Lorna Bladen

Lorna Bladen

Enterprise Nation

Instagram Shopping launches in UK and lets entrepreneurs tag products for sale

We know at Enterprise Nation that many members are big fans of Instagram so when we got an invite to visit Instagram HQ in London for a sneak peak at a brand new feature, we couldn’t resist. Lorna Bladen, head of campaigns at Enterprise Nation, who leads the She Means Business project with Facebook, reports on an exciting new feature that has the potential to boost your sales via social media.

It was with excitement that I headed to the Facebook offices in London early on Monday morning to find out Instagram’s secret.

Before settling down to the presentation, I got even more excited when I spotted Enterprise Nation member Jacqui Ma from Goodordering on a Facebook poster and a private workspace unit built by fellow member David O’Coimin from Nook. It’s so good to see Enterprise Nation members getting such exposure!

So what's the news?

Well, I’m sure many of you will be delighted to hear that Instagram Shopping has arrived in the UK!

The product release, which officially launches today, presents a significant sales opportunity for small British businesses, with US brands already seeing positive results after a successful introduction there last year.

More than half of small businesses in the UK say that they see Instagram as a tool to grow their business. This is not surprising as the social media education that we provide at Enterprise Nation is always extremely popular and a hot topic of discussion at our events.

Shopping on Instagram provides people with a visual storefront to explore new products from the businesses they love.

Through easy access to pricing and product details, shoppers on Instagram can tap on a tagged post within a feed to buy a specific product directly from the brand's website, without having to search for it.

Now, people can go from inspiration to information and purchase in just a few taps, and do so in a way that's organic to the Instagram experience.

With many Enterprise Nation members producing and marketing physical products from fashion to food to beauty, Instagram is a great visual platform to connect with customers in a fresh, immersive way.

Almost half of UK small business owners say they've been able to hire more employees due to growth in demand for their products and services since joining Instagram.

Here's how to set up Instagram Shopping for your small business:

  • Make sure the Instagram app is updated
  • Sync a product catalogue with Facebook Shop (Instagram pulls the Facebook product feed through)
  • Click 'options' on your Instagram business profile, scroll down and select 'products'
  • Authenticate your Instagram business account via its Facebook account
  • Choose a product catalogue to sync with Instagram for Instagram Shopping
  • Once set up, upload a photo as normal
  • On the caption page, there will now be options to tag both people and products
  • Select 'tag products' and in the search bar type the name of the product
  • Move the tag to the correct spot on the photo Instagram will pull in all product catalogue information from Facebook, including a link back to your website from the photo
  • Up to five product tags can be added per photo
  • Click 'share' to set your shoppable Instagram post live

Top tips for getting the most out of Instagram Shopping for your small business:

  • Create at least nine Shopping posts on an Instagram business profile to activate the Shop button for customers to click
  • Tag multiple products to help audiences explore and browse
  • Use Stories to show your audience that they can now shop your posts. Around 250 million people use Stories every day and a third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses, so it's one of the best ways to get your business seen
  • Leverage different Shopping formats. Tag a single image or a use the carousel for multiple product shots
  • Make sure each tag touches the correct product, so shoppers know which product the tag refers to

Launched seven years ago, Instagram has over 800 million users, including 25 million businesses and two million advertisers. 80% of Instagrammers follow a business.

To learn more about Instagram Shopping, go here.

Get tips for using Facebook and Instagram to boost your business at She Means Business events.