Are you looking to sell your products on Instagram? Have you heard of Instagram Checkout and wonder whether you could use it for your business? Well, we’ve got you covered. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about Instagram Checkout. We’ll also show you how to use it to promote your brand and start providing an online shopping experience to your audience. So, let’s start at the beginning. What is Instagram Checkout? (Source) Instagram knows that its users use the network to find online inspiration, pick products they’d like to purchase, save their favorites, and purchase when they are ready. And so, they rolled out Instagram Checkout last year, first in a closed beta, to improve that experience further and “make the purchase simple, convenient, and secure.” So, what’s new about the Instagram Checkout feature? Customers were able to purchase products they’ve found on Instagram already, after all. But up to now, product tags allowed customers to click on a product and visit the external page to buy it. With the Checkout feature, they can buy a product without leaving the app. What makes it even more appealing is that they can save billing information and shipping details in there as well and use it when making purchases in the future. Moreover, once a customer has purchased a product, they can receive notifications about shipment and delivery directly in your Instagram app, making their shopping experience even more seamless. Sounds exciting? Well, it certainly is. How to Enable Instagram Checkout for Your Business? First of all, Instagram Checkout is currently available to all U.S. businesses and Creator accounts with a Shop only. However, it’s expected to roll out globally eventually. If you’re meeting the criteria above, you can start using Checkout on Instagram through Commerce Manager or through its integration with platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Instagram Selling Fee Instagram charges you a transaction fee for sales on the network. According to Facebook’s Commerce Manager help page, the fees for selling products on Facebook or Instagram are: “5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. You keep the rest of your earnings.” Why Try Instagram Checkout? (Source) Instagram launched Instagram Checkout to make it easier for customers to enjoy seamless and secure shopping experience. But it’s not just the customers who benefit from it, of course. In fact, there are four reasons that make Instagram Checkout useful for brands too. You Can Go Beyond Brand and Product Awareness You don’t need to use Instagram only for community building or brand awareness. As Instagram is investing more in e-commerce, it’s the perfect opportunity to expand your shopping channels, and the Checkout is a great place to start. Instagram Checkout Lets You Blend Engagement with Conversion One of the best ways to use Instagram is to blend different objectives for your business’s overall benefit. You’re not only building an organic community but also promoting your products with the right message at the right time. A true win-win scenario, isn’t it? What’s more, this strategy helps you promote products without being forceful. You can focus on maintaining a healthy engagement rate and make the conversion come naturally. With the Checkout, You Can Move Followers Across the Funnel (Source) Instagram Checkout helps you explore a holistic approach to Instagram marketing, a one that allows you to adapt to how customers behave at different stages of the funnel while reaching your business objectives. For example, you can use Instagram Stories to boost your engagement and guide your followers to your Checkout page. Or you can partner with influencers to expand your reach and find prospective customers. Checkout Helps You Listen to Your Customers’ Needs Too (Source) One of the main reasons to try out Instagram Checkout is to enhance your customers’ shopping experience. A quick, secure, and reliable purchase can help them turn into your best brand ambassadors, and amplify your brand and products further. Five Ways to Make the Most of Instagram Checkout for Your Business Given what we’ve discussed, are you considering to use Instagram Checkout? Here are five ideas that will help you get the most of it from the start. #1. Promote a Brand at an Early Stage You don’t need to be a big brand to use Instagram Checkout. The feature works as well for brands that are just getting started. Even if you decide to promote only a couple of products with it, you can still make a difference. One way to do that is by engaging with the community and building a following for your brand. Granted, this is a long-term strategy but it’s one that will also lead to sales down the line. #2. Establish an Instagram-first Shopping Strategy Whether you’re a brand that’s new to e-commerce or one that has an established online shopping experience, you have to build an Instagram-first shopping strategy to succeed with the Checkout. The strategy will consider not only how eCommerce works but how people would buy your products on Instagram, and merge the two to ensure an amazing shopping experience to your audience. For example, the strategy will reveal what copy to include in Instagram posts to increase conversion rates. It would define how to use carousel posts, and why (hint – because they are more popular than single-image posts.) #3. Make Shopping Effortless Through Consistent Product Tagging (Source) Consistency is the key to driving success with the Instagram shopping strategy. When you’re sharing a photo with your products, make sure that you’re using product tags. The idea of Instagram Checkout is to offer a quick and seamless experience to consumers, so use it as much as possible in your feed and Stories. Your followers are merely tapping to reveal the product tags, and with just a few steps, the purchase is complete. Warby Parker was among the first brands to get access to Instagram Checkout. Their shopping tags made it easier to boost sales while choosing to use ‘link in bio’ to continue the promotion for their global audience. #4. Launch Exclusive Products on Instagram If you’re serious about using Instagram Checkout more, then you can start experimenting with exclusive promotions and sales. Grab your customers’ attention with sales that they don’t want to miss. Not all your posts should necessarily lead to direct conversion. But if you can still move them down your funnel, then it’s still a win. How about encouraging your followers to save their favorite products for later? Or what if you ask them to share them with their friends? Word-of-mouth and consideration can ultimately make sales easier through Instagram. #5. Use Instagram Stories to Promote Your Products (Source) Instagram Stories are still very engaging on Instagram. You can be authentic and creative while promoting your products. The best thing about Instagram Stories? More and more users are watching them every day. As we spend more time watching Stories compared to browsing our Instagram feed, you can’t ignore them in your Instagram Shopping strategy. Once you set up Instagram Checkout, you can try the option of Live Shopping to boost your sales through live streams. It’s a great idea to promote a product without picking the traditional route of promotion. The more authentic you are, the easiest the sales become. You can also use product stickers to make the promotion easy and direct. Final Thoughts Instagram Checkout is already available to U.S. brands, and it is expected to roll out globally soon. If you already have access to it and want to invest in e-commerce, use it as soon as possible. It brings out a tremendous opportunity to blend community building with conversion, all in one app. Your followers don’t need to leave Instagram anymore to come across a product, save it, and then buy it. It’s up to you now to be creative with your product promotion to boost your sales.