Key Points:

  • Over 500 million people view Instagram stories daily
  • 83% of Instagram users say that they discover new products and services on Instagram
  • 46% end up making a purchase online or offline after discovering a product on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks around. Over 1 million people use the photo and video sharing app monthly to post their favorite moments for all the world to see.  Overall, over 500 million people view Instagram stories daily! That said, most active users are baked in the US, which boasts 140 million users.

The app presents a unique opportunity for eCommerce merchants to meet their audience where they spend their time — and pitch their products or services.

So if you haven't figured out how to sell on Instagram, you might be missing big. A 2019 Facebook survey says it all! It reported that 83% of Instagram users say that they discover new products and services on Instagram, while 81% use it to search for products and services. That’s not all! 65% of respondents say they end up visiting the brand's website or app, while 46% end up making a purchase online or offline after discovering a product on Instagram.

Clearly, the platform has grown into a powerful, multipurpose tool serving businesses and customers alike, and eCommerce retailers need to figure out harness it. In this article, we’ll help you understand how selling on Instagram works, give you tips to up your social-selling game and tell you how Easyship’s 250+ shipping solutions plug into your platform-driven eCommerce solution.

Table of Contents

How to Sell on Instagram

Instagram has become a popular eCommerce destination. By the end of 2020, its ad revenue is predicted to account for 30% of social media revenue. eCommerce retailers should understand what selling on Instagram looks like so that they can tap into its immense potential to boost sales.

Shopping Cart to Sell on Instagram

A 2019 redesign of the app introduced a Shopping Checkout feature, making it easy for brands to sell products on Instagram. Through this feature, businesses can now transform their Instagram feed into a shoppable eCommerce outlet.

There are several ways through which businesses can sell on Instagram. Here’s how selling on Instagram works:

  1. Instagram shopping: This feature allows you to create a shoppable Instagram feed and tag products you want to sell. Users can then make purchases directly within the app.
  2. Instagram stories: Instagram Stories are another feature that avails an opportunity for businesses to sell on Instagram. Over 500 million people view Instagram stories daily! If your business has 10,000+ followers, you can add links to your Instagram stories and use them to drive traffic, sell products, or even drive email subscriptions.
  3. Instagram Ads: Another way to sell on Instagram is through ads. With Instagram Ads, you can run targeted ad campaigns to promote your posts and widen your reach.
  4. Partner with influencers: Nowadays, consumers trust people more than they trust the brand. Working with influencers to showcase your products in use can be the way to go if you want to win trust through personal recommendations.

Things to Consider When Selling on Instagram

Just like any other platform, selling on Instagram comes with its share of benefits and challenges. It is therefore essential to consider the Pros & Cons of selling on Instagram so that you can make the right decision depending on the needs of your business. Here are some things you should consider when figuring out how to sell on Instagram.

Pros of Selling On Instagram

  1. Massive audience: With over a million active monthly users, Instagram presents a big opportunity for businesses to meet and engage their target audience through organic reach.
  2. Connect with new customers: HootSuite predicts that it is possible to reach 928.5 million people through Instagram ads. With a powerful Instagram strategy, you stand a chance to drive new leads down the sales funnel and convert them into buying customers.
  3. An opportunity to engage with your audience: Customer engagement is vital to building brand loyalty. Instagram tops the charts when it comes to audience engagement, with its engagement rate being 10x higher than Facebook’s and 84x better than Twitter. That makes it the best platform for you to engage your existing customers and followers.
  4. Build brand awareness: With 83% of Instagram users using the platform to discover new products and services, and 81% using it to research products and services, businesses can use the platform to get attention. Through authentic brand-focused content, you can show potential customers what your business is all about, its accomplishments, and brand goals to create brand awareness and familiarity.

Related post: How to ship on Etsy

Cons of Selling on Instagram

  1. You can only use Instagram Shopping to sell physical products that comply with Instagram's merchant agreement and commerce policies. You can't use it to sell services.
  2. The Instagram Shopping feature won't be available to you if you haven't been accepted into the social media program
  3. You must be located in the United States, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Germany, or Spain for your customers to make in-app purchases on Instagram
  4. To add product links to your Instagram stories, you need to have 10,000 or more followers.

What Sells Best on Instagram?

Of course, any useful products that help buyers solve their daily pain points can sell on Instagram if it is presented to the right audience with quality photos at the right price. But there are popular product categories that sell the best on Instagram. It can be very helpful for you to know them up front and keep them at the back of your mind when deciding the type of products you want to sell on Instagram.

Here is a list of some profitable categories to sell on Instagram:

  • Fashion
  • Jewelry
  • Beauty products
  • Makeup accessories
  • Fitness products
  • Ornaments
  • Electronics
  • Phone accessories
  • iPhone gadgets
  • Organic natural products
  • Health products
  • Home decor
  • Unique handmade products

10 Tips For Selling On Instagram

Since its inception, Instagram has transitioned from a photo-sharing app to a digital sales channel. Many brands are taking advantage of this digital shopping mall to reap the rewards. You don't want to be left behind! To that end, here are some tips to help you nail it on Instagram and achieve success selling products on the platform.

  1. Switch to an Instagram Business Account: To kick off your journey for selling on Instagram, consider converting your account to a business account. This will give you access to in-depth insights and Instagram analytics about your audience, Instagram Shopping Features, built-in CTA buttons, and scheduling tools to plan and enable auto-posting on your Instagram feed.
  2. Optimize Your Instagram Business Profile: You want to make sure that your users like what they see when they click on your page. Make sure you use a unique and memorable Instagram name, a profile photo that draws people's attention, and a well-crafted bio that includes hashtags to attract a broader audience. Also, ensure that you include a link in your Instagram bio that sends visitors to your online store or your product page.
  3. Offer Instagram-Specific Promotions: Treating your followers to giveaways, discount codes or coupons is a good way to reward them for being loyal to your brand, and also attract more people to your profile and make them feel special.
  4. Take advantage of the shoppable Instagram feed: To build a shoppable feed on Instagram, you need to make sure that you have an updated version of the app and a business profile. You also need to include a product catalog of physical products that are linked to your Facebook Manager. It is a great way to show your audience how your product looks, how it is used, and who uses it.
  5. Repost customer photos: As you figure out how to sell on Instagram, you need to be aware that 90% of customers trust user-generated content when making buying decisions. Customers are 2.4x more likely to view UGC (user-generated content)  as opposed to the brand's traditional advertising content. Therefore, reposting customer photos or videos that show your products in use, and posting user reviews or comments is an effective technique that will strengthen your brand credibility and trust among your audience. You should also consider working with influencers wearing, using, or testing your products.
  6. Use high-quality photos: As you figure out how to sell products on Instagram, you need to ensure that your photo game is on point. Invest in high product photography either by using a high res camera or hiring a professional photographer to capture high-quality product photos on your behalf. Remember Instagram lacks the physical element, and the only way you have to showcase your products and convert window shoppers into buying customers is through high-quality photos.
  7. Include the right hashtags: Posts with at least one hashtag see a 12.6% increase in engagement. By using the right hashtags in your posts, you will not only drive user engagement through the roof, but also encourage audience interactions, find out what your competitors are doing, and attract more followers.
  8. Highlight Your Products with Instagram Stories: Instagram stories present a unique opportunity for businesses to showcase their products in use. Film yourself (or anyone on your team, or an influencer!) talking about the key benefits of your product, and then include a swipe-up link or directions to any links in your bio, driving sales. You can also use Instagram stories to build brand awareness.
  9. Highlight Products with Instagram Captions: Use the caption area to tell a story and evoke emotion by highlighting important product information such as key benefits, product use-instructions, pricing information, ingredients, or explaining how customers can purchase your product.
  10. Use a Clear Call-To-Action (CTA): A CTA button may not come to mind when thinking of how to sell on Instagram, but it plays an important role when it comes to closing a sale. Always make sure that you clearly show your audience the next steps to take. After they see your product and read the caption, what do you want them to do next? Use CTAs to direct your users to find more information, buy the product, visit your website, product page, or get more engagement on your posts.

4 Instagram Tools You Should Use

Without the right tools, selling products on Instagram can turn out hectic. Here, we give you a list of Instagram tools you should take advantage of to make your work easier when selling on Instagram.

  1. Shop Social: Use this tool to transform your feed into a shoppable gallery. It comes with an admin panel from where you can track performance and monitor click-through rates.
  2. Postcart: Postcart enables you to create Instagram posts that feature a shopping cart, and you can share them throughout your social channels with just a single click. You receive an instant notification anytime a customer purchases an item directly from your post. Payments are made monthly through Postcart.
  3. InstaOrders: With InstaOrders, all you need to do is sign in to your Instagram account and import your product photos to the InstaOrders platform. After that, you can set prices for each product and share them as shoppable content to start accepting orders. You can receive payment through PayPal or Cash On Delivery.
  4. Soldsie: This is an incredible tool when it comes to boosting engagement for your Instagram shoppable posts. When you sign up for Soldsie, you will receive a "" link that sends your Instagram users from your profile to a shoppable gallery of products. To receive direct traffic, simply paste the link into your bio, social media comments, or captions

Use Easyship to Power Your Shipping

There you have it! These are the steps you need to follow to nail it on how to sell on Instagram and build a sales-boosting storefront on Instagram without having to spend a fortune. Even if you don't have a huge following now, don't get discouraged. Start by converting to a business profile and engaging your audience, turning them into followers, and then converting them into buying customers!

With more than 250 shipping options, merchants can reduce their shipping costs up to 70% with Easyship. For eCommerce stores looking to scale their businesses, our partner warehouse network around the globe will help reduce your shipping time and cost.

Sign up for a free Easyship account today and sync your e-store to your Easyship dashboard to get started.

If you found this article informative, you might find the following interesting: