Turn Your Instagram Business into an Online Store

It’s no longer breaking news. Millions of businesses have been selling stuff through their Instagram since 2016 when the Instagram business was launched.

Think about it. Instagram is where both consumers and businesses share photos and videos of things that interest them, things they love, and things that are important to them. Shopping on Instagram takes it a step further, allowing businesses to turn their Instagram page into an immersive storefront where consumers can explore featured products, engage with them, share them, click to view product details, or even buy the products.

However, there’s a little problem. Shopping on Instagram is only available to businesses in certain countries. You can view the list of eligible countries here.

If your country is eligible, click here to learn how to set up Shopping on Instagram on your account.

On the other hand, if you are from Nigeria, which is one of the ineligible countries, don’t panic. I will show you another way to access the Shopping on Instagram feature.

To access the feature, you need three types of accounts

  • Instagram Business account
  • PayStack account
  • Later.com account

Instagram Business

An Instagram business account gives you access to business features like Instagram Insights and the ability to insert the “contact”, “call”, “email”, and “get directions” buttons on your page, depending on the contact info you’ve provided. Your business profile will work hand-in-hand with your Later.com account to help you sell through your Instagram.

To learn how to switch to Instagram business, click here.

Instagram image

PayStack Account

Next, create a PayStack account and verify your business. Once you have done that, you will need to create a payment page for each product you want to display on your Instagram. Here is how to create payment pages on PayStack.

Later.com Account

Next, go over to Later.com.                        

Later.com is like a second Instagram profile for your business. It allows you to schedule and automatically publish photos and videos to your Instagram feed. But that’s not what makes Later.com perfect for your business.

Later.com has a feature called Linkin.bio. It’s a landing page designed to resemble an Instagram feed. It basically displays the same images you publish to your Instagram feed. The only difference, and it’s a big one, is that you can embed unique links in each image to make it clickable.

This is where the unique PayStack links you created for your products come in handy. You embed your buy links in the respective product images and publish.

How Everything Works Together

On your Instagram feed, the product images you share through Later.com won’t be clickable. But they will be shoppable on your Linkin.bio page. So what do you do?

You direct customers to your Linkin.bio page by inserting your Linkin.bio link on your Instagram profile. Then below each product photo you share on Instagram, you leave a note asking interested customers to click on the link on your profile to buy the product.

When they click on the link, they will be directed to your Linkin.bio landing page, where they can view the product they are looking for, as well as other products. Then when they click on a product, they will be taken to the unique PayStack payment page for that product, so they can complete their order.

The future of Shopping on Instagram

It seems like Instagram is on its way to becoming a social e-commerce platform. It has already begun allowing users to add their billing info and also set up security pins. In fact, some users can make purchases on Instagram without leaving the platform.

The feature is currently on its beta phase. Which means that those countries currently not eligible for shopping on Instagram may have to wait much longer for this new e-commerce feature to become available to them.

In the meantime, you can continue selling to your Instagram customers using Later.com.

Need help setting up? Contact Macaulay Gidado.

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