Instagram is Expanding “Shopping” to More Businesses & Creators

Instagram is expanding its Instagram Shopping features to more types of businesses — including creators!

The announcement came alongside a slew of other updates to Instagram Shopping, including the rollout of new “Commerce Eligibility Requirements.”

According to Instagram, once the update goes into effect on July 9th, any eligible business or creator account will be able to use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Instagram is Expanding “Shopping” to More Businesses & Creators

Instagram Expands Shopping Features to Include More Small Businesses and Creators

Over the past few months, Instagram has announced several new e-commerce features to help small businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this update goes beyond supporting small businesses — it extends Instagram’s e-commerce features to a whole new category of users: creators.

According to the announcement, “whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line,” you can use Instagram Shopping to make sales on Instagram.

instagram extends shopping to creators

As part of this expansion of Instagram Shopping, Instagram is also adding new “Commerce Eligibility Requirements” that businesses (and now creators) must fulfill in order to qualify for Instagram Shopping.

Here are the updated requirements:

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #1: Comply With Facebook’s Policies

Firstly, your Facebook account and Page must comply with Facebook’s Terms of ServiceCommercial Terms and Community Standards, and your Instagram professional account must comply with Instagram’s Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

This is all pretty standard and mainly has to do with regulating the types of products and services that can be offered for sale on Facebook and Instagram.

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #2: Represent Your Business and Domain

A second requirement is that businesses can only tag products on Instagram from a website that they own and sell from.

In other words, you can’t use your Instagram account to sell another business’s products, like in affiliate marketing. Your account should only contain listings for products that are available for purchase on your website.

commerce eligibility requirements

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #3: Be Located in a Supported Market

As before, in order to use Instagram Shopping, your business must be located in a supported market.

Keep in mind that not all Instagram Shopping features will be available to supported countries. For example, Instagram Checkout is currently only supported in the United States.

You can find an up-to-date list of supported countries here.

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #4: Demonstrate Trustworthiness

Your Instagram account must also demonstrate trustworthiness, including an authentic, established presence.

According to Instagram, this may also include maintaining a sufficient follower base, although Instagram doesn’t clarify what “sufficient” means.

instagram shopping

Commerce Eligibility Requirement #5: Provide Accurate Information & Follow Best Practices

Finally, in order to qualify for Instagram Shopping, your account must provide accurate information about your products. For example, product information listed on Instagram cannot contain misleading pricing and availability information.

Your refund and return policies must also be clearly displayed and easily accessible from your website or on Facebook or Instagram.

Beyond these new requirements, Instagram also intends to update its sign-in flow to give clearer guidance to businesses.

New businesses will go through Instagram’s updated flow and existing businesses will receive an in-app notification in the coming weeks with instructions about how to comply with it.

instagram shopping

What do you think of Instagram expanding Shopping to creators and more businesses? Are you planning on using Instagram shopping tags on your posts?

Let us know in the comments!

Instagram Monetization: 6 Ways to Earn Money on Instagram

If you’ve ever thought about monetizing your Instagram account, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s easier than ever in 2020.

Instagram’s continued investment in e-commerce features has opened up a world of opportunities for brands — as well as the creators who help support them.

We’re rounding up the best new features to earn money on Instagram, from Instagram Live Shopping to IGTV Ads:

Instagram Monetization: 6 Ways to Earn Money on Instagram

How to Make Money on Instagram:

This year, Instagram has been making some serious progress in the e-commerce space. From the ability to set up virtual storefronts, to having fans “tip” their favorite influencers, there’s a whole host of ways to make money on Instagram.

Here’s 6 new features that can help you monetize your Instagram account: 

Instagram Monetization #1: Sell Products With Instagram Shopping

Instagram’s first iteration of Instagram Shopping launched all the way back in 2016 as a simple product “tagging” feature. You could tag products in your posts and link them to your website where users could make a purchase.

Although the premise behind Instagram Shopping hasn’t changed much since 2016, the scope definitely has.

Today, Instagram Shopping is comprised of several features bundled into a single package: you can tag products in your organic posts and Instagram Stories, have people discover your products in Search & Explore, use insights to learn which products your community has engaged with the most, and (eventually) allow users to checkout directly from the Instagram app.

Here’s a breakdown of these features:

#1. Instagram Shopping Posts

Once you get set up with Instagram Shopping, you can start adding Shopping Tags to highlight products in your Instagram posts (including photo, video, and carousel posts).

To tag products within an Instagram post, start by uploading a photo as you normally would, and then tap “Tag Products” to tag a product from your Facebook catalog.

You can feature up to five products per image or video post, and up 20 products on multi-image (carousel) posts. You can also go back and add shopping tags to old posts on your business profile.

instagram shopping

When someone taps a Shopping Tag on your post, they’ll be taken to a product description page where they will see: an image of the product from your post, a description of the product, how much the product costs, and a link that takes them directly to your website where they can purchase the product.

instagram shopping

Instagram is also planning to launch AR experiences within product description pages, allowing users to virtually try products before making a purchase.

#2. Instagram Shopping Stories

Like with shopping posts, once you get set up with Instagram Shopping, you can start tagging products in your stories using the Shopping Sticker.

instagram shopping

Stories can feature one product sticker per story and you can adjust the color and text of product stickers.

#3. Instagram Shop

In a recent Facebook Live announcement, Mark Zuckerberg shared several new e-commerce features to support companies looking to bring their business online during COVID-19.

One of the biggest announcements was Instagram Shop, an upcoming feature that will provide a new way to discover and buy products directly within the Instagram app.

According to the announcement, Instagram Shop will begin rolling out this summer in the US, with plans to add a brand new shop tab in the navigation bar later this year, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap.

You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and so much more!

But until then, you can still find and shop products on the Search & Explore page as you normally would!

instagram shopping

#4. Instagram Checkout

Released to just a handful of mega-brands in the US last year, Instagram Checkout is a highly sought after feature that allows users to make a purchase without ever leaving the Instagram app.

With Instagram Checkout, customers can tap to view a product from a shopping post and then continue to the payment process, all within Instagram. All they have to do is enter their name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time they check out.

It’s simple, streamlined, and probably the easiest way of converting Instagram followers into customers.

However, despite such obvious advantages, Instagram Checkout might not be for everyone.

For some, Instagram’s transaction fees may be a cause for concern. According to their Business Help Center, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

And Instagram Checkout can also mean brands lose out on valuable customer data (such as emails) as all communications are handled by Instagram rather than the brand directly.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

That being said, we expect a ton of brands to use Instagram Checkout once it rolls out more widely!

Instagram Monetization #2: Create a New Revenue Stream With Shopping From Creators

Instagram’s Shopping from Creators may still be in beta testing, but it’s already causing a stir when it comes to driving sales on social!

The feature allows creators and influencers to create their own Instagram shopping posts and tag products from the brands they partner with.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

Of course, not just anyone can start tagging products from brands and reap the rewards. In order to access the feature, you first need to switch to an Instagram Creator Account, and then you need to be approved by a brand to tag their products in your posts.

Once you’ve done that, you can start tagging products in your feed posts and Instagram Stories!

Just keep in mind that Checkout doesn’t have a revenue-sharing model at the moment, so you’ll have to work out any affiliate or conversion payments as part of your influencer agreement.

On the brand side, Shopping from Creators is packed with benefits.

Not only does it make creator partner posts so much easier to shop, but it also allows you to track exactly how many product views and clicks the tagged post is attracting. This is a super useful insight into what drives engagement and (most importantly) what drives sales.

This feature is also in a closed beta, but we’re hoping it opens up this year!

Instagram Monetization #3: Build an Integrated Online Store With Facebook Shops

Facebook recently launched its biggest move into e-commerce yet: Facebook Shops!

According to Zuckerberg, the basic idea behind Facebook Shops (or Shops for short) is that it allows small businesses to build an online store and sell things directly across Facebook’s family of apps, including Facebook and Instagram.

Business owners can create a dedicated “shop” section on their Facebook Page or Instagram profile and build out a catalog of products and services that visitors can browse, save, share, and even purchase.

instagram shopping

And while every business, both big and small, can benefit from this, Facebook Shops is especially valuable to small businesses.

That’s because Shops are free and easy to create, fast, and, most importantly, they’re integrated across Facebook’s many apps, meaning once you set up your shop, it’s going to be available on your Facebook Page and your Instagram profile (and accessible from stories and ads).

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

Facebook Shops are also highly customizable. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.

Facebook is partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help brands bring their products into Facebook Shops.

Businesses will be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops, as well as any social ads related to those Shops.

Speaking on the partnership, Shopify said: “Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify.”

According to Zuckerberg, part of Facebook Shops’ customization will also come from AI and Facebook’s augmented reality tech.

For example, if you’re a clothing store that makes clothes for both men and women, you’ll be able to personalize your storefront to show products that are most relevant to the visitor, like men’s jackets or women’s jeans.

Visitors to your store will also be able to use AR to virtually try on things like sunglasses, makeup, and even furniture — a lot like Instagram’s augmented reality shopping feature that was announced late last year.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

And just like when you’re in a physical store and need to ask someone for help, in Facebook Shops you’ll be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries, and more.

And in the future, you’ll be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.

Instagram Monetization #4: Make Money on Instagram With IGTV Ads

Last month, Instagram broke the news that it’s finally rolling out updates that will allow creators to earn money directly on IGTV!

These updates include new ads on IGTV videos, badges that viewers can purchase during a live video, and an expansion of Brand Collabs Manager, which is essentially Facebook’s own influencer marketing platform.

instagram monetization: make money on instagram

The launch of video ads is big news for the platform — this is the first time creators will be able to make money directly from IGTV since its launch in 2018.

Along with the earlier release of Instagram’s Shopping from Creators for feed posts and stories, the addition of IGTV ads gives creators access to a full-fledged money-making platform.

And while details are still scarce, according to an interview with The Verge, Instagram’s COO, Justin Osofsky, shared that those in the program will receive an “industry standard” 55% share of all advertising on IGTV.

As mentioned in the announcement, Instagram plans to test IGTV ads with a small group of creators and advertisers in the US and will expand slowly over time as they improve the experience (this includes IKEA, Puma, Sephora, and more).

They also plan to test various experiences within IGTV ads throughout the year — such as the ability to skip an ad.

Popular creators such as Avani Gregg and Salice Rose will be among the first to test out the new monetization feature, with a wider, international release in the coming months.

Instagram Monetization #5: Earn “Tips” With Instagram Live Badges

Playing off a popular feature within Twitch and TikTok, which allows followers to “tip” creators during live streams, Instagram Live Badges are the latest feature aimed at helping influencers make money on Instagram.

With the new feature, viewers, followers, and fans can purchase a badge during a Live video that will stand out in the comments and unlock additional features, including placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart.

instagram live badges

Although badges are still in beta, according to early details, badges will be available on 3 different tiers, based on the number of hearts available to purchase.

Viewers can buy one heart for $0.99, two for $1.99, or 3 for $4.99. It’s reported that initially, creators will receive 100% of the revenue from Instagram Live badges sales.

Creators can also see how many hearts a viewer has purchased thanks to a visual icon in the chat stream, making it easy to see who is supporting them for a shout-out.

If you’re an influencer and would like to be considered for early access to badges, you can fill out this form.

Instagram Monetization #6: Instagram Live Shopping

There’s no denying that Instagram Live has experienced a bit of a rebirth amid COVID-19.

In fact, Facebook has reported a 70% increase in Live views from February to March as creators and brands found new ways to embrace the platform during social distancing.

So it seemed like a natural progression for Instagram to release Instagram Live features that would help support small businesses and communities during this time.

Enter: Live Shopping!

instagram live shopping

Soon, sellers, brands, and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.

Tina Craig (@bagsnob) was one of the first to use the new Live feature promoting her latest product launches from her brand @ubeauty.

instagram live shopping

This one small change makes for a serious switch to a QVC-like, live shopping channel! Now you can get purchasing advice live from the host — which means you can have a live Q&As with your audience, share product details, or give product demos, all with a live link to purchase at the bottom of the screen.

As Instagram continues to invest heavily in e-commerce and creators, we expect them to release even more features to earn money on Instagram.

Until then, the features we highlighted in this post should provide you with everything you need to turn your Instagram audience into real-life customers.

Introducing Instagram Shop: A New Way to Discover Products

Introducing Instagram Shop — a new e-commerce destination that makes it easier to shop from brands and creators!

Already available in US, Instagram Shop is set to change how businesses make money on Instagram.

Ready to learn more about Instagram Shop? We’re covering all the important details in this blog post:

Introducing Instagram Shop: A New Way to Discover Products

What is Instagram Shop?

Instagram Shop is a new, more streamlined way for users to discover shoppable products on Instagram.

The new shopping destination is currently being rolled out in the US alongside the launch of Facebook Pay — a new secure way to make payments across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

First announced earlier this year, Instagram Shop will allow users to browse products through a new permanent button on the app’s main navigation bar, as well as from Instagram Explore.

The new Instagram Shop button is replacing the Activity “heart” button in the main menu, which is a huge change and a significant shift towards e-commerce:

The new Instagram Shop tab features shoppable selections from brands and creators, with filter categories like brands, beauty, and home.

Posts also have a new “Shop” button, making it extra easy to find inspiration and purchase products directly within the Instagram app.

It’s unknown exactly how Facebook will determine which products and brands get featured on the new Instagram Shop tab, but it is likely that brands actively using Instagram Shopping and Checkout features will be prioritized.

Why Instagram is Launching a New Shop Destination

Facebook and Instagram have launched several huge new e-commerce features in recent months, from Facebook and Instagram Shops to food delivery & gift card Instagram Stories stickers.

According to a recent press release, this drastic shift to e-commerce is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles it has caused for many businesses:

“Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online.”

“That’s why we’re launching Facebook Shops and investing in features across our apps that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.”

Alongside supporting businesses, there’s also an obvious monetary incentive for Facebook to pivot towards e-commerce across its family of apps.

According to their Business Help Center, the fee for any product sold using Instagram Checkout is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

nstagram Shop: Everything You Need to Know

So with this in mind, it makes a lot of sense for Facebook to give extra visibility to shoppable products with a new Instagram Shop destination.

Facebook also plans to launch a new Live Shopping feature across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time.

According to Zuckerberg, more than 800 million people engage in live video daily across Facebook and Instagram, and a lot of that includes product tutorials and launches — so there’s already a strong e-commerce culture attached to live video.

But with Facebook’s upcoming Live Shopping feature, businesses will be able to “tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.”

nstagram Shop: Everything You Need to Know

What do you think of Instagram’s new Shop feature? Join the conversation over on AV Digital’s Instagram channel.

Facebook & Instagram Launch “Shops” to Help Small Businesses Sell Online

Facebook just launched its biggest move into e-commerce yet: Facebook Shops!

Announced today during a Facebook Live session with Mark Zuckerberg, the new e-commerce feature will allow small businesses to build online stores on both Facebook and Instagram.

And in the near future, Facebook Shops will also allow small businesses to sell products through Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Messenger, and tag products during live broadcasts!

Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook newest e-commerce feature: 

Build a Store on Facebook and Instagram with Shops

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, the economic consequences for small businesses have been, well, pretty bad.

Just yesterday, Facebook released its State of Small Business Report, which surveyed 86,000 small businesses in the United States, and one finding was that 31% of small businesses have stopped operating as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

But according to Zuckerberg, one way that businesses are surviving during this period is by moving more online.

“We’re seeing a lot of businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we’re seeing small businesses that had an online presence now make them their primary way of doing business,” he said.

“This isn’t going to make up for all of the lost business, but it can help. And for lots of small businesses during this period, this is the difference between staying afloat and going under.”

facebook shops

Small businesses are pretty important to Facebook. According to Zuckerberg, the vast majority of Facebook’s advertisers are small businesses, and it also makes up the biggest part of their revenue.

So it’s no wonder why the company has been so invested in helping small businesses weather the COVID-19 storm.

In March, the company announced a $100 million grant program for small businesses, they launched food delivery & gift card stickers on Instagram in mid-April, and, just last week, they rolled out a Support Small Businesses sticker.

But today’s announcement of Facebook Shops was the biggest of all — and probably Facebook’s most important e-commerce play to date.

In Zuckerberg’s own words: “This is the biggest step we’ve taken yet to enable commerce across our family of apps.”

Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook Shops:

Introducing Facebook Shops

According to Zuckerberg, the basic idea behind Facebook Shops (or Shops for short) is that it allows small businesses to build an online store and sell things directly across Facebook’s family of apps, including Facebook and Instagram.

Business owners can create a dedicated “shop” section on their Facebook Page or Instagram profile and build out a catalog of products and services that visitors can browse, save, share, and even purchase.

Facebook Shops

And while every business, both big and small, can benefit from this, Facebook Shops is especially valuable to small businesses.

That’s because Shops are free and easy to create, fast, and, most importantly, they’re integrated across Facebook’s many apps, meaning once you set up your shop, it’s going to be available on your Facebook Page and your Instagram profile (and accessible from stories and ads). 

facebook shops instagram

Facebook Shops are also highly customizable. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.

Facebook is partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help brands bring their products into Facebook Shops.

Businesses will be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops, as well as any social ads related to those Shops.

Speaking on the partnership, Shopify said: “Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify.”

According to Zuckerberg, part of Facebook Shops’ customization will also come from AI and Facebook’s augmented reality tech.

For example, if you’re a clothing store that makes clothes for both men and women, you’ll be able to personalize your storefront to show products that are most relevant to the visitor, like men’s jackets or women’s jeans.

Visitors to your store will also be able to use AR to virtually try on things like sunglasses, makeup, and even furniture — a lot like Instagram’s augmented reality shopping feature that was announced late last year.

augmented reality shopping

And just like when you’re in a physical store and need to ask someone for help, in Facebook Shops you’ll be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries, and more.

And in the future, you’ll be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.

facebook shops

Finally, Facebook is also testing ways to make it easier to earn rewards with businesses you love by enabling you to connect your loyalty programs, like the points program at your local cafe, to your Facebook account.

“You’ll be able to easily see and keep track of your points and rewards,” according to Facebook’s announcement. “And we’re exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage, and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.”

facebook shops loyalty program

Something to keep in mind is while creating and using Shops is free, Facebook plans to collect a commission on orders that are made through the tool.

According to a TechCrunch interview with Facebook’s vice president of ads Dan Levy, the company plans to charge “small fees” on each purchase made through Shops — although he didn’t specify the rate or percentage.

We should know fairly soon, however, as Facebook Shops are rolling out today in the United States and should be available more widely in the coming months.

Instagram Shop, Live Shopping, and Other E-commerce Tools from Facebook

While the main focus of Zuckerberg’s Facebook Live session today was Facebook Shops, he also discussed some of the other e-commerce features Facebook is building to make it easier to buy and sell products online.

The biggest announcement was Instagram Shop, which will allow users to browse products directly from Instagram Explore and, eventually, will exist as a permanent button on the navigation bar, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap.

According to Facebook’s press release, once the feature rolls out, you’ll be able to “browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place.”

Instagram Shop

Facebook also plans to launch a new Live Shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time.

According to Zuckerberg, more than 800 million people engage in live video daily across Facebook and Instagram, and a lot of that includes product tutorials and launches — so there’s already a strong e-commerce culture attached to live video.

But with Facebook’s upcoming Live Shopping feature, businesses will be able to “tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.”

live shopping

Facebook and Instagram are already big shopping destinations, but Facebook Shops is bound to open a floodgate of new opportunities for small businesses!

What do you think of Facebook’s new e-commerce features? Let us know in the comments!

How to Use Instagram’s New Support Small Business Sticker

There are lots of ways to support small businesses during COVID-19, including using the new Support Small Business sticker for Instagram Stories!

Announced just yesterday, the new sticker was created by Instagram to help people discover and support small businesses during COVID-19 — and it’s already getting a ton of use.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s new support Small Business Sticker for Instagram Stories:

How to Use Instagram’s New Support Small Business Sticker

Ever since COVID-19 took hold globally, Instagram has been laser-focused on providing tools and features to support small businesses. There’s the food delivery & gift card stickers Instagram rolled out in mid-April, Facebook’s new small business grants program, and a lot more!

And now they’ve announced a new Support Small Business sticker for Instagram Stories!

support small business sticker

With the new sticker, people can mention the small businesses they love directly in the sticker to give their followers a preview of the account. When people use the sticker, their story will be added to a shared Instagram story, so their followers can see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.

This is a great way to help businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.

How to Use Instagram’s Support Small Business Sticker

To use Instagram’s new sticker, open the stories camera, and snap a photo or video as you normally would.

Once you’re happy, open the stickers tray and select the Support Small Business sticker.

support small business sticker

Next, type the name of the small business you want to support.

support small business sticker

You can tap the sticker for more options and styles.

support small business sticker

And that’s it! Once you hit publish, your story will be added to a shared Instagram story, so your followers can see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.

support small business sticker

When someone views your story and taps the sticker, they’ll see a small pop-up with details about the business you tagged.

support small business sticker

The business you tag will also receive a notification and can choose to repost the content to their own stories or send you a DM to say thanks.

If you’re interested in checking out all of the tools, features, and resources that Instagram has launched to help small businesses during COVID-19, you can check out their directory here.

And if you have an Instagram business profile, you can also check out the Business Resources section of your account (at the top of your profile) to stay informed about the latest tools and resources that can help during this time.

business resources instagram

What do you think of Instagram’s new Support Small Business sticker? Let us know in the comments!

Instagram Checkout: Everything You Need to Know

Instagram Checkout was first released in 2019 to just a handful of mega-brands in the US and after a year of beta testing, we could soon start to see it in our feeds worldwide!

The Checkout feature allows users to make a purchase without ever leaving the Instagram app — creating a streamlined, 2-tap process to converting Instagram followers into loyal customers.

To help you prepare, we’re taking a deeper dive into the benefits of Instagram Checkout. Plus, we share 5 top industry tips to drive maximum sales with this new feature!

Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Checkout

What is Instagram Checkout?

Instagram Checkout lets users buy products from brands *directly* on Instagram — without leaving the Instagram app!

With Instagram Checkout, customers can tap to view a product from a shoppable post and then continue to the payment process, all within Instagram! All they have to do is enter their name, email, billing information, and shipping address the first time they check out.

Checkout first launched in March 2019 with just 26 brands (including ZaraRevolveWarby Parker, and Nike) making up the original beta test group.

Fast-forward 12 months and hundreds of brands across the US are now trialing the new checkout feature — with huge names like SoulCycleSteve Madden, and Hollister in the mix.

But Instagram Checkout isn’t open to all brands and it’s currently only available to shoppers based in the US. However, given Instagram’s recent progress in the e-commerce space, it’s likely we’ll see this feature continue to roll out across the US (and beyond!) in the not so distant future.

Speaking to Glossy, Dan Gardner, CEO of digital creative agency Code and Theory, explains that  as more businesses gain access to the feature, the more successful it will become.

“If the [in-app Checkout] feature rolls out to everybody, it will have some level of success. Consumers will get more used to it and [brands will] see a bigger lift happen. Brands won’t necessarily replace [their] own e-commerce channels with Instagram Checkout, but it will be another meaningful way to convert,” said Gardner.

Mike Karanikolas, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of early adopter Revolve, shared how Instagram Checkout has been a success for the brand so far, but isn’t currently a big part of the company’s business.

“We’re excited about the long-term opportunity of it,” he said during the brand’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February.

Instagram has also already made it possible for a select number of influencers and content creators to drive sales through checkout on behalf of brands — creating a complete e-commerce marketplace.

With Instagram’s Shopping for Creators feature, influencers and content creators can now add product tags from their brand partners to their Instagram posts and stories that users can tap on and pay for directly within the Instagram app.

There currently is no affiliate model in place for influencers driving sales on behalf of brands through Instagram Checkout — but savvy influencers and creators are likely to be charging more for this extra level of product endorsement.

With over 200 million users visiting at least one business profile every day, and 83% of users discovering new products and services on the platform, it’s no surprise that Instagram is making moves to connect the dots between brands and shoppers.

And while Instagram is still in the process of rolling out some of these features, the future looks promising for brands, businesses, and influencers looking to make sales with Instagram Checkout!

What Are the Benefits of Instagram Checkout for Business

There’s no doubt that Instagram Checkout comes with a ton of benefits for businesses and brands on Instagram, and even more so if you’re an early adopter of the feature!

The ability to drive your audience from browsing to purchasing in just a few quick taps can have a huge impact on your conversion rate as it creates a seamless experience for your customers.

Plus, early adopters of Instagram Checkout can benefit from all of the extra exposure opportunities within the Instagram app.

For example, when users click on the “Shop” tab from the Instagram Explore page, there are various curated edits that showcase products from Checkout-enabled brands.

Instagram’s new @shop account (with over 200K followers) also features brands that are embracing Instagram Shopping tools — creating a huge opportunity to reach potential new customers.

However, despite such obvious advantages, Instagram Checkout might not be for everyone.

For some, Instagram’s transaction fees may be a cause for concern. According to their Business Help Center, the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

And Instagram Checkout can also mean brands lose out on valuable customer data (such as emails) as all communications are handled by Instagram rather than the brand directly.

Luckily, there are additional ways to drive traffic and make sales on Instagram!

For example, the link in your bio is super easy to find and readily clickable, making it one of the most valuable traffic-drivers on your Instagram profile.

And the good news is, with Linkin.bio by Later, you can turn your whole Instagram feed into a clickable landing page that updates with every new post you share.

drive traffic from instagram

This means you can share multiple links to your products for every Instagram post you publish.

11 Creative Ways to Use Instagram Carousel Posts for Your Business

Instagram carousel posts are one of the most versatile tools you can use to achieve your business goals.

With a good creative strategy, you can boost engagement levels, increase brand loyalty, and even drive product sales!

To help you get started, here are 11 creative ways to use Instagram carousel posts for your business:

11 Creative Ways to Use Instagram carousel Posts

How to Use Instagram Carousel Posts #1: Promote a New Product

When you’ve got an exciting new product launch to share, sometimes a single photo post just isn’t enough.

Maybe you want to share product variations, like different colors or styles, or perhaps there are some minute (but important!) details you want to show off in your post.

Which is where Instagram carousel posts come in handy.

Carousel posts are a great way to share more pics, close-ups, and variations with your audience, allowing you to showcase your new product in all of its glory.

Take for example, Everlane — as part of their launch for their latest jumpsuit, they used a carousel posts to share several photos of it being worn in everyday scenarios, from work to play!

Not only does this allow their audience to get a deeper look at the quality of their products, but it also makes them feel more relatable — which is a great way to encourage more conversions.

And you don’t just have to have a physical product to capitalize on the value of carousels. At Later, they use carousel posts to jump into the details of our technical product releases.

The result? A highly visual slideshow that’s super easy to digest.

Whatever your product, carousel posts provide a great opportunity for you to celebrate the details of your new product with your audience.

How to Use Instagram Carousel Posts #2: Share a Before and After Reveal 

We’re used to seeing swipe-right transformations, like makeovers, home renovations, upcycling projects, artwork, and even tattoo designs.

And there’s something so satisfying about a swipeable reveal, and Instagram carousel posts are one of the best ways to deliver a good before and after post.

Check out how, Dermalogica uses carousel posts with UGC content to reveal before and afters, thanks to their customers’ at-home snaps:

But recently, we’ve spotted a huge wave of before and after reveals of photography edits.

Thanks to the rise of Lightroom presets, and tons of other great photo editing apps, brands, business, and influencers can take advantage of carousel posts to show off their digital edits.

Whether it’s a physical makeover or a digital one, before and after reveals can spark a sense of curiosity in your audience — which can mean more scroll-throughs on your Instagram carousel post.

This is a win-win, as not only is your audience connecting with your content, but the Instagram algorithm could recognize this extra engagement and boost your post!

How to Use Instagram Carousel Posts #3: Provide Personalized Recommendations

Thanks to Instagram carousel posts, it’s easier than ever to create content that is targeted to a range of audiences — increasing both your reach and your engagement.

For example, SPF skincare brand Supergoop! uses carousel posts to provide several location-based SPF recommendations.

By using carousel posts in this way, Supergoop! are providing super-localized advice, without alienating their wider audience.

This type of hyper-personalized post is often used to provide bespoke recommendations for different skin types, age groups, and personality types.

Fenty Beauty really optimizes this technique by sharing horoscope-themed carousel posts aligned with their latest beauty launch, which have racked up over 180k likes!

TIP: Invite your audience to share their recommendation or tag a friend in the comments for an added engagement boost!

How to Use Instagram Carousel Posts #4: Share Brand Stories (Without Ruining Your Aesthetic)

Instagram carousel posts are a great way to share more personal brand stories on Instagram, without disrupting a carefully curated feed.

The trick? Just make sure your first carousel photo is aligned with your Instagram aesthetic, and then you’re free to add almost any photo — no matter how grainy — to your post.

This is can be a really powerful way to share your personal brand stories on Instagram, such as pictures of your first office, early product sketches, or a snapshot from your first company meeting.

Check out how Chupi’s founder shares a throwback that shares her company’s journey.

Equally, you could use this technique to introduce members of your team, or share photos from a volunteer activity that your company took part in.

These are all great ways to build a stronger connection with your audience — and can really serve to humanize your brand on Instagram.