Social Commerce

How to Sell on Instagram: 8 Features for Driving Sales


By Jillian Warren

Published January 25, 2021

7 minute read

Instagram is rapidly becoming the go-to place to sell products online.  From Instagram Live Shopping to Instagram Guides, Instagram has launched several big e-commerce features in the last 12 months. Whatever your brand or business, there’s an Instagram feature to help you drive more sales and reach your business goals.  8 Ways to Sell Products

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Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

Instagram is rapidly becoming the go-to place to sell products online.

From Instagram Live Shopping to Instagram Guides, Instagram has launched several big e-commerce features in the last 12 months.

Whatever your brand or business, there’s an Instagram feature to help you drive more sales and reach your business goals.

8 Ways to Sell Products on Instagram

Ready to drive more sales for your business? Here our top 8 Instagram features for driving clicks and conversions:

  1. Instagram Shop

  2. Link in Bio

  3. Instagram Feed Post Shopping

  4. Instagram Guides

  5. Instagram Stories Shopping

  6. Instagram Live Shopping

  7. IGTV and Instagram Reels Shopping

  8. Shopping from Creators

#1: Instagram Shop

Instagram Shop offers a way for businesses to showcase their product catalog and reach new customers on Instagram.

By setting up an Instagram Shop, brands can curate a list of shoppable products that are directly accessible through the “View Shop” button on their Instagram profile page.

But that’s not all. Businesses with Instagram Shop can also be featured on the Instagram Shop tab — a new shopping destination accessible from Instagram’s main navigation menu.

Here, shoppers can “Browse Shops,” “See Editors Picks,” “Explore Guides,” and “Shop Collections.”

Through this new feed, Instagram has found a way to show users more of what they’re highly likely to buy — all based on previous engagement and the posts and brands people follow.

By clicking on a suggested product, users can see more images featuring the product, pricing information, other products from the same retailer, and follow the route to purchase.

For US-based customers, the route to purchase is even more streamlined with Instagram Checkout, which allows users to pay for a product and provide their shipping details without ever leaving the Instagram app.

NOTE: Checkout is currently only available for eligible brands and customers based in the US.

Want to know how to make more sales on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Social Selling now!

#2: Link in Bio

The link in your Instagram bio is easy to find and readily clickable, making it one of the most valuable traffic-drivers on your Instagram profile.

However, there’s only so much you can do with just one link — unless you use a third-party tool to capitalize on this opportunity.

With Linkin.bio by Later, you can create a clickable version of your Instagram feed and add it to the link in your bio.

For every post on your feed, you can link to your specific product pages on your website, making is simple for people to shop the products they discover through your posts.

And if you’re on a Later Growth or Advanced plan, you can even connect your Shopify account to Linkin.bio.

In a few clicks, tag Shopify products in your Linkin.bio posts and make it even easier to shop your feed.

Ready to turn followers into customers with a shoppable Instagram feed? Start using Linkin.bio today!

#3: Instagram Feed Post Shopping

Instagram has always been a great place for users to discover new products, but Instagram Shopping makes it easier than ever to go from inspiration to conversion.

With Instagram Shopping, businesses can tag products (listed in their Instagram Shop) directly in feed posts, Instagram Stories, IGTV videos, Reels, Guides, and Live broadcasts (more to come on these later).

Showcasing products in feed posts provides valuable context, such as sizing, fit, or styling inspiration — so adding a direct route to shop closes the retail loop.

With Product Tags, users can tap to discover product details, visit a brand’s website, or make a purchase directly within the app with Instagram Checkout.

Plus, by regularly using Instagram Shopping, businesses stand a greater chance of being featured on the Instagram Shop discovery tab.

NOTE: Instagram Shopping is currently available to Business accounts in 46 approved countries. Instagram Checkout is only available to eligible businesses in the US.

#4: Instagram Guides

Instagram Guides are a new way to share tips and recommendations on Instagram, and they’re perfectly optimized for e-commerce.

Guides offer a unique way to package existing content with fresh commentary, and are currently available in 3 formats:

  • Places: Recommend places in your city and beyond

  • Products: Recommend your favorite products

  • Posts: Recommend posts you created or saved

Product Guides, as you may have guessed, are a fantastic way to promote products. Brands can either create a curated list of products themselves, or partner with influencers to reach an even wider network.

For the best results, consider curated edits that will resonate with your target audience, such as  “Gifts under $20,” or “Skincare Favorites.”

#5: Instagram Stories Shopping

No matter how big or small your follower count, you can drive a serious amount of sales from Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories provide a huge opportunity for brands to connect with their followers on a more personal level — which is great for building trust, increasing engagement, and creating community.

But that’s not all. There are also several ways to make stories instantly shoppable!

Businesses with Instagram Shopping can add shoppable product stickers that followers can tap to shop, or add a “swipe up” link that directs viewers to a product listed in their Instagram Shop.

And once you reach over 10K followers, you can add “swipe up” links to any web URL from your Instagram Stories — a huge opportunity to drive traffic and sales.

Looking to optimize your Instagram Stories strategy this year? Take our free 45-minute Instagram Stories course to learn how to design beautiful stories and capitalize on all the latest features.

#6: IGTV and Instagram Reels Shopping

IGTV Shopping and Instagram Reels Shopping are 2 new ways to highlight and sell products through video content on Instagram.

Thanks to these new updates, which are rolling out globally, viewers can now select the “View Products” button to either buy, save, or learn more about the featured products.

Additionally, creators will soon be able to tag products from partner brands in Reels — building on Instagram’s Shopping from Creators offering (see below).

#7: Shopping from Creators

Shopping from Creators allows approved brand partners (such as influencers, celebrities, or creators) to tag your products directly in their posts.

Their followers can then tap “View Products” to find out more information and purchase the tagged products directly through Instagram Checkout — making the route from influence to purchase extra streamlined.

NOTE: Shopping from Creators is currently only available for businesses with Instagram Checkout and a number of high-profile creators, but this will likely roll out further in the coming months.

Want to learn more about Shopping from Creators? Find out How to Use Instagram Shopping from Creators in this blog post!

#8: Instagram Live Shopping

Instagram Live Shopping is a new way for brands and creators to sell products during an Instagram Live broadcast.

This new e-commerce feature lets accounts with access to Instagram Checkout tag up to 30 products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live.

During the broadcast, the host can pin one product at a time to the screen — providing a new, contextualized way to shop during an Instagram Live.

This fully integrated experience is great for brands who want to drive sales, and makes it easier for viewers to shop featured products.

As you can see, there are tons of different features to drive sales on Instagram.

Finding the right ones for you might take a little trial and error, but with a consistent strategy, you’ll see real results sooner than you may think.

Ready to kickstart your Instagram strategy? Sign up to Later and start planning your content strategy in advance — it’s free!

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