How to Open Your Shop on Instagram

There is no denying Instagram Shopping has revolutionized the way we shop. Ever since the fateful day in May of 2017 in which the platform decided to dip its toes into the e-commerce space, our social media and online shopping experiences have become difficult to tell apart. Not surprisingly, this strategy worked out for the photo and video sharing app as well as for the countless businesses listing their products on the platform, with a reported number of 130 million Instagram users tapping on shopping posts every month.

More unsurprisingly is that you are now researching how you can get your business up and running on Instagram by reading our blog. We don’t blame you, the numbers point to Instagram being one of the best ways for brands to reach younger audiences about new products and promotions. So without further ado, here are the steps you need to take to open your Instagram storefront:

Ensure Your Eligibility

Hold your horses! We first need to check that you are eligible for Instagram Shopping. Facebook Business offers a questionnaire that ensures your eligibility if you can answer YES to all of the following questions:

  1. Is your business located in a supported market? (Not sure? Check here).
  2. Does your business sell physical goods?
  3. Do you comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies?
  4. Does your business own a website domain in which you intend to sell from?

If you answered yes to all of the above questions, then everything is smooth sailing so far. Congrats!

Convert to a Business Account

Next, you need to make sure you have a business account to sell your eligible products from. If you don’t, here are the steps to do so:

  1. Go to your profile
  2. Click on the top right corner gear icon to go to “Settings”
  3. Scroll down a bit and click on the “Switch to Business Profile” option
  4. Hit “Continue” and connect your Instagram account to your existing Facebook page
  5. If you do not have a Facebook Page select “Create a New Facebook Page”
  6. Set up your business profile by inputting your business’s email address, phone number, and physical address
  7. Click “Done”

Once you have a business account, you can add other relevant information like store hours and link your business website. Hang in there – you are getting closer and closer to opening your Instagram shopping experience!

Upload Your Product Catalog

Next up is connecting your Instagram business profile to a Facebook catalog (Read our blog on How to Start Selling With Facebook Shops if you need help creating a Facebook Shop). The product catalog is the backbone of your Instagram shop, and there are two ways you can go about setting it up.

  1. Use Catalog Manager

This is known as the “DIY” method. From here, you can simply create a new catalog or connect your account to an existing one.

2. Use an E-Commerce Partner Platform

If you need a hand, don’t shy away from using one of the many Facebook partners! Platforms like Shopify, Wix, and Magento can help you with the daunting task of creating a catalog.

Complete the Account Review

Ok, you made sure your business is eligible to set up shop on Instagram and now you have set up your product catalog. Now it’s time to bring your wonderful products closer to your clients by submitting your account for review.

  1. Go to your business profile and click on the three horizontal line symbol located on the top right corner of the screen
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Sign up for shopping
  4. Follow the steps on the screen to submit your account for review

After completing these steps, you can visit “Shopping” in your “Settings” to check your status at any time. The process can take a few days, but once you’ve been approved you will receive a notification from Instagram to complete the set-up.

Time to Turn On Shopping

You did it! You opened your shop on Instagram and it even has the platform’s official stamp of approval! Now what? All that is left is to display your wow-worthy products and start selling. To do this…

  1. Go to your business’s Instagram profile and click on the three horizontal line symbol located on the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Select “Settings”
  3. Click on “Business” and then “Shopping”
  4. Select the “Product Catalog” you wish to connect to your account
  5. Click “Done”

Start Tagging!

Now it’s time to do what you signed up for: tagging photos and videos to highlight products across your feed and stories. There are differences in how to tag posts versus stories. The next sections guide you through each medium:

Shopping Tags in Posts

Start by uploading a photo like you would normally do, but before hitting that post button, follow the steps below:

  1. Click “Add photo”
  2. Add caption
  3. Click on “Tag Products”
  4. Tap on the photo
  5. Search for your product
  6. Select your desired product
  7. Tap “Done” and “Share”

Shopping Sticker in Stories

After you choose a picture for your story, follow the steps below to add a product sticker to your story:

  1. Click on the sticker icon in the top right corner of the screen
  2. Select the product sticker from the sticker tray
  3. Select the product you want to feature from your catalog
  4. Move the product sticker to wherever you want it to appear on your story
  5. Optional: Change the text color of the sticker by tapping the sticker
  6. Share your story!

It’s All About the Insights

Selling online is nothing without insights backing up your efforts! To access the insights of your shoppable posts go to your post, tap “View Insights,” and swipe up the tab to view product insights on your product tag. There, you will be able to see a post’s product insights as well as post engagement.

On the other hand, if it’s your story’s insights that you are looking for, go ahead and click on your business profile. Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner, and then click on “Insights.” Scroll down to “Stories” and select “See All” to see the stories posted over the past 14 days. From there, you can select to view a specific interaction, such as reach or follows, and see an overview of how many actions were taken across your stories. Finally, click on an individual story and swipe up to see its analytics.

You have officially set up an Instagram Shop for your store! Take a breather, that was a lot to take in. But before you do, do you have some Instagram shopping insight we missed on this blog? We are all ears, comment down below. And with that – happy selling!


Written by Sam Barraza
Sam Barraza is a Copywriter and Editor for Birch River Design Group, she specializes in SEO copywriting for digital assets and content creation, as well as proofreading, editing, and email marketing. Sam enjoys writing and reading fiction in her spare time - always with a strong coffee in hand.
Published on November 16, 2020
Filed Under: Social Media