How SMEs can use Instagram’s new Shopping feature to reach a global audience

In March, Instagram launched the next evolution of the platform’s suite of commerce and business tools in Australia with its Shopping feature; transforming the platform from a place where businesses are discovered, to a place where business is done. This tool enables local brands to connect directly with consumers anywhere in the world, by tagging products for purchase within their posts.

Simply by creating a Business Profile within the platform, businesses of any size are able to create a seamless shopping experience that allows them to instantly connect with a global audience. With over 180 million interactions on the platform between businesses and the community each month, Shopping creates a sense of actionable discovery for consumers, and helps SMEs attract new customers via a visual storefront.

Having launched last year in the US, the Shopping tool is being rolled out in select international markets including Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, with Australia the first market in Asia Pacific to go live with this new product feature.

How does Instagram’s Shopping benefit SMEs?

Brands have always been a key part of the Instagram community – with over 800 million active users on Instagram globally, 80 per cent of those follow a business and more than 200 million accounts visit one or more business profiles daily.

This tells us people want to actively engage with businesses on Instagram repeatedly, so Shopping gives business owners more space and time to showcase more information about their products, help drive purchase intent and capitalise on moments of discovery.

What I personally love about this feature is that the interactions and outcomes generated through Shopping can be the same for a sole trader as for a global company. With easy access to pricing and product details, once a shopper has learned more about a product they like through a Shopping post, they can tap “Shop Now” to take the next steps to purchase the product item.

How to use Shopping

The Shopping feature is available to all businesses and there are just a few simple steps you need to take to activate the tool and get started:

  • First business owners must ensure that their account is converted into a Business Profile
  • Register as an admin on a Page or set-up Business Manager account
  • Have a shop on Facebook or a product catalogue within Business Manager
  • Then you are ready to try out!

After you’ve done the business admin, it’s then time to start tagging photos, which is easy! Choose product photos you’d like to feature and then tag up to five products per image or up to twenty products per carousel. The final step is to add filters or captions and then you’re good to go.

The launch of Shopping is just one of the Business Tools available to SMEs. With the platform continuously evolving, business owners should keep a look out for how they can continue to find and engage their audience in new ways.

Naomi Shepherd, Group Industry Director, Facebook and Instagram ANZ

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