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07Jun

Instagram’s Expanding Shopping Feature

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insta-shop-website1Nearly everyone will have noticed by now that Instagram has rolled out its latest update to include a shopping tag feature. When it first came out in the UK, it sparked immediate excitement among businesses worldwide. Instagram took its time in rolling out this new feature, making sure that the testing and processes were right, simple and user-friendly, which has led to some positive results.

It harks back to the initial focal point of this rapidly growing platform: visual photography. After expanding this shopping feature to fashion businesses and Shopify merchants in the US, Instagram then went on the make them available to businesses in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany , Italy, Spain and the UK.

Interestingly this update came mere days after Pinterest announced a similar “Shop the Look” feature, so we can begin to see the demand for such updates is there. However, for businesses in particular it’s important to know the rules and approval process for getting these game-changing features on your Instagram page.

It would appear that there are certain criteria that needs to be checked before you are able to boost your products to the avid followers of Instagram.

To start with, your business must sell physical goods, and must also comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies. We’ve read through these ourselves and don’t find anything too out of the ordinary – but we’d recommend having a read yourself before you continue.

As well as this, your business must be just that: a business. This means it must be visibly registered as one on Instagram. We found this take on the feature refreshingly positive, as so far it seems to veer away from “Instagram influencers” who are paid mass sums to promote certain products. It gives consumers added protection in this respect, making it clear that this is a business directly targeting a consumer.

Finally, your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalogue. This can be created and managed through a number of ways, such as Facebook’s own Business Manager, Shopify or Big Commerce platforms or directly on your businesses Facebook page. It is also important to note that any shops created on Facebook Pages that have country or age restrictions are not supported, and the “Message to Buy” option is also not allowed with this feature.

Once these criteria have been met, your Instagram account will be reviewed, which usually takes a few days, after which your account will be approved and you’ll be able to turn on your product tagging feature.

It seems rather simple when it’s all laid out, and also rather fair. It would appear as if Instagram is doing this with its end user in mind, making it easier for them to find what they like on their feed without turning it into a platform for e-commerce stores. It’s clear that in the wake of recent events and GDPR updates that Instagram has taken steps in the right direction to protect its users.

At BBI Brandboost we take the time to continually monitor and understand each and every update, from Google to Instagram, in order to make sure our clients are making the most of their online platforms. If you’d like to take a look at our own social media management services, you can do so here.

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