Social commerce has truly arrived, as today’s shoppers are looking for value-added inputs to facilitate their buying decision. Instead of just believing brand communications, people are seeking advice, suggestions, and shopping options on social platforms. Therefore, it is no surprise that social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram, all with over a billion users, have become prime locations for setting up online shops.

Social commerce is especially helpful for businesses that need to tell their stories and establish a direct rapport with customers, an element missing from e-commerce. And a platform that has been progressively making it easier for businesses to sell socially is Instagram. According to the Business Instagram site, nearly 130 million users click on shoppable posts on Instagram every month, and more than 30% of the 500 million story views per day are for branded content.

Furthermore, Instagram shopping stats reveal that 70% of online shoppers use Instagram as a preferred platform for discovering brands and solutions for their varied needs. This makes Instagram an attractive place to set up shop and reach customers. What sweetens the deal further is that in order to sell products on Instagram, you don’t need to have a website or an extensive online presence! Whether you are starting a new business or simply taking your successful offline business online, Instagram is a perfect place to start.

Here’s how you can list and sell products, accept payments on Instagram, and maintain a custom brand-hosted page for your business.

How to List Products on Instagram

To show your potential and current customers all your products, you need to list them on your Instagram business account. To list your products:

  1. Start by checking the eligibility of your business to sell products on Instagram. If your business is located in a supported market, then switch your Instagram account to a ‘Business Account.’
  2. Upload product photos as part of your Instagram feed post, with descriptive captions giving product details.
  3. Simultaneously, turn on the ‘Shopping’ option in the account settings and wait for approval.
  4. Once done, you can upload a product catalog or brochure in your Instagram shop and tag products listed in the catalog in your feed posts and Ig stories.
  5. In each post, you can tag up to 5 products from your catalog. Similarly, in a story post, you can list your products by using ‘product stickers.’ The sticker tray gives you custom sticker icons for the products in your catalog that you can add to your story to highlight your products.

How to Accept Payments on Instagram

Once your account is set up, and products are listed, you can start driving your customers towards actually making purchases. For that to happen, you should be able to accept payments on the Instagram account itself. There are a number of ways in which you can make that happen.

  1. You can create an order form and add it as a link in your account Bio as ‘The Big Book Box,’ a curated book box seller. After browsing your products and services from the posts, customers can simply head over to the Bio link, place an order and make payment. You can accept payments via bank transfer, through UPI or mobile wallets, as well as third-party payment platforms
  2. If you want to personally engage customers for every transaction and offer them custom deals, discounts, or an option to negotiate the price, then instead of putting a payment link in your Bio, you can share payment details in DMs (direct messages). This personalized approach may be more work-intensive but can help you build a sustainable and loyal customer base
  3. You can also use the ‘Shop’ feature, directing your customers to active product pages with price details and payment links. You can also direct your customers to an e-commerce platform where you may also be selling your products. This feature is relatively new and supported in select markets only

You can create a form for collecting details from your customers, address, contact details, and more. Place the payment page link in the bio or share the same via DMs with Razorpay Payment Pages in less than five minutes. Custom URL, branded landing pages with pre-made templates, and many more customizations. Do more with payment pages by tracking your visitors.

Key Resources to Sell Products on Instagram

The business account offers account insights, the ability to promote your posts, publish ads, and allows your customers to shop in the Instagram app itself. When your account reaches more than 10,000 followers, then you can also use up-swipe story posts to direct viewers to active shoppable links. However, until that happens, you can use some of the readily available resources to highlight and sell products on Instagram.

  • Reels: The Instagram Reels are designed to keep app users hooked on the platform. Thus, by using Reels to showcase your products, you can reach a wider and more relevant audience.
  • Highlights: You can save your product catalog or product launch stories as your account ‘Highlights.’ These have better visibility than regular feed posts and are usually checked out by new account visitors. This resource is put to use excellently by ‘The Food Darzee,’ a custom diet solution provider, on their Instagram account.
  • Story Posts: Story posts are highly engaging and can be used to show product usage. At the same time, you can add DM prompts or product stickers within the story posts as CTAs, driving engagement to conversion. This strategy is very effectively used by ‘The Financial Diet,’ a personal finance advisory brand.
  • Live Posts: Live posts are run for a limited time only and are, therefore, a great way to create purchase urgency, run countdowns for flash deals, or launch new products. ‘ONN Bikes’ has been using this to push customer engagement and introduce new offerings.
  • Sponsored Posts: You can also run sponsored posts or promote content to reach more customers and bring them back to your Instagram shop. You can publish a branded post and activate business partners in the advanced settings, allowing them to tag your business account and run your post in their feeds or stories.

The ‘Sleepy Owl’ coffee brand is using this very Instagram resource to reach out to potential customers and sell its products.

Instagram also provides you with content engagement insights, helping you analyze what kind of content is delivering the highest sales for your business. You can also access helpful guides and blogs by Instagram Business to learn how to use the platform for selling your products and services effectively. With all the free and paid options available, it becomes very easy for you to sell products on Instagram without a website.

Even if you don’t have a website, the payment page can accept payments from customers. Create an online storefront in less than 5 minutes and start accepting payments from customers worldwide in 100 currencies. 

It’s easy for customers to share Payment Pages on social media like Facebook and Instagram.

 

Author

An avid football fan and a Fintech enthusiast.

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