How to Use Instagram Shoppable Posts to Your Advantage


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Facebook took the lead in bringing shopping to its platform, but Instagram followed shortly afterward when it unveiled Instagram shoppable posts. 

Imagine this scenario… You’re browsing your Instagram feed and you see a product that you really like. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy it right then and there? 

That’s exactly what this new feature does! It makes it easy to shop the products that come across your Instagram feed. And if you’ve seen the beautifully curated images from social media influencers, it’s hard to resist the urge to shop.

Businesses, particularly those in the B2C sphere, that are looking to ramp up their social media marketing efforts should leverage the popularity of Instagram. If you haven’t used the shoppable post feature yet, it may be time to get started…

What Are Instagram Shoppable Posts? 

Essentially, Instagram shoppable posts are posts that allow users to shop within the app. 

Instagram was initially known as a visual-friendly platform, but over the years, it has shifted to become more business friendly. Instagram shoppable posts were the logical next step of the platform’s evolution. After all, with nearly one billion active users on Instagram, it only makes sense to monetize that audience.

Let’s look at some of the key highlights…

Tag Products on Posts

Shoppable post from shopDisney on Instagram featuring a Minnie Mouse bag.

This new feature on Instagram enables businesses to tag products that are featured in their posts. 

When Instagram users who follow your business profile see the products, they no longer have to wonder where or how to purchase them. Everything is right there for them. And the best part is there is no learning curve; it’s a simple and easy way to shop. 

By clicking on the tags, users can…

Not Just Limited to Feed Posts

If your brand is looking to increase sales, here’s some good news: You can maximize the opportunity to tag shoppable products by doing so on IG stories, IGTV videos, Guides, Reels, and Live videos. 

There are countless ways to take advantage of the new Instagram shoppable posts feature, but there’s one catch…

Must Be Implemented Internally

You’re probably eager to give this new feature a whirl, but hold your excitement for a bit. The shoppable posts feature on Instagram can only be implemented within the app. 

What that means is all products that are tagged in posts will go through the Instagram team first. It’s doubtful that the company will have the capacity to do this for the long haul, but the current implementation does make this feature less prone to spam. 

When you see shoppable posts on your Instagram feed, they look like any other regular post. The only indicator that a post contains tagged products is a small white button on the bottom left corner.

What Are the Advantages of Using Instagram Shoppable Posts?

Is that all there is to Instagram shoppable posts? Not even close! 

That’s just the icing on the cake, so to speak. Here are some additional benefits you get to enjoy when you use this feature…

It Makes Your Products Easy to Discover

This one doesn’t require much explanation, so we’ll just leave it at this: The Instagram shoppable posts feature allows you to leverage Instagram’s popularity and get more eyes on your products.

It Allows You to Use Visual Marketing, Which Boosts Conversion

Make no mistake—visually appealing images make products more desirable. The power of imagery is undeniable when it comes to advertising and marketing. And no platform does it better than Instagram. 

It’s the place to be for visual marketing, for sure.

It’s More Authentic

Many brands and businesses are doing away with traditional methods of marketing and advertising in favor of user-generated content marketing instead. A few of the brands that have excelled in this arena include Airbnb, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks. 

In an AdWeek survey, it was found that 79% of users prefer brands that use content generated by “average” people on social media. Consumers prefer this method of advertising because the content is not paid for by a brand and is therefore more authentic.

It Cuts the Buyer Journey Short

The buyer journey can often be a long, arduous process. You don’t need a shiny statistic to tell you that every step of the process must be carefully nurtured. 

However, that is exactly what makes Instagram shoppable posts such an exceptional tool for businesses. It eliminates the lengthy and tiring process of nurturing leads and turning them into paying customers.

The discovery and purchase of the product can all be done within the same platform. It takes the complexity out of the experience by making everything so accessible to users. 

What’s Not So Great about It?

The advantages we listed above are certainly appealing, but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Let’s look at some of the hurdles you’ll need to overcome in using Instagram shoppable posts…

Transaction Fees Are Incurred

The ability to tag your products on Instagram and make them shoppable comes with a price. There’s a selling fee of 5% on Instagram (or a flat fee of $0.40 per shipment). 

If you are generating a ton of sales, that probably won’t matter much to you. But if you own a small business that’s trying to squeeze out every dollar of profit, it can make your already slim profit margin even slimmer. 

You Won’t Be Able to Gather Essential Customer Data

Another obvious downside to enabling Instagram shoppable posts is the fact that you’ll lose the ability to gather essential customer data, such as emails. Since you are not the one handling the sale of products, Instagram keeps that information instead of you.

Obviously, this diminishes your ability to stay in touch with that buyer for post-purchase marketing efforts.

How to Use These Posts to Make Sales

Vistaprint, Glossier, and Dan Lok shops on Instagram.

Are you ready to make sales using Instagram shoppable posts? The good news is we have some ideas for you to implement.

Capitalize on User-Generated Content

As mentioned earlier, Instagram users love user-generated content. The authenticity brings a new level of engagement with your posts. 

To collect this type of content, create a unique hashtag for your brand (or products) and encourage your followers or fans to use that hashtag. Then, when someone clicks on it, they’ll have a plethora of content to choose from. 

Don’t forget to mention the user who provided the content in the post. They will love it even more—and might even share the post to their feed or story, further increasing your reach.

Showcase Products in Action

Get creative to make your products shine in your Instagram shoppable posts. For example, a bakery could share a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of their baked goods (such as frosting them). If you’re a hiking shoe brand, you might share photos of hikers wearing your shoes on their mountain-climbing adventures. 

The key is to allow your audience to envision themselves using or consuming your products.

Create Shoppable Guides

Make the lives of those in your audience easier by providing them with handy guides for shopping. This is a great approach when generating seasonal content or showcasing a new release. For example, you can create gift guides for the holiday season and recommend some of your items as possible gift ideas. 

Keep your guides short and snappy so there’s more focus on the products being highlighted. 

Make an Exclusive Offer

Always be looking for new ways to give your followers extra incentives to buy, such as offering limited-time discounts when they shop via Instagram. Your audience will surely find a deal like that irresistible, making them more likely to act quickly on the offer.

Work with Influencers & Content Creators

Many Instagram users are more likely to shop products from the influencers that they follow or engage with, and you can leverage their large following by partnering with them to promote your products on Instagram.

Final Thoughts

With so many brands and businesses already using Instagram to promote their products, the new Instagram shoppable posts feature is a game-changer. When executed correctly, this new feature could fundamentally change the role that Instagram plays for businesses in terms of content creation and for users in terms of how they interact with this content. 

The best part is you can leverage the massive reach of this social media platform to have direct access to potential customers.

To get started with using Instagram shoppable posts, this guide will walk you through the process. 
Need additional help with social media in general? Learn about our social media marketing services today!


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Filed Under: Social Media, Tools & Technology

About Lauren Zylyk

During her time working for Walt Disney World, Lauren quickly grew a social media presence on platforms, mainly through Instagram. With a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing paired with her passion for marketing, Lauren grew her audience even more by creating a blog and through use of other social media platforms. She loves the impact that social media has and how quickly it can get information around worldwide.
When she is not busy keeping up with the latest trends online, she can be found baking cookies in the kitchen, watching hockey, or at the gym. She loves hot yoga and trying out any new dessert recipe. She can’t cook, but she can sure bake!