Have you seen those little shopping tags on Instagram photos?

You know, the ones that allow your customers to purchase your e-commerce / Shopify products without ever leaving Instagram!

Yes! Instagram shopping tags or "Instagram shoppable ads" are an absolute game-changer for e-commerce brands with a presence on Instagram.

The Facebook-owned app, Instagram has been dominating the social scene these past few months and shows no sign of slowing down. And now, you can more effectively convert your audience into customers with Shoppable Instagram tags.

Here's what you need to know and step by step, how to set them up!

Example of a instagram shoppable post


Requirements to set up Instagram Shopping Tags:

You're going to need all of the following items to use Instagram shopping tags. But don't worry, this article will show you how to set them all up!

  • Instagram business profile
  • Facebook Business Manager
  • Facebook Product Catalog
  • Ensure you're folloing the Instagram Terms of Service (primarily.. you need to be selling physical products)


Note: Shopify owners: the "Instagram sales channel" is NOT required to complete this.

The Instagram sales channel is suppose to expidite this process however it's been reported to be incorrectly denying people access. However, if you follow this article carefully, you will be set up successfully without this.


Step 1. Set up your Facebook Product Catalog

Note: You will need a Facebook business manager to do this. If you don't have one, go to business.facebook.com and create one for free.

So, the first thing you need to create is a Facebook Product Catalog. As most of you know, Facebook owns Instagram, so thats why you have to go to Facebook for this. A product catalog is a collection of the products in your store. It contains all of your product details like product name, descriptions, photos, availability, etc.

Note: You will need a Facebook business manager to create a product catalog. If you don't have one yet, go to business.facebook.com and create one for free before proceeding.

Now, there are a lot of tutorials on setting up your Facebook Product catalog, so I wont cover that today.

If you are a customer of our Shopify app, Turbo retargeting (Advanced Facebook Ads for Ecommerce), we have a one-click product catalog creation process.

Simply go to Settings > "Set up Dynamic Ads" and follow those simple steps.

We will create your catalog for you and automatically update it every 24 hours with new products, stock availability and much more.

If you're not using our Shopify app..



Try us out for free, it'll save you a few hours of a headache from manually setting up a catalog and we'll help you generate more sales & a higher ROI from your Facebook & Instagram ads.

Once you set up your product catalog is created, we're ready to move to the next step!


Step 2: Convert your Instagram a business page.

Instagram settings

Open up Instagram on your phone, go to your Profile > Settings > Switch to a Business profile.

Simple enough, right?

Step 3: Confirm your Instagram account is connected to your Business manager

Now that your Instagram account is a business profile, you have created your Facebook Product Catalog and your Facebook business manager ready, we're almost ready!

The last thing we need to do is connect our Instagram account to your Business Manager. 

This is how Instagram will know which Product Catalog to use when you start tagging photos.

For those unfamiliar with Facebook Business manager, this is the advertising tool that Facebook created to help manage all of your marketing resources. You can think of your Business manager as your central hub for all things Facebook & Instagram business related!

So, in Business Manager Settings > Accounts > Instagram Accounts, ensure the proper Instagram account is there.

If it's not, you will need to add it.

Once you do, you've successfully set everything up!

However this is not the end...


Step 4: Wait until Instagram approves you.

Once you set all of these settings up, your job is done! Now you're automatically entered in Instagram's "review process".

Instagram has a really silly process for giving profiles access to this feature. They required you to be manually reviewed by their team members to ensure you've followed these steps accordingly.

And the most frustrating part is, they don't tell you about this review process nor give you any real updates.

Approximately 1-3 days after you follow the first three steps, if you're approved by the Instagram review team, you will receive an in-app notification to start "start tagging photos" like this:




We've gone through this process a few times and can confirm this process works, however you need to follow each step documented in the article perfectly.

You can not start tagging posts until you receive this notification from Instagram, and as of right now, there is no way to check your review status.

If you follow these steps, and don't hear from Instagram within 5 days, drop a comment and we'll take care of you.

Step 5: Start tagging photos

Once you complete the prompts from the "Start tagging" notification in Step 4, we're finally ready to finally start tagging photos!

After you caputre a photo & start uploading as you would normally to Instagram, you will see a new option to "Tag products".

Wallah! There it is.

Click "tag products" and tag away!

You will be able to tag your photos with any products you have set up in your Facebook catalog!


Conclusion:

If you're an e-commerce or Shopify store and looking to start converting your audience into customers, the new Shoppable Instagram posts are going to be your next favorite thing!

Instagram's process for setting this up is a bit frustrating but well worth the headache.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and happy tagging!