Instagram Shopping An E-Commerce Overview

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Instagram Shopping Overview

Instagram Shopping: An Opportunity for Health, Wellness, and Lifestyle Brands


With more than 1 billion active users each month, it’s no surprise that Instagram has made the shift into becoming a more e-commerce-friendly platform. Along with the huge user base, celebrity social channels and mega influencers have helped give Instagram the opportunity to become an e-commerce powerhouse. 

Considering the mass growth happening across the social commerce landscape, it’s important for health, wellness, and lifestyle brands to understand these digital marketing opportunities and take advantage when appropriate.

What is Instagram Shopping?

Instagram Shopping allows businesses and brands to sell their products across IG in a variety of different ways, and it all starts with an Instagram Shop. An Instagram Shop is essentially a brand’s digital storefront. Brands have the ability to tag their products directly in posts and include swipe-up links to products on stories, allowing customers to buy products directly on Instagram – creating a seamless customer journey.

Why Brands Should Consider Instagram Shops 

Seamless Checkouts

  • With Instagram Checkout,  consumer information is stored on Instagram. So there is no need to create an account and login for every website they are buying from your brand.  
  • Consumers won’t need to jump from site to site when ordering items from different businesses. Instagram allows users to add items to their shopping cart from different shops and checkout from each business straight from the Instagram app. 
  • Brands have the ability to tag products directly in their posts, which gives consumers easier access to the product info without forcing them to navigate to an outside site and leave their social feed.

What Brands Should Know 

Instagram wasn’t developed to be an e-commerce platform

Let’s be honest – Instagram is a content platform. And a really great one. But it wasn’t originally intended to be an e-commerce platform. 

While Instagram is continuing to work on becoming more e-commerce friendly, there are still functionality components like in-depth analytics and campaign management that need to be refined before Instagram will be comparable to platforms with more robust features.

Transaction Fees

When you make a sale, Meta Business deducts a fee from your payout – what they call a selling fee.

That selling fee comes out to a 5% fee per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. 

While Facebook is temporarily waving the standard selling fee for all orders through June 30th, 2022, it’s still important to consider what transaction fees mean for your company in the long run. 

Lack of Customer Data

When it comes to data, you win some and you lose some. 

While Instagram Checkout has streamlined the checkout process for customers, it comes at the expense of losing access to some data. Customer’s payment and shipping information is all stored on Instagram and brands only receive the information needed to complete an order. Users are not required to enter their email address, which is potentially a huge loss for brands that rely on email marketing for brand loyalty and repeat purchases. 

Restricted Control

Keep in mind that you are doing business through Instagram, but also with Instagram. 

Your brand’s reputation and security are in the hands of Instagram. If Facebook and Instagram happened to have any serious security breaches, which has been known to happen, there’s a chance that your business and customer’s data could be compromised, so this may not be a tolerable risk for clients in sensitive categories such as for certain health or wellness brands.  

Ready to set Up Your Instagram Shop?

Before you can set up Instagram Shopping for your brand, there are a few things your business needs to have:

  • Location: Your business must be located where Instagram Shopping is available. Check if you are a supported market here.
  • Product: Your business must sell a physical product, not a service.
  • Policies: Your business must comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.
  • Ownership: Your business must own your own e-commerce website
  • Business Profile: You must have a business profile on Instagram
  • Business Manager: You must have a business manager account set up on Facebook

Step 1: Connect to a Facebook Page 

To have an Instagram Shop, you need to first have a Facebook Shop. Instagram pulls all product information from Facebook. 

To link a Facebook Page to an Instagram Business Account, click here

Step 2: Create your Product Catalog 

Your Instagram Product Catalog is a list of all your products, descriptions, and inventory. 

There are two ways to upload your product catalog to your Instagram account:

  1. Facebook Business Catalog Manager
  2. Ecommerce Database Integration 

Step 3: Submit for Review

Once your product catalog is uploaded to Instagram, it’s time to submit your account for review! 

For steps on how to submit your account for review, click here

Step 4: Activate Instagram Shopping 

Once your account has been approved, it’s time to start selling! To turn on shopping features, click here

Step 5: Time to Create an Instagram Shopping Post

Now that your Instagram Shop is up and running, it’s time to post, and Parallel Path is here to help! If you would like additional insights on creating an Instagram Shop or running ads through Instagram, please reach out to us so we can help create a strategic plan.