For some time now, Instagram has become, along with Facebook, one of the main digital media where users meet new companies. Moreover, one in three of its users buys online at least once every three months.
These figures incite more and more companies to join the platform and end up advertising on it, which is the main source of income for Instagram.
Instagram Shop is a free tool that was created in an effort to make Instagram even more attractive to businesses, becoming something virtually all eCommerce should consider implementing. It is not something that replaces our online store (as Facebook Shops intend to do) but rather it is meant to help us sell more of our products.
Simply put, Instagram Shops allows us to label the products we are showing in our Instagram posts so that an interested user can see them in the catalog we have integrated into the platform. If interested and clicked, the user is redirected directly to the products page on our website.
Full requirements and step-by-step instructions are available in the official Instagram article which you can access by clicking here.
Without a doubt, the most tedious step is the validation of our business by Instagram in order to use IG Shop. According to Instagram, this can take “a few days, or sometimes a little longer”, and that “a little longer” can take several months.
If you haven’t yet applied and it makes sense for your business, we recommend that you begin to familiarize yourself and experiment with the tool.
If you have already applied and your business has been approved, then congratulations! If on the contrary your application is rejected, don’t be discouraged as it is very common. Here are some tips for troubleshooting:
- Make sure that our eCommerce and products are within the IG Shop’s guidelines. For example, it may be obvious that nutritional supplements, alcohol or adult products are not allowed, but in the case of IG Shop, digital products such as courses, eBooks and other downloadable products are not allowed either – It’s for physical products only.
- Make sure that IG Shop is authorized in our country. Most European countries are already on board.
- Make sure that the keywords you use in the description of your products in the catalog don’t trigger the algorithm’s alarm. For example, even the word “dog” can be a problem because Facebook does not allow the sale of animals, and the system can interpret that it is related to this. We even may be selling just tea, but based on the description, the system may associate this with the health products category, which will get our application rejected.
- Make sure we have the business information filled out completely so that the system has no doubt that we are a real and serious business.
Having said that, just be patient! Many businesses don’t try this new tool because they think it’s complicated or they got rejected the first time, so persistence will give you a competitive edge over them.