How to Sell on Instagram: Tips to Start a Successful Store

How to Sell on Instagram: Tips to Start a Successful Store

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Have you ever thought about selling your products on Instagram?

More than ever, ecommerce is an indispensable tool for the success of companies worldwide.

Throughout 2020, for example, ecommerce grew by 30%, according to data from the US Department of Commerce, gaining 13 million new customers across the country.

In addition, small and medium-sized companies have found online sales to be a way to circumvent the crisis and the context of social isolation that affects the US and the world.

However, an eMarketer survey prior to the pandemic already pointed to the US as the first in the ranking of countries with the highest expected growth for ecommerce.

According to a survey carried out by the US Department of Commerce, between the months of February and August of last year, the revenue of small and medium-sized companies grew 118%, thanks to online sales.

Statistics, in turn, forecasts $5.6 billion in ecommerce sales in the country, with an estimated growth of 7.25% between 2021 and 2025 and a net revenue of $7.4 billion at the end of this period.

But how to stand out in a very competitive ecommerce market that sees the emergence of hundreds of new virtual stores every day in the country?

Here comes the importance of investing in social media networks, diversifying your sales channels and increasing your chances of invoicing and winning over consumers increasingly focused on the digital market.

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Have you ever thought about selling your products on Instagram?

More than ever, ecommerce is an indispensable tool for the success of companies worldwide.

Throughout 2020, for example, ecommerce grew by 30%, according to data from the US Department of Commerce, gaining 13 million new customers across the country.

In addition, small and medium-sized companies have found online sales to be a way to circumvent the crisis and the context of social isolation that affects the US and the world.

However, an eMarketer survey prior to the pandemic already pointed to the US as the first in the ranking of countries with the highest expected growth for ecommerce.

According to a survey carried out by the US Department of Commerce, between the months of February and August of last year, the revenue of small and medium-sized companies grew 118%, thanks to online sales.

Statistics, in turn, forecasts $5.6 billion in ecommerce sales in the country, with an estimated growth of 7.25% between 2021 and 2025 and a net revenue of $7.4 billion at the end of this period.

But how to stand out in a very competitive ecommerce market that sees the emergence of hundreds of new virtual stores every day in the country?

Here comes the importance of investing in social media networks, diversifying your sales channels and increasing your chances of invoicing and winning over consumers increasingly focused on the digital market.

And Instagram is an ideal social media network for you to take the first steps both in an overall company’s strategy focused on social media as well as in the promotion of your brand products and other sales channels.

Instagram is easy to use and has a series of exclusive tools and features for you to manage your ecommerce company directly from your smartphone, Instagram already has more than one billion active users worldwide.

In addition, among digital platforms, Instagram stands out as the leader in online marketing through social media networks.

Data released by Instagram itself shows that 70% of consumers say they are looking for products on the network, while 52% have already purchased from discoveries on it.

With that in mind, we’ve prepared a guide with tips on how to start an Instagram ecommerce store, the steps to creating a business account and how you can boost your store sales on one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world.

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Steps to integrate your online store with Instagram

#1. Create an attractive business profile

The first step to starting selling on Instagram is to create a business profile on the network.

You can do this in two ways:

1. Transform your personal profile into a professional company's profile.

To turn your personal profile into a business account, just go to your page settings, click on “switch to company’s profile”, fill in your business categories, and link (or not) your Instagram account to your Facebook profile.

Afterwards, choose the category of your company account that best describes your trade.

Finally, confirm the switch to the professional account.

If your profile is private, you must also leave it open to the public, to take advantage of the features of a commercial page.

When you’ve completed these steps, just click Next, and your company profile will be active on Instagram!

Thus, you will have the powerful Instagram for companies and its business functions that are excellent for any successful ecommerce website.

2. Create a standalone company's account

If you want to keep your personal profile separate from your company, simply create another Instagram account and follow the steps above to set up a new business profile.

It is important to emphasize that, if you choose this option, you will need to gain new followers “from scratch.” A tip is to invite your personal contacts.

But beware: setting up a company profile on Instagram is just the beginning of your journey to having a successful online store and boosting your online sales.

The ideal thing is that you set aside a period to think of an eye-catching bio (which describes your store) and your profile photo, with a logo in great resolution and according to Instagram standards (the network’s recommended size is 180 pixels x 180 pixels).

In addition, it is worth starting a first sequence of posts that attracts your target audience and demonstrates your commercial positioning on the network.

On this point, a survey shows that 54% of consumers follow profiles of preferred brands, and 21% of respondents search these pages before buying.

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Therefore, just opening a profile is not enough. To enjoy the benefits of networks, first, some important points need to be made:

1. Create relevant content.
2 Have a good visual identity.
3. Interact with your audience.
4. Clear all user queries.
5. Be very consistent across all platforms your brand is on

#2. Study the tools to sell on Instagram efficiently.

Once you’ve set up your company’s profile on Instagram, it’s time to explore the tools that the network offers to boost your sales and optimize your customer acquisition strategies.

Among them, it is worth mentioning:

1. Online store to sell directly through Instagram

Instagram has a virtual store so that your company can sell and expose its products to all network users.

Also known as Instagram Shopping, the feature was one of those responsible for boosting sales through social media throughout 2021 and has attracted companies of all sizes interested in expanding their commercial channels in ecommerce.

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This tool was launched in 2018 and marked a big turning point for Instagram, which increased its focus on inspirational content and explored sales features.

The Instagram bag, the famous icon that appears on the left side of publications, creates a landing page that allows you to put your name, price, and checkout page.

A great catalog of products is displayed on your profile where the user completes the purchase with a few taps on the screen quickly and easily.

In addition, accounts that have this tool available can tag products that are for sale in their catalog, similar to tagging other profiles.

With this tag, your followers can also follow the products and their prices daily through links in your feed, stories, and reels.

To set up Instagram Shopping, you will need the following:

1. Connect your company’s account with a Facebook page
2. Import a product catalog
3. Submit your account for Instagram review
4. Activate the network shopping feature

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Once your ecommerce store is approved by Instagram, you will be able to enjoy great benefits and great advantages for your store, such as:

1. Greater visibility for the website

The first advantage is the increase in the visibility of your online store. This is because it is possible to add product links, which can sharpen the consumer’s curiosity and lead him to a more complete navigation through the virtual shelves.

2. Disposition of key information

Cost-effectiveness is a very important priority for the consumer. After all, no one wants to lose money or have a bad experience with a product. Thus, the price ends up being one of the main concerns.

If it is out of their budget, the consumer will rarely make a purchase. With the tags, it is possible to make available the prices—among other essential information—of the products advertised on the social media network and end the “inbox price” culture.

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3. Decrease dropouts at checkout

With tags, not only are prices more visible, but the purchase process is also faster.

Because it is on the same platform, it is easy for the buyer, and consequently contributes to the reduction of purchase abandonments.

4. Expand brand reach

Just as there is a page for stories, reels, and feeds, there is also a store tab, which follows the same principles: it indicates products according to algorithms.

Appearing in this “explore”, is an incredible chance to increase the portfolio of customers, followers, and brand promoters.

5. Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights is an excellent tool that provides metrics so you can better understand the profile of your followers, the posts that are generating more or less engagement, and the reach of your posts.

To access Instagram Insights, simply click the graph icon in your business account.

6. Instagram paid adverts

Instagram paid marketing campaigns are an interesting alternative to conquering the platform more quickly and starting selling through the platform even with few followers.

However, to be successful in online advertising, it is essential to study, among other things, the metrics provided by Instagram Insights, understand which publications have the greatest potential for engagement and assess their financial potential for each ad made.

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From a better understanding of your niche target audience and more assertive targeting of your company’s brand campaign, Instagram ads are another way to leverage your online sales and increase revenue at this challenging time in the market.

It is worth noting that Instagram offers a way to promote content within the platform, but it is not assertive and brings no valuable metrics like Facebook Business does.

Therefore, to organize your campaigns, it is always better to use the Facebook ad manager. That’s because its target is broader, offering more features you can use for your business.

Ads made by this tool can be served on Instagram and Facebook as well. To do this, simply link your Instagram company’s account to a Facebook page.

However, it is not enough just to advertise, you need to follow your target niche audience’s actions to know if you are having results. In this way, we define the key indicators that will be evaluated.

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So, at the end of the advertisement period, review and see if your online marketing actions made sense. That’s when you will find out where you were right, where you were wrong, and what you can change!

In general, the goals are to convert social media users into customers, increase website traffic, and boost business brand awareness, among others. Be careful not to invest in paid media that will not bring returns, this can harm the company’s finances.

It is worth mentioning that strategic planning is necessary. To do so, answer questions such as:

1. What is the objective of the campaign?
2. Where will the ad run? Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, all network channels?
3. What is the segmentation, user profile?
4. How much budget (which can be daily or total, based on the campaign time range) can be allocated to each action?
5. What will the ad format be?
6. How will metrics be measured?

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#3. Create good product photos and a logo for your store's visual identity on Instagram.

Using quality product photos with good lighting and framing that communicate your brand identity with the characteristics of your logo is an essential step to creating a harmonious visual identity on Instagram and increasing your sales potential through the network.

In this sense, even before starting your publications, think about the concept you want to bring to your store and business profile, so that your followers create a relationship of familiarity and empathy with your page.

Invest in good images as a key element to make your store more prestigious on Instagram and pass on the values your brand wants to convey.

For example, a good method for getting good lighting when taking pictures of small products is to use a microwave as a small photo studio. With the door open and the white interior reflecting its internal lights, you can take great pictures of small products such as watches, jewelry, etc.

Also, just like in the photos, the design of an ecommerce store makes all the difference. 
With this, it is possible to convey credibility and trust, in addition to generating bonds and attracting new customers.

It is also worth investing in spontaneous publications, with stories capable of creating engagement and demonstrating the day-to-day of your company’s success stories, new products, and moments that, in short, capture the essence of your store and brand.

The key is to work with elements that can differentiate your business from the competition, engaging potential customers from the beginning of their journeys as customers.

Behind-the-scenes accounts and testimonials are capable of generating engagement and bringing credibility to your online store.

#4. Take the time to think of interesting hashtags, captions, and stories.

But it is not enough to just take and publish good photos, have a great logo and a good looking ecommerce store.

To be successful when selling on Instagram, you will need to combine visual identity with catchy captions and hashtags.

In this way, you mark the business direction of your page, gaining organic followers who will come to your account by searching for specific terms.

Hashtags work like website keywords and act as content tags. So, when users search for a specific subject, they find pages that are tagged.

In general terms, with the internet having large numbers of daily posts, think about specifying your business content and tags so you don’t get lost in the sea of websites and tons of posts generated by your competitors.

Do your research and think strategically.

And don’t forget the potential of stories: in addition to being able to take your social media followers straight to a product from your store on Instagram, they bring you closer to your niche target audience and generate more business leads.

As they are temporary posts, a good marketing strategy is to keep the feed in catalog format and use stories for lighter interaction with users.

By showing product details, production methods, and behind the scenes, your brand awareness will allow for more empathetic communication with followers.

Consequently, this more dynamic interaction can increase users’ identification with your ecommerce, making you loyal and gaining new followers and customers, and with that, more conversions and sales.

So, be sure to exercise your creativity by creating fun videos, interacting with the public, and even answering customer questions.

#5. Create a strategic plan for your posts

Evaluating the best day and times for a post and creating content plan in advance will help you achieve more consistent sales, intended results and build a standard Instagram posting routine.

With this, in addition to improving the organization of your online marketing and sales processes on the network, you will be able to spend more time studying the metrics and indicators of your business page.

It will also be possible to leave the posts scheduled in automation tools so as not to run the risk of missing the periods with the most engagement on the network.

For the issue of scheduling, there is no official recommendation from Instagram, although some experts indicate, for example, postings outside business hours.

The ideal thing is that you study the indicators of your account, to better understand the browsing habits of your users and followers.

#6. Never stop interacting with your followers

And speaking of social media followers, one of the biggest flaws of those who use social media networks to start their journey in ecommerce involves the lack of readiness in interacting with those, who, at the end of the day, are potential customers of their store.

Actively interact with customers, respond to comments and inbox messages warmly and clearly, transforming Instagram into a true relationship channel.

It is worth noting that by proactively interacting with your customers, you will contribute to positive experiences that can translate into greater revenue for your store.

According to a study, for example, consumers are willing to pay up to 16% and be more loyal to brands that offer excellent consumer experiences.

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#7. Offer promotions and discounts to boost your Instagram sales

At the beginning of this article, we talked about the role of ads in gaining followers for your Instagram account.

Another way to attract likes, followers, and boost your sales on Instagram (including organically, that is, without having to pay for ads), is by offering promotions, discount coupons, and sharing campaigns in exchange for products.

In this way, in addition to encouraging those who already follow your company’s account to engage with a post, you can attract new followers who will eventually get to know your business, your products, and buy from your store on Instagram.

As with paid media, you need to strategically evaluate which products or promotions you will create, thus attracting the largest number of new followers to your account.

Here are some examples of promotions:

1. Segmented discounts where you can give X% off the first purchase of a new user on your ecommerce;
2. Unmissable discounts to make room for new products with the sale of stock and cheaper items;
3. Progressive discounts, for example, buy one piece and get 10% off; 2 pieces, 20%; 3 pieces, 30% and so on;
4. “Buy 2 get 3” – this promotion works with the idea of encouraging the customer at the time of purchase;
5. Combos defined in which two different items can be combined and generate a discount if they are purchased together;
6. Discount coupon that encourages the buyer to purchase new products in your ecommerce store.

#8. Promote other sales channels

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• Negative points: one of the biggest cons of Fiverr is the fact that, as there are so many service offers, the price you can charge on Fiverr, especially as a beginner, is very low.

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Succeeding in ecommerce, however, is not just about selling through Instagram. Your account on the network should be another channel that will be part of your business strategy on the web.

In other words: together with Instagram, be sure to invest in a virtual store that can be linked to your website and sales on other social networks.

Diversification is one of the strengths of the digital environment, and you can use this multiplicity of sales channels to your advantage.

To this end, it is important to create an organized management of your digital channels, including investing in financial management tools and structuring operational processes aimed at ecommerce.

Within this context, use Instagram as a dissemination space for all your sales channels.

For example, through Linktree, a tool that allows you to organize all your web pages into a single address.

Once you’ve created it, don’t forget to include the Linktree in your Instagram bio.

What do you need to have an Instagram company's profile?

To access the shopping tool on Instagram, you must also meet the platform’s specific policies and criteria. Therefore, not all stores are able to use this function.

After requesting the option, the business Instagram account will undergo a review.

So, to get approval to start selling on Instagram, some further steps need to be taken, such as:

1. Profile picture

Visual information can say a lot, and Instagram believes that too.

So much so that it requires the profile that requested the store feature to have the brand logo as a profile picture.

2. Own a domain

This means that you must have an ecommerce website with at least eight registered products.

3. Proximity to Facebook

Instagram has strong ties to Facebook. That’s because they are part of the same company.

Therefore, stores should have a Facebook page.

4. Platform Policies

Not all products can be sold on Instagram Shopping and at the time of request this needs to be described.

Products such as medicines, weapons, and erotic products are some of the prohibited items.

5. Professional Profile

Having a professional profile is not just about changing account settings, but managing it as such.

Therefore, the platform inspects the content posted, and denies the “bag” option to profiles with personal photos.

6. Link in Bio

The phrase “Link in bio” is one of the most famous ones on Instagram, as this is the only available place to add a link with a path.

No wonder, Instagram requires the link to the ecommerce store’s website to be posted in the profile bio, to verify its legitimacy.

7. Contents

Initially, Instagram assesses whether the page has at least nine posts. But don’t stop there. It is important for the business to maintain constant and quality content production.

Conclusion

To finish our guide with tips on how to boost your sales on Instagram, your company’s page should also be integrated with your website marketing positioning.

In this sense, it is worth publishing articles and materials produced for your company’s blog and attracting potential customers with educational and relevant content, creating customized publications with successful cases, and even structuring actions together with customers and partners to expand the potential of attracting new followers.

With all this, you can see that commercial success on Instagram goes far beyond creating a simple page for your business.

You will need to direct efforts to relate to followers, produce attractive publications and explore the main tools that will support you on your journey in ecommerce industry.

On the other hand, by implementing the steps that we have discussed throughout this guide in a planned way, selling through Instagram will be a differentiator within your commercial strategies and a new source of revenue that will undoubtedly strengthen your business in the market.

Well, that’s it. We’ve got to the end of our article: How to sell on Instagram: Tips to Start a Successful Store.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and got some helpful advice from it.

Feel free to comment and share this post.
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