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So, you want to start selling on Instagram, but you're not sure where to start. Let's take a look at how to sell on Instagram for those who are just getting started.
Ecwid offers one great way to showcase your products on Instagram. Connect with your audience by creating an easy way for buyers to shop for your products with Instagram shoppable posts.
In this article, we'll look at things like Instagram shoppable posts, how to sell on Instagram, shop best practices, and more. We'll also take a closer look at Ecwid and how you can use it for Instagram sales.
Beginner's FAQ for Selling on Instagram
What if you're considering the best way to sell on Instagram in 2021, but you're new to this? Let's begin with a basic FAQ. It's perfect for newcomers to selling online and on Instagram. If that's you, it's a good idea to make yourself familiar with these points:
- You may not need a formally established business to sell products online. Look up applicable laws where you live. Also, look into business formation types since they offer benefits and sometimes protection.
- Keep in mind that you'll likely need to pay taxes, depending on where you're located in the world. These requirements also depend on how much you sell. Keep good records of your sales and familiarize yourself with tax requirements where you're from.
- There are many platforms out there where you can sell your products online. You could also sell on Etsy, eBay, Facebook, and much more.
Note that Instagram doesn't have eCommerce features. Instagram isn't a tool that can help you process orders and payments.
Instagram shoppable posts make for a seamless shopping experience for those browsing your posts. But they need connectivity with a Product Catalog. This means you're going to need to have a place where your users can buy the content in your shoppable posts.
For example, you can use services like Ecwid to easily start selling on Instagram. Ecwid is an awesome tool that helps you get setup with your own online store quickly. So, not only do you get integration with Instagram and Facebook, but you also get your own eCommerce website, no coding necessary.
Now that we've looked at some of the basics of how to sell on Instagram, shop ideas, strategies, and other important questions might come to mind. Let's take a look at not only how to sell on Instagram in 2021, but also some of the best ways to do it.
What's the Best Way to Sell on Instagram in 2021?
Check out these strategies to help you get started selling on Instagram. They range from essential basics, ways to make and process sales, and more.
1. Cover Your Basics
First, you need to make sure your profile is optimized for selling on Instagram. This is important whether you want to conduct business directly on Instagram or not.
For example, you should have a clear and appealing profile photo. This is often one of your account's first impressions. So, it should be eye catching but also relevant to your brand and your products.
You'll also want your bio to be clear and relevant. An Instragram bio can only be up to 150 words. So, you'll need to be to the point and strategic with the information you include here. Include a description that explains who/what your content is but is also enticing and interesting.
You can also include a link to your online store. This is essential, because it's a way for both your followers and non-followers who come upon your profile to go directly to your store or website. Don't miss out on this valuable opportunity for traffic!
2. Share Your Products in a Visually Engaging Way
Instagram is all about imagery. So, make sure you're sharing your products in a visually interesting and engaging way. This means that your product photos should really show off how excellent your products are!
Think about this for a moment. Let's say we're trying to sell a pair of handmade earrings. We could take a photo of the earrings, sitting on a table.
That's a picture of the product, but is it very exciting or engaging? In fact, you could even run the risk of it being misleading. What if your viewer doesn't understand the size or scale of your product?
Instead, imagine this product on a model or in a visually interesting setting. You can also make extra posts that complement your brand, like quotes, inspiration, and other posts for engagement.
With your product photos, you've got the opportunity to create an aesthetic. Think about what your brand represents and what your ideal customers are. If you're looking to key into a high energy, colorful aesthetic, then your photos should key into that look and feel. The photos on your Instagram feed should match the brand experience that you're trying to create.
3. How Easy Is It to Find Your Content?
You're creating beautiful content for your Instagram feed, with stylish photos that represent your brand's look and feel... but no one's finding your posts. What do you do?
First, ask yourself if you're making it easy for users to find your content. There are plenty of advanced ways to get your content in front of users, but don't forget the basics.
If you're active on Instagram, you're probably familiar with hashtags. So, if we were sharing a picture of one of our products, such as a custom t-shirt, we could use a hashtag like #shirt. Then, when a user clicks on #shirt, they would head to the hashtag's page. There, you'd see lots of posts that use that hashtag.
The problem with a hashtag like #shirt is that it's quite general. You might have better results with something more specific or niche like #catshirt, if your t-shirt featured a cat photo. Luckily, we can use multiple hashtags in our posts.
When you don't include any hashtags, you may miss the opportunity to be included in a feed where people are looking for relevant content. This requires some research. Look into trending tags and daily tags. Think about what niche might be best for your products.
4. Create an Instagram Business Account
If you plan to do business on Instagram, you may want to consider an Instagram Business Account, also called a Professional Account.
Creating an Instagram Business Account is simple, and you can switch back to a personal account later if you change your mind. Simply go to your Settings, then Account, and choose Switch to Professional Account.
So, why would you want to make this switch? Having a Professional Account gives you access to a whole host of valuable analytics like impressions, reach, interactions, and more. Viewing these insights can help you tailor your efforts to best suit your goals.
Plus, if your follower count grows to more than 10,000, you can use the "swipe up" feature in Instagram stories to further connect with their user base. Promoting your posts is also exclusive to professional accounts.
5. Create Instagram Shoppable Posts
So, what are Instagram shoppable posts and why would you want to use them? Think of it like tagging a person in a photo. But instead of a person, you're tagging a product. This makes it easy for a viewer who sees something they like to tap and buy.
Doesn't that sound convenient? That's one of the major benefits: it's convenient, and we want it to be easy for customers to make a purchase.
Let's get started on Instagram. First, turn on Shopping Features by going to Settings, and then Business. From there, select Shopping. This is the part where you'll need to link to a Product Catalog.
You can use a service like Ecwid to easily and quickly manage your Product Catalog, connect your Facebook page, and more. It's easy to manage your products, using a simple eCommerce solution, like this one.
6. Take Advantage of Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are another great way to interact with your audience and make sales. Like we discussed earlier, you'll need at least 10,000 followers to allow your user base to "swipe up" to further connect with your content. But that's not the only way you can make sales with Instagram stories. Users could also do things like make sales via Instagram DM, using their Instagram stories to promote and entice buyers.
Stories are particularly fun, because you can use even more content, like video, text, filters, and stickers. Try a fun countdown sticker or one for a poll to engage your users. Or show off a behind the scenes look at your business workings to further connect with your audience. There's so much potential with Instagram stories, so get creative with it.
7. Other Ways to Sell Your Products
Some users will also make sales via Instagram DM or email. This is viable, but keep in mind that it puts a lot of responsibility on you. For example, you could take payment via a service like PayPal. But all the invoicing, processing, and records are on you, with no organizational system. That can get pretty hectic, pretty quickly.
You can also sell on your website, outside of Instagram, which can be an excellent option. This gives you the same freedom and flexibility as independently selling with DMs or email, but with the structure and organization of an eCommerce platform.
This might sound intimidating, but when you use a platform like Ecwid it's really simple and user friendly. Platforms like Ecwid are an awesome choice. Not only can you easily make your store website without any coding knowledge, but it also integrates with Instagram and Facebook.
8. Run Instagram Ads
You can also promote your Instagram posts with ads. If you've ever browsed Instagram and stumbled upon a post that said "Sponsored", that's what this was: an Instagram ad. Someone paid to help promote that post, so they could engage with more users.
With Instagram ads, you build your own custom ad campaign with your own goals. There's many types of ads too, from image ads to video ads, carousels, and more. While this might seem intimidating, keep in mind that the goal here is to see a return on your investment. Yes, you have to pay to run Instagram ads. Imagine an Instagram ad that's shoppable—it's like getting a direct link to your product, right in front of potential buyers. Cool, right?
Read more about Instagram Ads right here, on the official Instagram website.
9. Consider Fun, Creative Incentives to Boost Sales
Creativity can also be a big part of successfully selling on Instagram. One great way to engage your audience is to encourage user generated content.
One example might include when your customers buy an item from you encourage them to post a photo of it on Instagram, tag you, and use a specific hashtag. This a fun and engaging way to interact with your customers, but there's even more benefit. You could create a repeat customer out of this interaction. This user generated post also reaches all the customer's followers, family and friends who are invested in their experiences.
Push these ideas even further with hashtags. For example, you could use a niche or unusual tag to encourage sharing product photos, as well as posts about products in use. Engage with your audience and create both an atmosphere and aesthetic for your brand. If it looks appealing, others will likely want to join in too.
There's so many more ideas you could try, like contests and polls. The important thing here is to keep it creative. Success on any platform is more than following a strict formula. Think about your brand and what you want its narrative to be. That's the kind of overall experience you should try to craft.
So, Are You Ready to Start Selling on Instagram?
What kind of online store or shopping experience are you looking to create and use on Instagram? There's so many possibilities, and the right answer will likely depend on your business goals. Why not get started on your online business goals today?
One awesome way to get started is with Ecwid—especially since you can get started for free! It's an awesome eCommerce and online store solution, particularly for beginners. You don't need to know how to code, and there's no risk in giving it a try. Consider taking a look at Ecwid today.