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Shopify and Instagram: A Guide to Using Both Platforms for Success

Shopify and Instagram: A Guide to Using Both Platforms for Success

Ecommerce selling requires you to stay current on new and emerging digital trends, including social media platforms and digital advertising. While you have a Shopify storefront for selling your products, you can support that store’s success with the help of other online platforms like Instagram. 

In this ultimate guide, we’ll help you discover all you need to know about bringing Shopify and Instagram together to generate more revenue for your brand.

Why should you use Shopify and Instagram together?

You might have a Shopify store, and you might have an Instagram account for your brand. But have you integrated them? Of course, you can use them separately — but you're missing out on the chance to improve your customer experience and use social media to support your Shopify efforts.

When you integrate Shopify and Instagram, you can sell your Shopify products via Instagram and bring your Instagram content into your Shopify store. The integration goes both ways, so you can improve metrics on both platforms while providing your customers with a consistent, cohesive experience with your brand — while capturing more sales and increasing your bottom line.

If that doesn't convince you, here are just a few of the greatest benefits your business can enjoy when you integrate Instagram and Shopify.

  • Showcase your products to a larger audience: Using Shopify and Instagram together, you can showcase your products to a larger audience. Your Shopify visitors and Instagram followers might not be the same.

Instagram is also a platform where people who haven't heard of your brand before can discover you, meaning you can potentially expand your reach. With over 1 billion users across the globe, Instagram can really diversify your audience with the right approach.

  • Deepen customer relationships and improve communication: Customers want to have an integrated, cohesive experience with brands. When you connect your Instagram and Shopify accounts, you can help improve customer communication and speak to your buyers with direct messages (DMs) and @mentions within comments. This allows you to develop more meaningful and deep relationships with customers, making your brand more accessible and helping them connect with you more easily.
  • Access enhanced business features to drive more sales: Instagram has tools specifically developed to help drive more sales for businesses on the platform. These enhanced business tools include features such as:
  • Product tags: Users on Instagram can buy your products directly by clicking on product tags in images and getting information like the price and description.
  • Instagram Checkout: Buyers can purchase directly on the Instagram app, without ever having to leave their scrolling experience and exit out of the app.
  • Live Shopping: Instagram currently allows users to shop directly from the app, but is removing the shopping tab to focus more on advertising revenue.

How to integrate Shopify and Instagram and sell on Instagram

Integrating Shopify and Instagram isn’t a complicated experience that requires customization and a team of developers. You can bring the platforms together with just a few clicks and connections and start selling on Instagram. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.

1) Confirm commerce eligibility requirements for your products

Before you begin integrating your Shopify and Instagram accounts, you first need to make sure that your brand meets the eligibility requirements for your products to be allowed to sell on Instagram. Double-check your qualifications by visiting the Commerce Eligibility Requirements page first.

2) Make sure your Instagram profile is a business account

The next step is to ensure that you have an Instagram business account — only those can integrate with Shopify. If you have a personal account for your brand, here's how you can switch to a professional account:

  • Go to your profile.
  • Click the menu icon in the upper right corner.
  • Go to settings.
  • In the settings menu, click “Account.”
  • Click the link at the bottom that reads “Switch to a professional account.”

3) Set up your Facebook Shop

The next step is to set up your Facebook Shop. Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta, so setting up the Facebook Shop allows you to sell on both platforms.

  • On your Facebook page, click on the Shop tab.
  • Click on “Set Up Shop.”
  • Type in your business address and hit “Next.”
  • Select your currency.
  • Enter your email address and hit “Next.”
  • Add state tax registration number.

4) Connect your Facebook business page to your Instagram account

After you create your Facebook Store, you need to connect your Facebook Business Page to your Instagram account (if you haven't already).

  • Go to your Instagram profile.
  • Select the “Edit” tab.
  • Under Public Business Information, select the "Page" option.
  • Click on “Connect an Existing Page.”
  • Choose the right page and tap “Done.”

5) Connect your Shopify store to Facebook Shop

Now that you have your Facebook and Instagram account linked with the Shop, you can connect that Facebook Shop to your Shopify store.

  • Go to your Shopify dashboard and click on “Sales Channels.”
  • From the list, click on “Facebook.”
  • Link your Facebook account and choose the page that’s connected to your new shop.

6) Add your product catalog to Instagram

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that your product catalog is connected to Instagram. This will allow you to tag your products with accurate pricing and descriptions. Once you’ve added the products to your Instagram catalog, you are ready to start selling.

  • Go to your Instagram settings.
  • Click on the “Shopping” tab.
  • Confirm your Facebook account.
  • Pick the catalog with the products you will tag your Instagram shoppable posts.

Instagram business features to sell your products

To help you sell products, Instagram business features many different tools that can help support your ecommerce efforts.

Instagram Shop tab

The Instagram Shop tab helps users search and find products they are interested in purchasing on the app. However, this feature is expected to be phased out in 2023, so it may only be useful for a limited time.

Product tags

Product tags allow you to tag specific items in your images with links to the price and description based on your Instagram catalog. This can help people find products when they appear in their regular feeds.

Instagram Checkout

Instagram checkout allows users to buy directly on Instagram without leaving the website. This makes buying easier for customers and creates a better overall experience. However, this feature might fade out as Meta makes changes to Instagram and Facebook.

Shopping stickers on Instagram Stories

Many people use Instagram for Stories rather than just the scrolling feed. Businesses can add shopping stickers to their IG Stories that tag products from their Shopify stores. This makes it easy for customers to find and purchase the exact products shown in your Story.

Instagram Live Shopping features

Live Shopping allows people to buy products in real time as brands and influencers directly interact with their audiences using Instagram Live.

Instagram ad campaigns

As Instagram is pulling back from direct shopping features like Checkout and the Shop tab, it has become more important to know how to create an Instagram Ad campaign. These campaigns get your products directly in front of key audiences. Here are a few overview steps to follow to create your ad campaign:

  • Go to Ads Manager.
  • Select “Create.”
  • Choose an objective for Instagram and click “Continue.”
  • Fill in your campaign details.
  • Select “Manual Placements” for ads to appear only on Instagram.
  • Finalize your details and submit your campaign.

How to bring Instagram content into your Shopify store

In addition to selling directly on Instagram, you can use your Shopify and Instagram integration to put your Instagram feed on your Shopify store. You can do this with the help of an app like Taggbox, which turns the process into easy steps:

  • Download the tool you want to use.
  • Select your Instagram account and what type of feed you want.
  • Embed the Instagram feed code on your Shopify account automatically or manually.

How to talk to Shopify shoppers on Instagram

Instagram helps brands connect to shoppers in a way that Shopify does not. When shoppers comment on posts or send direct messages for customer support, you can respond and hold a conversation with them. 

A helpdesk tool like Gorgias allows you to manage those incoming requests without checking notifications a dozen times a day. Instead, Gorgias pulls all incoming comments and DMs into the helpdesk tool next to your support emails, live chat messages, and other helpdesk communications — saving time and simplifying your team's workflow.

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Best practices for using Shopify + Instagram for success

Now that you know how to integrate your Shopify and Instagram accounts, let’s look at some best practices you should implement to make the most of the connection between the platforms.

1) Create shoppable posts

Shoppable Instagram posts allow you to tag your products and give your followers a direct line to convert into paying customers. 

As long as you have the Shopping feature enabled, you can turn your feed posts, stories, reels, and live broadcasts into shoppable content. Simply create your post as usual and tag items just like you'd tag people. Your Shopify integration pulls product data from your store and populates it into Instagram, making it easy for your followers to click through to buy.

2) Organize product catalogs

Your product catalog stores all your different products on Instagram so they can be used in product tags and shoppable posts. Keeping your product catalog organized allows you to find the right products for your posts and makes it easy for your followers to find the right items when they click on product tags.

3) Approach posts, Stories, and Reels strategically

Instagram Reels and stories are powerful ways to sell — if you approach them the right way. Consider incorporating these elements into your Instagram strategy.

Posts for promotion and enhancing your page

Use your posts to enhance your brand and promote products. Unlike stories and reels, posts stay on your page permanently and can be accessed by users at any time, so using them for big-picture promotions and brand recognition is the best strategic approach.

Stories for daily engagement and user-generated content (UGC)

Your Instagram stories are only visible for a limited amount of time, so the content can be much more time-sensitive. You can advertise products or flash sales or have user-generated content (content that features your products created by customers) for your stories to ease the burden on your team to create daily content.

Reels for connecting with your audience in a fun way

Reels should be broad, inviting, and clearly explain your products and value to new audiences. These short video clips are a great way to show off your brand's personality, so don't be afraid to incorporate humor and take advantage of trending audios to get more eyes on your products.

4) Craft visually appealing posts and ads

Instagram is, above all else, a visual platform. Your posts, stories, and ads need to be visually appealing to engage audiences and get views. 

Start with high-quality photos and consider editing all of your content similarly: use a consistent color scheme, and if you use filters, consider using the same one across all of your pictures. This will help give you a strong, recognizable presence. 

Brands like Ohh Deer and Jaxxon are two brands that do a great job of creating strong visual stories that appeal to viewers.

5) Write compelling product descriptions

Product descriptions are how you communicate details to your viewers, so they need to be compelling. Your descriptions should include:

  • Brief description lengths
  • Strong, front-loaded hooks
  • CTAs
  • Engagement opportunities like questions or challenges
  • Human, not robotic writing
  • Storytelling elements
  • Relevant emojis and hashtags

So instead of “Click here to check out our new collection of shoes,” you’d have something more like this: 

Want to turn heads at your holiday parties this year? Check out our 2022 holiday collection. Drop a comment below to tell us what your favorite item is! #holidayfashion

6) Optimize your account to increase visibility and traffic

Your account can be optimized in order to match current trends and social media best practices. These different elements can be continually optimized to create a better account and increase both visibility and traffic metrics. Some optimization tips include:

  • Keeping the bio up to date with links with proper CTAs
  • Choosing a username that’s simple, recognizable, and easy to find and remember
  • Using a branded profile picture
  • Creating a Q&A story highlight
  • Only including relevant hashtags in posts

7) Post regularly and consistently

Posting on Instagram requires a consistent schedule, so your followers know when to expect content from your brand. Most ecommerce brands post a few feed posts a week and a few stories each day. Utilizing user-generated content can help you create different stories every day to match best practices while your internal teams focus on your branded feed posts.

8) Interact with users and harness user-generated content

Instagram gives you direct access to communicate one-on-one with your users. This helps you create a better customer experience and interact with the people who matter most to your brand. You can use Instagram to respond to comments and messages and collect UGC, supporting your own posting goals.

9) Strive for uniqueness and authenticity

Your brand needs to be representative of your values and goals. You want to make sure you don’t come off as robotic or unapproachable, so be authentic and strive for uniqueness when you promote your products to viewers.

10) Offer customer support on Instagram for your shoppers

Instagram connects to users for customer support needs. When those messages come in, you want to handle them and not make customers feel like they are being ignored. You can manage Instagram interactions with a helpdesk tool like Gorgias. Gorgias pulls all your Instagram communications into your helpdesk dashboard so you can respond from one place while addressing your other incoming support questions, emails, and messages.

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Create a better customer experience on Instagram and your Shopify store with Gorgias

Having an online store can be difficult to manage. However, You can improve your Shopify store with a Shopify Instagram integration. When your products are on your Instagram business profile, you can increase the functionalities of both platforms and reach more potential customers while still keeping your core target audience. 

When you connect Shopify and Instagram, you can also sign up for Gorgias to improve the customer experience and deliver better customer support.

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Alexa Collins
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