When people buy products they found through social media, they spend an average of $73 per order.
Let that sink in.
From a brand’s perspective, it can be hard to take advantage of this number because of how noisy social media is.
Think about it. When you compare a busy social media feed to:
- Search engine results, where potential customers look for a specific product
- Email marketing, where potential customers are focused only on brands they’ve subscribed to
- Brand loyalty that makes people go straight to their favorite shop’s website
…it’s hard to get people to buy from you from their Instagram or Facebook feed.
The gut instinct might push you to share links and photos of your products on your social media platforms over and over until something lands on fertile ground.
The problem with that approach? It lacks strategy, and it’s bound to become annoying to your audience.
Luckily, platforms like Instagram have started cracking the code to selling (and buying) on the feed.
Instagram Shopping has been around for a while, and releases like Instagram Checkout are paving the way to easy purchasing without having to leave the social media app.
Whenever something as huge as this shift happens, developments and rollouts are slow, and many online stores are left in the dark. It can be frustrating to know there’s a feature you can’t use yet, especially when you know it could be essential to your business.
In this guide, we’re taking you through every step you can take to overcome this challenge and grow your sales through Instagram.
The Potential of Shopping on Instagram
In the social media world, Instagram provides a unique advantage to brands. With over one billion active users every month, it’s hard to imagine a field whose ideal customers aren’t spending time on Instagram.
When you look beyond the number of people on the platform and dive into their behavior on Instagram, you’ll learn that:
- 80% of users follow at least one business
- 60% of users discover products on Instagram (hello, ecommerce goals!)
- 75% of users take action, such as visiting a website after seeing a post
- Instagram’s interaction rate is 2.2%
Compare that to the average engagement rate per post on Facebook (0.16%) and Twitter (0.046%), and Instagram’s advantage is obvious.
So it wasn’t a surprise to see Instagram trial Instagram Shopping in the US in 2016 and launch it in many countries in 2017.
Instagram shopping made it possible for brands to tag products on their Instagram posts. This lets users tap on the photo and immediately see the name and price of each of the products.
From here, if they tap through, they’re taken to the brand’s website and can purchase the product from there.
This is what it looks like on a New Look example:
Shopping on Instagram is now available in over 70 countries, which has given online shops plenty of playground to explore ways to drive attention and engagement to their products with their Instagram posts.
As you know, the rise of ecommerce on Instagram didn’t stop here. In March of 2019, Instagram released the Checkout feature, a step up from the Shopping on Instagram option.
Launch of Instagram Checkout and Shopping from Creators
Instagram Checkout is like Instagram Shopping on steroids because it lets users shop directly within the app after tapping on a brand’s shopping post.
Instead of the usual View on Website button, a Checkout on Instagram button pops up. After tapping, users can pick between variations such as size or color, proceed to payment, and complete their purchase—all without ever leaving the app:
This is a massive shift for the role of social media in ecommerce, and gives us an indication of its future development.
The issue? Checkout on Instagram is currently in closed beta for businesses, and only available to shoppers in the US.
Right now, less than 30 brands have access to this feature. Instagram is promising that “more will be coming soon”, but we have no idea when, for how many brands, and for which countries—there’s no information or guarantee.
For all we know, this might remain a feature only limited to selected large brands.
By using this feature, selected influencers are now able to tag the products they’re wearing or featuring in their Instagram post.
Here’s a recent post from Kathleen Lights, a beauty YouTuber and one of the few chosen influencers that are part of this program:
The catch? Brands that these influencers can tag must be part of the earlier mentioned closed beta for Instagram Checkout.
In other words, this is a huge opportunity… For a very small number of online shops and users.
There’s no timeline on when something this big will be available to all or most ecommerce companies on Instagram—if ever.
The good news? You can still win on Instagram as an online store, even without all of these genius ecommerce features.
All you need are the right tools, and we’re taking you through all the details and steps below.
The 3 Things You Need to Sell Seamlessly on Instagram
You can sync these three tools to provide a seamless, easy shopping experience on Instagram even if you’re not able to use Instagram Checkout, or even Instagram Shopping.
Tool #1: Facebook ads with Instagram placement
Instagram ads (run through Facebook ad management) will help you create the best ad creative and copy you can and show up in front of your ideal audience.
All it takes is connecting an Instagram account to your Facebook account and choosing the right ad objective.
As you already know, Facebook advertising comes with powerful targeting capabilities. With it, you can build custom audiences that include or exclude your existing customers, potential customers familiar with your brand, and more.
Tool #2: Click to Messenger ad type
With Click to Messenger ads, you can send people from Instagram straight into a conversation with your business in the Messenger app.
This is where the seamless, frictionless shopping experience starts happening.
Instead of making your potential customer jump through hoops to purchase your product (such as ‘Link in bio!’ Instagram post caption > website > product > etc.), you can take them into an automated Messenger conversation and get them to complete their purchase easily.
Tool #3: Jumper.ai and JSON
As you set up your ad through Facebook, you’ll be asked to configure the user experience your potential customer will see after clicking your ad and landing in Messenger.
This can be done in two ways: by using Facebook’s quick creation tool or by adding JSON code snippet that describes the automated messages.
Jumper is a tool we’ve developed with busy ecommerce owners in mind. It lets you create an automated checkout bot so that your customers can buy from you in an easy and straightforward way without adding more to your plate.
And with Jumper’s JSON functionality, you can add this straight into your Instagram ads.
How to Sell Through Automated Checkout on Instagram: Step by Step
Follow these easy steps to create an ad campaign on Instagram that will make it easy for your ideal customers to shop from your store.
To be able to follow along with your own products, you’ll need:
- Facebook Ads Manager
- An Instagram account connected to your Facebook account
- A Jumper account with at least one product added to it
If you don’t already have a Jumper account, you can easily create it for free and check out the guidelines on getting started and adding products in our knowledgebase.
Step 1: Create a Facebook ad campaign for Messenger
In your Facebook Ads Manager, click the +Create button to kick off the campaign creation process.
When asked about your marketing objective, select Messages. Name your campaign and click Continue.
Step 2: Select your target audience
In the Audience section, you’ll be able to define an audience by location, age, gender, languages, demographics, interests, and behaviors.
If you want to target a new audience that you know has certain traits and follows specific patterns, you can use these fields to define that audience.
If, however, you want to target people that have already interacted with your business, you can achieve that with Custom Audiences.
Custom Audiences will allow you to target:
- Your existing customers
- People on your email list
- People who have visited your website or specific product categories
- People who have interacted with your content on Facebook page or your Instagram business profile
You can also create exclusions (for example, target people that visited your website but exclude your existing customers) or use Lookalike Audiences to target people with similar traits to the list that you uploaded.
Check out our advanced guide to Facebook ad targeting to make the most out of targeting.
Step 3: Select Instagram feed placement only
By default, Facebook will advise you to go with Automatic Placements when it comes to selecting where to show your ad.
To retain the focus on the Instagram in-app shopping experience, make sure you only select Instagram feed as your ad’s placement:
Then, click on the View Media Requirement link below the preview to learn the requirements for your ad visuals.
Step 4: Set up your Jumper product
In your Jumper account, you need to have at least one product to be able to launch your Instagram click to Messenger ad.
To do this, go to Products > Add new in your Jumper dashboard and follow simple prompts to fill out all the fields.
Most importantly, get specific with your product name, hashtag, description, and image, so that your potential customers get the best possible experience when completing their purchase.
Step 5: Add JSON
Back in Facebook ads manager, you’ll go through ad setup options such as:
- The format of your ad: carousel, single image, single video
- Media: one or more images, a video, or a slideshow
- Ad setup: ad text, link description, call to action
With all of this in place, your last step at the bottom of this page is the Messenger Setup section. This is where you’ll bring your Facebook ad and your products in Jumper together.
As you’ll notice, the Standard Template option is selected by default, and you can click Edit to make changes to this template.
Next to Standard Template, select the Custom Template option.
Then, click +Create New.
Rename this template to something you can later recognize, and below the name, click on the JSON tab (Visual tab will be open by default).
Click at the top of the text field, select all text (CTRL+A or CMD+A) and delete it.
Then head back over to your Jumper dashboard and open Sales channels > Facebook.
You will see this range of options for Facebook promotion:
From the bar at the top, select Ads, then click on Product.
Then, select the product you want to promote with your ad. On the right-hand side, you’ll see the preview of what this product will look like inside Messenger. You can edit your call-to-action text.
Then, click the Copy Ad JSON code button.
Head back over to your Facebook ads manager and paste this code into the blank custom template field.
After that, you’ll see a screen looking like this:
Click Preview in Messenger on the right-hand side to test your product in your own Messenger. You’ll receive a message and everything should look good to go!
Your Final Step: Launch, Rinse, Repeat
All you need to do now is click Confirm and launch your first Instagram-focused ad that drives Messenger checkout without any of the Instagram shopping features.
As with any other tool or strategy, you’ll see the best results and the highest return-on-investment the more you test budgets, targeting, visuals, copy, and other elements.
Also don’t forget you can create various campaigns based on whether someone has purchased from you in the past. Upselling can have a huge positive impact on your bottom line, so think about your existing customers and the products they might want to purchase next.
If you haven’t already, grab your free Jumper account and start creating ads that will let your audience shop from Instagram with ease.