The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Shoppable Account

Social selling is a lead generation tactic that should be included in every business’s comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Social media is highly trafficked in 2022 and people are spending close to two and a half hours per day scrolling. According to Statistica, the daily time spent on social networks has been increasing steadily over  the past 10 years and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down in the near future.

If your businesses isn’t already selling on social networks, you may be missing out on a big opportunity. Take advantage of the opportunity to sell to this huge market.

This report includes:

  • A high-level overview of how to sell on Instagram
  • Step-by-step instructions of how to make an Instagram account shoppable
  • How to add multiple links in the Instagram bio
  • Examples of different promotional methods

Instagram Selling


How to Sell on Instagram

Why should you care about selling on Instagram?

In a recent Instagram survey, 83 percent of respondents said Instagram helps them find new products. With over 1.3 billion active user accounts, Instagram offers a large captive audience, waiting to be influenced by attractive business content that tells them where to spend their money.

Because of the reach and high levels of engagement, Instagram presents a selling opportunity that should not be missed.

Small and medium-sized business clients lean on digital agency experts to help them spend their money to make more money. It’s the digital marketing expert’s job to make sure clients look good online and have varied avenues for selling.

Harness a platform designed for social media experts serving local businesses.Book A Consult Today!

Make Your Instagram Shoppable in 7 Steps

Before shoppable media, Instagram users drove sales through either the clickable link in their profile or clickable Instagram stories. With 70 percent of shoppers looking to Instagram to discover new products, Instagram took the next step and made shoppable Instagram posts a reality. Businesses that sell online, can connect their Instagram business accounts with Instagram-compatible ecommerce platforms to begin
selling through this social media channel.

Ecommerce platforms include but aren’t limited to WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and OpenCart. Instagram has made it easy to connect to most big ecommerce platforms so that businesses can avoid
having to rebuild a website that is Instagram compatible.

Follow these seven steps to make clients’ Instagram accounts seamlessly shoppable.

Step 1: Set up an Instagram Business Profile

This can be done for either a brand new Instagram account or an existing personal account. To convert an existing personal account to a business profile simply open Instagram, click on the profile, click Edit Profile, and then click Switch to Professional Account.

A professional account includes Instagram Insights into content, activity, and audiences, more space for business information, and can be optimized for Instagram Shopping.

Step 2: Optimize the Business Profile

  1. Choose a username or “handle” that is easy to find for potential customers For example, this is shown as @businessname when the business is tagged in a post or comments on a post
  2. Write a clear bio about the business
  3. Fill out all necessary contact information for the business
  4. Include a profile picture; logos are generally accepted as a business account profile picture
  5. Curate a brand description. Business profiles have more space for a description in the bio than personal accounts
  6. Add a link in bio product to the profile link that connects to the client’s ecommerce site
  7. Add at least nine posts so that followers have content to browse
  8. Connect the business profile with its associated Facebook page. This makes it easy to create paid advertising for Instagram.

Step 3: Get approved for Instagram shopping

In order to be approved, a business needs the following:

  • Be located in a supported market, this includes the United States, Canada, and the UK
  • The business must own its ecommerce website
  • Going back to Step 1, the business must have an Instagram business profile

Once approved, Shopping features can be turned on through Settings > Business > Shopping > Product Catalog. Instagram notes that if Shopping isn’t visible in Settings then the account is either under review or hasn’t been approved for Instagram Shopping.

Step 4. Product links in Stories

Links in Stories can be added as a sticker from the top right corner of the screen. Businesses will need to select the product sticker and then the matching product from their catalog. Pro-tip, change the color of the text by tapping the sticker. Shopping stickers appear with the small Instagram shopping symbol before the text. Instagram provides prompts for potential customers to click the shopping sticker with a small speech bubble that encourages them to take the next step.

Replacing the swipe-up link in Instagram stories, the Link sticker is a tappable sticker that can be added to a story. This sticker takes users to an external website. With the “Add Yours” Link sticker, users can now respond to stories in a thread as well. Instagram is currently working on making Link stickers customizable beyond the current option of color choice.

Story links are no longer only restricted to verified accounts with over 10,000 followers. Now everyone’s favorite mom and pop shops can feature product drops with a clickable link sticker in their stories.

How to add a Link sticker that drives traffic to a website in four easy steps:

  • Step 1. Create a story
  • Step 2. Select the sticker tool from the top navigation bar
  • Step 3. Choose the “Link” sticker from there and add the site link
  • Step 4. Put the sticker on the story and tap it to update the color

Step 5. Shopping Tags

By now, most Instagram users will have seen shopping tags pop up in some posts. Of Instagram’s one billion users, over 130 million people tap to reveal product tags in shopping posts every month.

In order to tag products in a post, there are a few extra steps to the usual uploading process. Once the photo is added, tap on Tag Products, tap the photo, search for the corresponding product, and then select that

Step 6. Shoppable IGTV and Reels

Instagram has enabled the capability for businesses to add shopping tags directly to their IGTV videos. The process is similar to adding tags to a regular post. To tag products in Reels:

  1. Create the Reel
  2. Select a cover image and add a caption like a regular post
  3. Tap Tag Products
  4. Select the products to be featured

Step 7. Instagram Explore page

No one can buy their way onto the Instagram Explore page, but the advantage of being featured is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Businesses may experience spikes in reach and impressions, leading to increased sales.

The process is organic and the algorithm evolves constantly, meaning businesses need to stay on top of their accounts with regular posting and use features such as reels to stay relevant.

The Instagram Explore page features a stream of photo and video posts, reels, and stories that are tailored to individual users based on the type of content they interact with and the accounts they follow.

Connect Ecommerce Shops To Instagram
Instagram requires all accounts using Instagram Shopping features to have a business account, and their online store must be located in a supported market. In the US only, businesses have the option to apply for and enable checkout on Instagram. This makes in-app purchases possible rather than redirecting customers to a separate ecommerce site for all purchases.

To activate the Shop tab, there should be at least nine shopping posts under the business profile. WooCommerce setup includes a Facebook page and catalog that Instagram retrieves information from for the business’s inventory. The business must have a WooCommerce store already set up with physical products. Try this free Facebook for WooCommerce extension.

Shopify on Instagram requires businesses to have an inventory set up in a Facebook catalog. Regardless of which Shopify plan a business is using, it will take up to 48 hours for Facebook to review the added products. The business must have a Shopify store already set up with physical products.

The first step in making Instagram shoppable with a BigCommerce store is to connect that store to Facebook. This is similar to other ecommerce options on this list that allows businesses to directly link their products to their store. The business must have a BigCommerce store already set up with physical products.


In the OpenCart platform, Instagram shopping must be enabled, and a hashtag needs to be set up. This hashtag will pull in all the posts that used it so that they automatically populate on the platform.

From there, the desired posts can be approved and products can be assigned to them. The business must have an OpenCart store already set up with physical products.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to help clients make their Instagram accounts shoppable. Regardless of their ecommerce platform, where they exist in the world, and whether or not they currently have an Instagram account, odds are an account can easily be set up and monetized in no time.

Top Tool For Adding Multiple Links In The Instagram Bio
Vendasta offers as a solution to the age-old Instagram problem. This tool helps SMBs drive traffic from their Instagram gallery to their website or online store so they can capture more qualified leads, convert these leads to customers, and grow their business. You can measure ROI through the Vendasta platform and schedule posts on other social media platforms with Vendasta’s Social Marketing product.

Your clients can turn followers into customers quickly and easily with Set up a page in three steps turning Instagram posts into a gallery of images that redirect to a client’s online store or website. Drive followers to clients’ online product page with the customizable bio link where they can quickly make a purchase.

Set a custom URL for each page, add the business name and a logo to match the branding. This URL should be pasted on the client’s Instagram bio. Through the Social Marketing Composer tool, it’s easy to add a website or product link to every new Instagram post. This tool automatically updates the page every time an Instagram post with a link is published.

How To Promote Business On Instagram

Instagram ads can potentially reach nearly 850 million users. The Instagram platform is a great place to put a face to a brand through interaction, images, and videos. It’s a smart way to promote the heart and soul of a
business while simultaneously building credibility with potential customers. Followers are able to get to know the business, and more importantly, the business owner is in control of the content.

It’s pretty straightforward to create an Instagram business account and fill out all the business information. Then comes planning the Instagram grid and adding some posts so that potential followers and customers have something worth looking at when they find a business. Once everything is set up, business clients will likely need help setting up their Instagram account for shopping. Learn more about making Instagram shoppable with these seven steps.

Everything is ready to go, Instagram shopping is set up, and the best link-in-bio tool option has been discerned, now what? As a local digital expert, the benefits of selling through Instagram are clear. The potential customer reach is huge, people use it to discover products, ecommerce platforms can be easily connected to Instagram, and it’s a visual platform that can be used to build trust with customers in a space where they are already expecting to interact with a business. These proven tips provide actionable steps to successfully promote a client’s business on Instagram.

1.Drive more traffic and sales to your site with Instagram

Before a business can begin driving traffic it’s important to create an Instagram marketing strategy. Social media management is a full-time job and many local businesses don’t have time to execute on creating a strategy or thoughtful posts. Enter an agency with fulfillment capacity, or an agency that is partnered with a business that has fulfillment capabilities. First, appeal to potential followers by creating an Instagram
strategy framework that can work for most if not all clients.

Categorize content into five pillars:

  • Promotional
  • Educational
  • Community
  • Entertainment
  • Engagement

These pillars separate content into types of posts to ensure there aren’t too many promotional posts and not enough educational posts for example.

2.Use relevant hashtags and keywords

Hashtags are in a searchable database on Instagram so it’s highly important to use relevant hashtags in every post. Research for most followed hashtags is simple on Instagram. Just tap the search icon, type in the term, tap see all search results if the Tags option isn’t immediately available, and then select Tags. From here scroll down to see all the relevant hashtags that show up under that term and the number of posts that have used that tag.

Highly relevant keywords should be included in the Instagram profile including the name, and bio. Compelling captions need to be written with care to include the most important words at the top of the caption. Skimmers who are cruising through their feeds are looking for images or words to capture their attention so don’t waste valuable space by taking too much time getting to the point.

3.Create interactive stories

There is an option in Instagram Stories that allows users to vote in an interactive poll. Interactive stories are a great way to engage with followers and quickly gain feedback. There are only ever two voting options so the poll question and the options for answering should be kept short, sweet, and clear.

As a bonus, everyone who interacts with a promoted poll is now a part of a remarketing audience that can be targeted with new ads and stories. In addition to the polling option, the quiz sticker can be used to create
multiple-choice questions.

The stories’ Live feature is another way for a business to interact with followers and potential customers. Instagram suggests using this feature for live tutorials or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. According to Facebook, 62 percent of users that view stories across the Facebook family of apps said they have become more interested in a brand after seeing it in stories.

Instagram has a countdown sticker that can be used for a new product release, or just a teaser of something new and exciting that’s going to drop at the end of the countdown. Followers can opt-in to be reminded by Instagram at the end of a countdown so that they don’t forget and miss out. Interactive polls in an Instagram story allow brands to ask big questions and gain valuable insights into the consumer’s mind.

Expert tip: keep in mind that a story only shows up for 15 seconds before Instagram is onto the next one so don’t have too much going on in a single frame.

4.Get on the Instagram Explore Page

No one can buy their way onto the Instagram Explore page, but the advantage of being featured is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. More than 50 percent of Instagram accounts use the Explore tab monthly.

Businesses may experience spikes in reach and impressions, leading to increased sales. The process is organic and the algorithm evolves constantly In order to be featured here a business’s best strategy is to stay on top of their accounts with regular posting and use features such as reels to stay relevant. In addition make sure you’re taking advantage of:

  1. Hashtags and geotags
  2. Engage with your audience
  3. Post reels and videos
  4. Pay attention to analytics performance

The Instagram Explore page features a stream of photo and video posts, reels, and stories that are tailored to individual users based on the type of content they interact with and the accounts they follow.

Recommended Reading:

Whether you’re a foodie who enjoys sharing a mouth-watering dinner photo from that latest hole-in-the-wall hidden gem, or you’re helping tell a brand story online, there’s a science behind how users will interact with
your post.

In a recent study, Researcher and Assistant Professor of Marketing for Saunders College of Business, Gijs Overgoor, examined 150,000 Instagram posts to discover how to select an Instagram image that will get the most likes.

Overgoor recently spoke with Business Insider to share some of his primary findings. According to the article, the study examined Instagram images posted by more than 600 brands, which were sourced from the Gartner Digital IQ Index, a ranking of the highest-performing retail brands in the world.

Ultimately the study concluded that in order to hit that sweet spot of engagement, an image should have a medium degree of feature complexity and should sit on either end of the design complexity spectrum.
Following these guidelines can increase frequency by
up to 19 percent.

Following these guidelines can increase frequency by up to 19 percent.

5.Partner with influencers

Influencers can be local or big-name celebrities, someone who is well-known in a specific industry, or generally a person with a large following who makes money through sponsorships. These sponsorships come from brands that have a similar audience to the influencer, making it a good fit to sell their products. Selling on Instagram with an influencer provides an engaged ready-made audience that will trust a product or brand because they trust the influencer.

Using Instagram Insights to understand clients’ follower demographics is helpful in choosing an influencer to promote the client’s brand. Ensure the influencer is relevant to the brand to optimize selling potential.

Influencers add credibility to a product or brand. It’s in the name, an influencer has the power to influence their followers to make purchase decisions. The price tag attached to hiring an influencer varies and depends on a number of factors. These include the number of followers they have, the type of post they are being asked to provide, and their celebrity status.

How much will it cost to hire an Instagram Influencer?
To break down the cost of an influencer, on average an image post will receive the most click-throughs. These posts range from $150- $2000. A story may cost between $50 and $700, and a video post ranges from $200-$3000.

6.Run Paid Advertisements

Notice that a post is performing well? With a quick tap that post can be turned into a boosted advertisement.

How to create an ad directly on Instagram:

  1. Go to the business profile
  2. Tap Ad Tools
  3. Tap Choose a post
  4. Choose the post to be boosted
  5. Tap Next
  6. If there is no connected Facebook Page tap Skip
  7. Enter all the ad details in their prompted fields and tap Next
  8. Tap Create Ad under Review

This last step just means that the ad has been submitted for review by Instagram and will be approved assuming that the ad policies were followed.

Story ads are generally high-performing. According to Merkle, about one-third of ad spend on Instagram goes to story ads and Instagram stories are accountable for 35 percent of ad impressions on Instagram. These numbers have been increasing steadily, making stories a great driver of brand awareness.

Familiar with Facebook Ads Manager? Use this tool to set the target audience, budget, run ads across multiple apps, create A/B testing, and any other parameters that can be done with a Facebook Ad. If going through Ads Manager.

7.Pin The Top Three Comments

Fun fact, Instagram allows up to three of the best comments to be pinned to the top of a feed post. This feature gives the business some control over the online conversation and what new viewers are seeing first when they tap to read the comments. To pin a comment, swipe the comment to the left of the screen, tap the thumbtack icon, and then Pin Comment.

8.Get Verified on Instagram

This is an important step to build trust with potential customers. A verified Instagram account signals that a business is reputable.

Unfortunately, Instagram is very choosy with the accounts that they verify, but the process to apply for a verified status is simple and the follower count is not part of the criteria. Businesses working with an agency are more likely to get verified, so use that as a selling point.

How to get verified on Instagram:
Step 1. Tap on the profile and tap the triple line icon in the top right corner
Step 2. Tap Settings
Step 3. Tap Account
Step 4. Tap Request Verification
Step 5. Fill out the application form fields
Step 6. Tap Send

If an application is denied Instagram requires a 30-day wait before applying again.

We Are Here To Help

Selling on Instagram can feel overwhelming for small and medium businesses because there are so many tools and techniques available. Just remember the massive opportunity this market represents to clients makes selling on Instagram worth the effort.

Overcome the stumbling block of account setup and always ensure that you have a website with ecommerce capabilities as well as a Facebook page that is ready to be synced. This forms the basis of selling and promoting businesses on Instagram as a part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

Arm your business with an air-tight Instagram strategy so that they can sell more to a wider audience in 2023.

At Creative Canvas Media, we keep your best interest in mind. Our teams use industry best practices and current trends to guide you in finding the right digital marketing strategy for your business.

If you’re ready to focus on your customers, request a no-obligation demo with our team to learn how we have your digital marketing handled.

Schedule A No-Hassle Consultation Today!

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