Over the years, millions of brands have poured into Instagram and Facebook to spread awareness to millennials, Gen Z, and other generations through the app.
And, at this point, marketing on these platforms has proven to be a wise strategy. Only on Instagram, 90% of its over 1 billion users Follow the business page on the platform.
Now, with the launch of Facebook Facebook Store, Instagram Checkout and Live Shopping In the past 12 months, many small remaining friction points between discovering and purchasing products on social media platforms have been eliminated.
In this blog post, I will focus on the latest free features that brands can use to sell directly from the Instagram or Facebook platform, as well as any brand requirements to use these features.
3 new Instagram shopping tools
Technically, the tool was launched by Facebook, which owns Instagram. However, your Instagram followers do not need a Facebook account to use this feature to make purchases.
Facebook store, Launched in May, Enabling brands to create online stores that link directly to the brand’s Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger or Facebook business pages.
When creating a free store, brands can Upload bulk or single product list Attach photos, prices and descriptions; change the store’s button color and text to make it consistent with their brand; and choose to allow visitors to purchase products directly from the store or through integration with e-commerce sites they already use .
Facebook store is available at Facebook Business Manager. First, you need to have admin rights for the Instagram business or Facebook business account that you want to link the store to, and admin rights for your brand Facebook directory.
After creating a store, it can be directly linked to your Instagram business profile. Once this is done, a “View Store” icon will appear in your mobile profile under your profile. At this point, you can access the desktop version of the Facebook store from the Facebook business profile, but not from the Instagram or WhatsApp desktop site.
When the Instagram app user visits Ink meets paper, A printing company that provides a Facebook store:
Facebook store, this is Free for all companies that meet the above business page requirements, May be a good choice for small and medium-sized enterprises that are interested in e-commerce but do not have the time or bandwidth to create and promote a complete e-commerce website around their brand.
To learn more about how Facebook Shops works and the background when Facebook launched it, Look at this post.
2. Instagram checkout
For brands that want to sell some selected products on Instagram, or have no time to create a Facebook business page or catalog to open a store, Instagram now also provides an in-app checkout experience, linking to Instagram shopping posts.
Before 2020, many brands are already using Shopable postsThese posts usually highlight images of the product or experience, allowing users to click on the content to view it in an online catalog outside the platform.
but, March, Instagram launched the Checkout feature, allowing Shoppable purchases directly in the app.
in announcement, Instagram explained that it introduced an in-app checkout feature to allow users to stay on the platform when they are inspired to make a purchase.
Instagram also added: “Enterprises can truly take advantage of the complete ecosystem of Instagram shopping functions to build an experience that can increase visibility and transaction volume in one place.
Currently, Checkout is free for brands until at least 2021. However, after that, companies may charge sales fees.
“We also hope to help reduce the cost of doing business during this difficult economic period, so we will waive sales fees for businesses that use Checkout on Instagram before the end of the year,” Instagram posts Say.
Now, when a user clicks on a shopping post linked to the checkout function for the first time, they will be asked to provide their name, billing information and shipping address, and then they can click “Place Order” directly on Instagram.To further eliminate friction, users can set the app to Remember purchase information So they don’t need to submit every time they place an order.
At this point, you may be wondering, “How is this different from the Facebook Store?”
These two tools also allow consumers to make purchases directly on Instagram. However, Shop is a small online store where you can purchase one of the many products listed by a brand. At the same time, Checkout allows consumers to buy products they happen to see on Instagram Shoppable posts in their feed or on brand profile pages.
In addition, to use the checkout function, you need to meet the same requirements as the Facebook store, in addition Approve Instagram shopping.
If you want to get involved in Internet sales, but don’t want to monitor the sales of multiple products in a larger store, checkout may be a good choice for your brand. With Checkout, you can choose to sell one or two products in a few posts, and monitor your content for engagement and sales metrics.
3. Instagram and Facebook real-time shopping
Although the above features are integrated with Instagram and Facebook, allowing viewers to buy products from posts or pre-published stories, Facebook has also introduced real-time shopping features for its two platforms.
Instagram real-time shopping
In addition to adding Checkout to posts in the feed, Instagram Live Shopping, the first real-time shopping feature launched by Facebook’s brands, also brings a similar buying experience to live content on the app.
Essentially, Instagram real-time shopping Ask the brand or Instagram influencer to display a small CTA for the product at the bottom of the Instagram live broadcast. Here is an example where influencers discuss the product in real time because its Checkout CTA is highlighted at the bottom of the screen:
When viewers of the Instagram live broadcast see the Checkout CTA and click “Add to Shopping Bag”, they can save the order for later watching the live broadcast, or they can purchase products through Checkout immediately.
If users put a product in their Instagram package, they can find it by going to the “Explore” tab of the app and clicking on “Store” in the top navigation. Frame the store page, and then they can click on the bag icon in the upper right corner to view the shopping products:
Because users who purchase goods through Instagram Live Shopping will be directed to Instagram Checkout to complete the purchase, Brands need to visit Instagram Checkout Before using Live Shopping.
Facebook Live Shopping
If your audience is primarily on Facebook, you can also take advantage of Facebook’s new real-time shopping feature, which will be launched in the spring of 2021.
Like Instagram Live Shopping, this feature allows viewers who watch the Facebook Live stream to see pop-ups of related products. From there, users can click on a pop-up window to purchase these products while watching Facebook Live videos.
The process of promoting your product on Facebook Live is similar to promoting on Instagram:
- First, you need Open a Facebook store Let viewers buy seamlessly through Facebook Live.
- After setting up the store, create a real-time video for your Facebook account, then click the real-time shopping tab, and then switch “Enable real-time shopping”.
- After shopping is enabled, you can click or tap a button that says “Store Products” And select the products you want to show when recording.
For those who are used to Facebook or Instagram Live Shopping, Facebook provides a useful list of best practices Used for streaming on their website. These techniques include rehearsing through private live events, repeating key information about the product, saving real-time feeds to your timeline, and following up with people who comment on your feeds after you record them.
What to keep in mind when selling products on Instagram
At this point, you may be ready to use Instagram’s in-app shopping feature to sell your brand’s products. However, as with any new marketing or sales technique, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind:
Your content strategy is still key.
Although it sounds tempting to bombard your followers with posts full of product photos or basic promotional information and expect users to click the checkout button immediately, some audiences may not respond well to content that feels like basic advertising.
Remember that social media users see ads with product photos and boring descriptions every day.If your content does not stand out from all other promotional posts, your audience May leave you, Even if they like your brand.
Rather than posting basic images or videos of products linked to Checkout, consider taking it a step further.For example, you can Live tutorial Influential people discuss your product or release User-generated content Such as customer reviews. These types of content will show viewers more valuable details than basic product shots, while also showing how real people can benefit your product. This can convince them to click and buy your products faster.
You need to choose the right function for your company.
Shops allows customers to buy a large number of different products from you at once, while Checkout and Instagram Live Shopping allow you to partition specific goods or services through your content.in spite of Facebook Store It can be very useful for brands that can deliver multiple products at once and deal with potentially high demand, while checkout and real-time shopping can be beneficial to smaller businesses because they prefer to highlight a single product at a time.
In addition, if you have a killer supply chain, a large number of products to sell, and no time to produce content, the Facebook store can help you transfer inventory.At the same time, if you have a great content team but only a few key products to sell, you might want to create Solid product marketing content Pair with Instagram Checkout.
You need to monitor your metrics, including revenue.
Although brands do not need to pay for Facebook Shops, Checkout, or Live Shopping, it still takes time and effort to create and maintain a store or content that highlights the items sold in Checkout. Therefore, you need to monitor the funds and metrics related to participation for each strategy you use. While these metrics can help you understand what to do and what not to do, they can also help you determine whether these features are worth your team’s time.
If you are considering an e-commerce strategy on Instagram or other online platforms and don’t know where to start your plan, please bookmark Our ultimate guide to e-commerce. If you are interested in learning how other brands are turning to e-commerce in 2020, Look at this piece.
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in December 2020, but was updated in June 2021 to add new information about Facebook and Instagram features.