page, where users get in-depth information and images regarding the product you are selling to decide whether or not they would like to purchase the product.  

Shopping stickers: 

Instagram has unveiled their new shoppable stickers for their Instagram stories. These shopping stickers are similar to Instagram’s shoppable posts in that businesses can tag physical products from their inventory or e-commerce platform. 

When you click on an item on Instagram, you’re able to view the item name, price, and description.


Tag your products so that people looking at images with your product in them can click on it and automatically go to your store. 

Product tags allow businesses to highlight products from their catalogue in Stories and in-feed so that people can learn more. U.S. businesses using checkout on Instagram can also highlight products in post captions and their bios with Product Mentions. 

Instagram E-Commerce For Business

Instagram Ecommerce for Business

Image Source: Planoly

If you’re still not sold on the benefits of selling products through Instagram Shop, you should be. According to Instagram, 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery, and a whopping 87% of people say influencers have inspired them to make a new purchase. 

That’s a lot of people. 

And that many people mean a potentially drastic increase in your revenue sales. If you have a sellable product, Instagram’s algorithm is a great way to broaden your customer base. 

The more fans you get, the stronger your company can get. 

Not only is their algorithm great for bringing in new buyers, but there are also other ways you can bring in more sales, like partnering with Instagram or running other targeted ads. 

How to Set Up an Instagram Shop

If you have a product to sell and boost your revenue, setting up an Instagram Shop is easier than ever. 

Here are five steps for how to enable sales on Instagram.

  • Confirm eligibility
  • Convert to a business account
  • Connect your Facebook Page
  • Upload a product catalogue
  • Complete account review and turn on shopping

Once you have completed these preceding steps, you are ready to begin selling products on your Instagram Shopping account. 

How To Use Product Tags on Instagram 

Utilizing product tags is an essential element to using Instagram’s e-commerce platform. 

Already have photos on your account that you want to add new product tags to? No problem. You can not only add product tags to recent images, but you can also add product tags to existing photos. 

To add product tags:

  1. Toggle to post
  2. Select either a photo or a video
  3. Add a caption
  4. Tap the tag products button

Per Instagram’s rules, you can choose up to five products per image and video post that you can edit with software like Write-on Video or inVideo.

Search for the products you want to tag, then select them as they appear in the search box. Then choose done and share. 

How To Use Product Stickers 

Like with most other features they design, Instagram has made their product stickers easy to use and comprehend. 

  • To get started, select a photo or video and upload it to your story. 
  • The next step is to select the product sticker from the sticker tray. Choose a product from your catalogue that you want to feature, tap the done button, and then move the product sticker to where you want it to appear on your story. 

Product Stickers

Image Source: Madewell on Instagram 

It’s important to note that the style of the sticker can be changed by tapping the sticker. Once you choose your product, you can alter the colour and placement of your sticker by clicking it. 

A helpful tip to remember: you cannot edit the product name within your actual story. To change the product name, you must do so manually in your product catalogue. 

You can place your shoppable Instagram stickers on both images and videos. Not only that, but there are four different types of stickers to choose from:

  • An icon of a shopping bag 
  • A rainbow or grey sticker with the product name 
  • Translucent text (similar to the current hashtag and location stickers)

Instagram Stories for eCommerce 

The stories feature is another great place to use for e-Commerce. 

You can use product stickers in your Instagram Stories and, as a result, tag specific products within your actual story, which helps to generate even more traffic to your website and drive up the sales for your products. 

To use: 

  1. Simply open Instagram Stories, 
  2. Select a photo or video from your camera roll, or take a new one. 

To use the stickers, first, click on the stickers button and select the product stickers, and from there, you can select a product from your catalogue. 

5 Best Practices For Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shoppable posts are an excellent method to turning loyal followers into paying customers. 

With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can tag your products (listed in their Instagram Shop catalogue) directly in-feed posts, Instagram Stories, IGTV videos, Reels, Guides, and broadcasts, and more. 

Some great examples of shoppable posts are those from StilClassics. They don’t force their products in your face, but they include the product in an aesthetically pleasing picture that showcases its purpose and use. 

Image Source: Stil on Instagram 

Then, they include the price and all of the product information when you hover over the product. 

There are five best practices. 

  1. Use Powerful Images: Instagram is an image-based website. You want your pictures to stand out among the sea of content. To do that, you not only need to take quality images, but you need to make these images striking and eye-grabbing. 

This is when you need to step up your visual communication game and make sure the visuals you’re sharing are worthy of looking at and your overall social media feed is fresh and inspiring. 

Try playing with bold colours and symmetry to make your pictures grab your followers’ attention and follow your brand’s 

  1. Add Hashtags: Hashtags are your friend! Use relevant hashtags to create a marketing strategy to drive the maximum amount of clicks and users to your page. 
  2. Make Sales: Everyone loves a bargain. There’s no better way to build a customer base by introducing them to your fantastic product – and the best way to get customers fast is to introduce a sale. 
  3. Be Inclusive: Now more than ever, it’s key to understand our social and political culture and how that plays into branding. Make sure to be as inclusive as possible to create an even broader audience base.
  4. Collaborate with other businesses and influencers: It’s all about getting the word out there about your great business. You can try teaming up with another company to merge your audience bases, or getting the word out by partnering with an influencer. 

Either way, make sure to stay within your niche so that you gain meaningful followers. 

Instagram Shopping FAQs

Like with any new feature, there can be a lot of confusion regarding new features, how to access them, and how to properly work the feature. 

Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. 

Is An Instagram Shop Free?

Yes! You can sell your products on Instagram for free. Remember, though, that to use the Instagram Shopping feature, you need an online store. You can get one by signing up with the e-commerce platform of your choice (pricing plans may vary).

Why Is My Instagram Not Eligible For Shopping?

Before you can start your account and be eligible for shopping, you first need to create a business account. If you do not see the “shopping” button under Business Settings, it probably means your account is still under review and hasn’t been approved for shopping on Instagram. 

Occasionally, Instagram will deny your account for shopping. 

This happens if Instagram decides that your account is unqualified. A big reason for this happening is selling any products that are unfit for the Instagram marketplace (think guns, drugs, other weapons, etc.). 

You also must contain a product listing that customers can purchase directly from your Instagram account. You also must have a website where you sell your products. 


It typically takes between a few days or a few weeks to be approved for shopping on Instagram. If you’ve been waiting for more than a few weeks, it may be worth reaching back out to their customer service to check back up on your account and your review. 

How To Get Approved For Instagram Shopping

The first step you should take is to make sure that you have a legitimate e-commerce website where users can purchase your products outside your Instagram Shopping account. 

Instagram Shoppable posts are only available for those who have an e-commerce platform that integrates with Instagram. 

So, though you absolutely can sell on Instagram without a website, you should consider creating one if you want your Instagram business to grow faster.

You also need to set up your account to be listed as a business profile.

If Instagram has denied your account, try checking a few details. 

  • Your account has the latest version of Instagram downloaded. 
  • You have your profile set up as a business profile (personal profiles will be denied)
  • You have uploaded the product catalogue through Facebook
  • You are actively selling physical goods (no services)

Where Can I Find The Instagram Ad I Saw Yesterday? 

Looking for that perfect ad, but now it seems to have got lost in the social media void? 

It’s easy to lose posts in the abyss of the internet, but it can be incredibly frustrating if it’s a good ad you wanted to look at later. 

Luckily, you can see the ads you’ve recently interacted with on Instagram through your ad activity.

To see your ad activity: Tap your Instagram-user profile (or your profile picture in the bottom right) to go to your profile. Then on the top right, go to your settings. Once you’re in your settings, you can tap the ad button, and then you’ll be able to see your ad activity. 

The world of social media is ever-changing. 

With that, you must stay on top of trends to maximize revenue and keep your business thriving. 

For further reading, make sure to stay on top of all of Instagram’s announcements and cool features by reading their blog. Play around with Instagram Shopping to figure out how to best work these new features for you. 

Hopefully we were able to provide you with enough information about Instagram E-commerce. If you still have questions or recommendations, you can connect us at www.thenextad.com/contact/

The Next Ad White Paper


Darya Jandossova Troncoso

Chief Editor at MarketTap

Free trial

Easy set-up

No expertise required

Start scaling your business with The Next Ad today / Try The Next Ad Today

Small advertising budgets? Get our Essential product for free.