Instagram began testing a shopping feature in stories in June, allowing selected brands to use a shopping bag icon to share more information about a product. Now, the platform is rolling out the sticker feature to all brands across 46 countries. So – should you use it for your e-commerce brand?
How does the shopping feature work?
The new shopping feature from Instagram works by connecting to your Facebook and Instagram catalogue.
If you work on an e-commerce brand and are looking to increase awareness and sales of product, we advise you take a look at setting one up: it’s easy, helps to showcase your products and allows access to new features. Instagram has a great guide to setting up shopping which talks through the whole process.
Once you have been approved for an Instagram shop section, you will notice a new bag sticker appear in your Instagram Story sticker list. Once you’ve uploaded your image and added any filters or text, click on this sticker, select the product from your shop catalogue that you want to showcase, and move it to where you want it to appear on the story.
You can change the text colour of the sticker by tapping on it one it is on the Story, similar to regular text. It is worth noting that you cannot edit the product name on the sticker, so if you’d rather it was called something else for the sake of the Story, you will need to change it manually in the catalogue BEFORE you upload the sticker to your Story.
When the Story is live, viewers will be able to tap the sticker to see details of the product and be taken through to buy.
At the time of writing, you cannot promote posts or stories which use the shopping tags – which is slightly annoying. However, with the focus on shopping, Instagram will hopefully investigate this soon.
A second niggle is that you currently can only tag one product in each Story – unlike in posts, where you can tag up to five products.
Why should I use Instagram’s shopping feature?
With over 400m visiting Instagram Stories every day, this is a perfect way for e-commerce brands to showcase their products.
Unlike the traditional Instagram Story ‘swipe up’ feature, the shopping product stickers can be used by anybody who has a Facebook catalogue set up and linked to their page – meaning it’s not limited to pages with 10,000 or more followers.
Instagram has reported that since it began testing the e-commerce feature, there have been over 90m accounts engaging with Instagram Story Shopping tags on a monthly basis. With a shopping tab in Explore rolling out, and rumours circulating about a stand-alone shopping app for Instagram, this is definitely a route to try if you work for an e-commerce company: from clothes to FMCG.