How to Use New Shopping Features on Facebook & Instagram to Boost Your Marketing Results

Instagram and Facebook are being used more and more by many companies that want to reach out to users such as millennials and Generation Z.

The effectiveness of marketing using such platforms has already been proven. On Instagram alone, 90% of the over 1 billion users follow some business account.

Additionally, over the past few years, Facebook has released features such as Facebook Shops, Instagram Checkout, and Live Shopping that have removed many of the minor frictions associated with purchasing products featured on social media .

In this article, we’ll explore the free features and benefits that businesses can use to sell directly from the Instagram or Facebook platform.

Facebook

Table of Contents

3 shopping features available on Instagram

Facebook shop

Strictly speaking, this is a function on the Facebook side, which owns Instagram, but if you are a follower of Instagram, you can purchase products through this function even if you do not have a Facebook account registered.

Launched in May 2020 , the Facebook Shops feature allows you to set up an online shop that links directly to your Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook business pages.

You can set up a shop for free and upload your product listings in bulk or individually with photos, prices and descriptions . You can even make the color and text of your shop buttons adhere to your company’s branding. Products can be purchased directly through the shop function, or through partner e-commerce (electronic commerce) sites that visitors usually use.

Use Facebook Commerce Manager to open a Facebook shop . To get started, you ‘ll need admin rights to the Instagram or Facebook business account you’re linking to your shop, and admin rights to your company’s Facebook catalog .

When you open a shop, you can link directly to your business profile on Instagram. Once completed, a ‘View Shop’ button will appear below your profile in the mobile app. At the time of this writing, you can access Facebook Shop on desktop from your Facebook business profile, but not from Instagram or WhatsApp desktop sites.

For accounts of Ink Meets Paper , a printing company with a Facebook shop , the Instagram app will show the shop screen like this:

Ink Meets Paper's Facebook and Instagram shop

Facebook Shops is free to use for any business that meets the business page requirements described above . Perfect for small businesses interested in e-commerce but with limited time and resources to build and promote a large-scale e-commerce site.

For more information on Facebook Shops features and launch background, check out this blog post .

2. Instagram Checkout

If you only sell specific products on Instagram, or don’t have time to build a Facebook business page or catalog and set up a shop, the in-app checkout feature that works with Instagram shopping posts can help.

In the past, some companies have introduced Shopping Posts . Images that represent the product and its usage experience were largely handled, and when the user tapped the content, it was a mechanism that could be viewed in an external online catalog.

Instagram shopping post

However, with the release of the checkout function in March 2019 , it is now possible to complete purchases on shopping posts within the app.

Instagram explains that this in-app payment feature will eliminate the need to switch platforms when making purchases . Furthermore, by effectively utilizing the ecosystem of Instagram shopping functions, it is possible to combine brand awareness and smooth payment processing.

The checkout feature is currently free for the rest of 2021, but there may be a referral fee after 2022. An Instagram post states that they will be waiving referral fees on checkout features through the end of 2021, in an effort to help businesses save money during the current difficult economic times.

When a first-time checkout user clicks on a checkout-linked shopping post, they are prompted to enter their name, billing information, and shipping address. Once completed, you will be able to click the buy button within Instagram. Moreover, since the necessary information can be stored in the app at the time of purchase, there is no need to repeatedly enter the information each time an order is placed.

Instagram shopping post and shop

From the explanation so far, you may not feel the difference from Facebook Shop.

The common denominator is that consumers can buy directly on Instagram.

Facebook Shops are small online shops where you can choose from a large selection of products from a particular brand. The checkout feature, on the other hand, allows you to purchase specific products that appear as shopping posts in your feed or on your company’s profile page.

To use the checkout feature, you must meet the same requirements as Facebook Shop and be approved to use the Instagram Shopping feature.There is also

If you want to try selling online but don’t want to set up a shop with lots of products and keep track of sales, checkout is perfect for you. Even with the checkout feature, it’s possible to feature 1-2 products in 2-3 posts and track content engagement and sales metrics.

3. Instagram & Facebook Live Shopping Feature

While the previously mentioned Instagram/Facebook features allow you to sell products through posts and published Stories, we have also launched a new Live Shopping feature for Facebook/Instagram.

Instagram live shopping

In addition to adding checkout functionality, Facebook also launched Instagram Live Shopping, the first service by Facebook to enable similar purchases during live streams on the app.

Instagram live shoppingallows businesses and influencers to display a small call-to-action (CTA) button at the bottom of their Instagram live stream. In the example below, the checkout CTA is clearly placed at the bottom of the livestream where the influencer showcases the product.

Instagram live shopping content

When viewers of your Instagram Live stream click Add to Bag on your checkout CTA button, they can choose to place an order after watching the live stream or purchase the item immediately with the checkout feature.

After adding items to your Instagram bag, you can see what’s inside by going to the Explore tab in the app and tapping Shop in the top navigation bar. To access from the shop page, tap the bag icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Shopping tab within the Instagram app

Instagram Checkout is used to pay for purchases made on Instagram Live Shopping, so businesses running Live Shopping must enable access to Instagram Checkout in advance.

Facebook live shopping

If your audience is primarily on Facebook, you may want to take advantage of the Facebook Live Shopping feature announced in Spring 2021. 

Facebook Live Shopping Feature

Similar to Instagram Live Shopping, relevant products pop up for your Facebook Live viewers. Users can purchase products by clicking pop-ups while watching live broadcasts. 

The process for promoting products during Facebook Live is similar to Instagram.

  • To create a seamless buying experience on Facebook Live, start by creating  a Facebook Shop .
  • Once everything is set up for your shop, go to the Live Video creation page in your Facebook account, click the Live Shopping tab, and toggle Enable Live Shopping to ON.
  • When you start a live stream with Shopping enabled, you can specify which products you would like to feature during the broadcast by following  the steps to showcase your shop’s products .

If you’re just getting started with Facebook and Instagram Live Shopping, Facebook’s website has some best practices for streaming . Whether it’s rehearsing an unlisted live event, reiterating key product information, saving your live feed to your timeline, or following up with viewers who share their comments in your feed after your live stream. Full of tips.

Notes on selling products on Instagram

The explanation so far may give you an idea of ​​how to sell products using Instagram’s in-app shopping feature. However, there are always pitfalls to be aware of with any new method of marketing and selling.

Content strategy is the key to success

It’s tempting to expect people to click the checkout button on a post that’s packed with product photos and promotional quotes, but many users don’t respond well to advertising-heavy content .

Keep in mind that social media users are exposed to product photos and clichéd copy ads every day. Even your favorite brands can lose interest if the content doesn’t stand out from the surrounding promotional posts .

Instead of just setting up checkout features on product images and videos, try something a little different. For example, live demos can be streamed with influencers talking about products, or user-generated content such as customer reviews can be published. You can provide users with more valuable information than mediocre product photos, while getting real buyers to promote your products. Such persuasive content can significantly reduce the time to purchase.

Choose the right features for your company

If the shop function allows you to purchase multiple products from a wide range of products at once, the checkout function and Instagram Live Shopping allow you to make full use of your content to promote specific items and services. A Facbook shop is a good choice for businesses that can sell a wide variety of products or have a large potential demand . If your business is still limited and you want to focus on one product at a time, Instagram checkout and live shopping can help.

And if you have a large supply of products to sell, but don’t have the luxury to create content, Facebook Shops can help improve inventory turnover. On the other hand, if your content production is in full swing but you only have a few core products to sell, create product marketing content (in English) and use it in conjunction with Instagram Checkout.

Monitor metrics like revenue

The Facebook Shop, Instagram Checkout, and Instagram Live Shopping features are all free, but building and maintaining your shop, or creating and tailoring content that complements the products you sell on Checkout, takes time and effort. Therefore, we recommend monitoring sales and engagement-related metrics for each initiative you adopt. These metrics can help you identify which initiatives are working (or which aren’t) and help you decide whether it’s worth investing your time into selling.

If you’re considering an ecommerce strategy using online platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but don’t know where to start, check out HubSpot’s Ecommerce Fundamentals Guide 

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