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What You Need to Know When Using Instagram Shops for Your Business

For any savvy user, shopping directly on Instagram is the next seamless step in how they experience and rely on the platform. 

Instagram Shops, the e-commerce feature which launched in 2019, allows brands to create digital storefronts within the content they share – turning photos and videos into shoppable moments all across the app. For brands and creators alike, Instagram Shops offers a game-changing opportunity to meet your audiences where they are. In this comprehensive guide, we’re breaking down everything to know about Instagram Shops, and how to leverage the feature for maximum return. Let’s dive in!

What is Instagram Shops?

The genius of the Instagram Shops experience for consumers lies in its convenience and seamlessness. Instead of maneuvering through a sea of clunky outbound links and web browsers within the platform, you can shop, checkout, and pay, without ever leaving the app.   Instagram Shops was designed with brands in mind, allowing you to expand the visibility of your products, and provide a shoppable touchpoint between you and your target audiences. 

For brands and creators alike, Instagram Shops provides a lucrative opportunity to connect with your audience during pivotal moments of discovery. Leveraging the prowess of Instagram’s AR capabilities, some brands have tapped into the feature to enhance the shopping experience for consumers, allowing users to virtually “try on” everything from sunglasses to lipstick shades. 

In its most recent update in June 2021, Instagram expanded its shopping features. Influencers and creators can promote and sell their products and content, as well as earn commission for affiliate partnerships they maintain with brands. Facebook shared that 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery, and 130 million users engage with Instagram Shop posts. Needless to say, Instagram Shops is on track to continue making big waves in the world of e-commerce. If you’re ready to take the plunge, keep reading to learn more on the nuts and bolts of the feature, and how to implement Instagram Shops for your brand. 

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How Instagram Shops Works

The most important first step when looking to explore Instagram Shops is evaluating if the feature is a right fit for your brand. 

Note: To create an Instagram Shop, you must sell a physical product. To sell non-physical items like services, rentals, sessions, leases, etc., you can create an Instagram Catalog

Is my Brand Right for Instagram Shops?
  • Do you sell a physical product? (e.g. candles, art prints, clothing, etc.)
  • Do you have a Facebook Business or Creator Account?

If you check all the boxes, you’re one step closer to launching your Instagram Shop! Once you’ve tackled all the preliminary onboarding items like linking your Facebook page, the next most important next step is getting your product catalog loaded to your Instagram Shop. 

How to Add Your Product Catalog to Your Instagram Shop


  1. Manual: Upload each item using the Catalog Manager within Commerce Manager. You’ll need to include an image of your item, a product name, description, and any other pertinent details that will lead your customer to purchase. 
  2. Automated: If your products are already featured on one of Facebook’s eCommerce Platform Partners (see link above), you can link your store in Commerce Manager and repurpose your existing catalog seamlessly. 

From there, you’ll turn on the Instagram Shops feature in your Instagram Profile’s Settings and it’s off to adding product tags to your content (and any public user-generated content featuring your products!) across Instagram. 

PLANOLY Pro-Tip: Use product descriptions to show your brand voice and speak directly to your audience. You don’t have to be overly mundane just because it’s a description. Talk about your product genuinely, and with the same love you poured into creating it. Craft compelling copy that makes it seem like you’re talking to them in the store. 

Instagram Shops: Understanding the Fine Print

There’s no cost associated with creating your Instagram Shop, so getting started is simply a matter of setting up your shop, and awaiting the brief review and approval period. The only investment you’ll make is if you decide to implement the fully integrated checkout on the Instagram feature. With Instagram taking on the role of the middle person, you’ll incur a selling fee of 5% for every sale they process on your behalf. Facebook details the breakdown of their selling fee which covers: taxes, cost of payment processing, and a fund to support programs for good buying and selling experiences. 

And that’s Instagram Shops in a nutshell! While this all may seem like a wealth of information to process and implement, rest assured. You have all the tools to be successful on the platform, and the payoff is worthy of the undertaking. Paving the way for small businesses to reach and connect with their target audiences, and providing access for creators to monetize their craft and develop their own businesses, Instagram Shopping is an avenue worthy of many brands to explore. 

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Asia Phua

Asia Phua is a contributing writer at PLANOLY. Combining her love for the three C's: culture, communication, and creativity, she thrives in helping brands tell their stories through content.

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