Following lockdown restrictions in February and March last year, Instagram Live views jumped 70%.
As in-person events were cancelled, Instagram Lives filled the gaps. A year on, brands and creators have continued to broadcast, connecting with audiences in real time. In response to Live’s popularity – and in an attempt to make them an even more attractive proposition for brands – Instagram is launching Live Shopping.
This exciting feature joins Instagram’s suite of shopping tools and is the latest instalment of Instagram Shops. It allows you to showcase your tagged shoppable products throughout your Live and viewers can click through and purchase on the spot. This is a powerful tool that can help boost your online sales and drive higher ROI in your influencer marketing campaigns.
Live streaming has already proved to be an effective sales tool in Asia. During Malaysia Week 2019, Chinese ecommerce site Taobao hosted several live streams, collaborating with influencers. One sold 3,000 units of teh tarik products in just three seconds! During another promotional livestream, a Chinese rocket was sold for an incredible 40 million yuan.
Instagram Live Shopping is currently only available to brands, creators and users in the US with access to Instagram’s checkout feature, but is expected to be rolled out globally. Here is everything brands and creators should know.
Why should brands use Instagram Live Shopping?
The increased adoption of Lives on Instagram means higher viewing figures, but there’s more to gain besides boosting awareness.
For brands, going live is a great way to connect with your audience on a personal level. Showing up face to face and interacting in real time brings you closer to your customers, helping you form stronger relationships. Showing this human – rarely seen – side of your brand can do wonders for building trust. Particularly if you’re trying to grow your small business.
Giving your customers an option to shop – at that moment of peak engagement and trust – is a fantastic opportunity for brands.
Why should creators use Instagram Live Shopping?
For creators, Live Shopping collaborations bring higher earning potential. Brands need your trusted recommendations and engaged audiences to help drive their views and sales.
When you go live with a brand, you’ll have a chance to build your personal brand and grow your local audience. Their followers will have their eyes on you, which could expose you to a new audience and new followers.
Creators also have the opportunity to go live without a brand. So if you have your own merch or a product collaboration, this can help drive sales for yourself.
How does Instagram Live Shopping work?
Before you begin selling on Live, you must be set up on Instagram Shops. If you have the ‘View Shop’ button on your profile with shoppable products already tagged, you’re all set. If not, follow the below steps to set your profile up:
#1 If you’re eligible, an ‘add shop’ button will appear on your profile. Click this and hit ‘get started’.
#2 You will then need to connect your Facebook account.
#3 After that, upload your product catalogue. You can do this one of two ways: Starting from scratch using Facebook’s Catalogue Manger. Or import an existing catalogue via an ecommerce platform partner such as Shopify or BigCommerce.
#4 Once you’ve connected your product catalogue, you will need to submit your account for review. To do this, go into settings > sign up for shopping > follow the given steps > visit ‘Shopping’ in settings to review your status.
#5 Then once your account has been approved, you need to turn on shopping features. To do this go into settings > business > shopping > select which product catalogue you want connected to your account > hit done.
Voila! You now have the ability to tag shoppable products in posts, Stories and Lives. Start your Live Shopping experience following these steps:
#1 Start your live like you normally would and click ‘shopping’.
#2 Choose which products or collection you want to feature in your live.
#3 Tap the broadcast button and lights, camera, action!
#4 Once you’re live, you can pin one product at a time to the bottom of the screen. Viewers will then be able to tap the product for more information or to checkout.
If you’re a creator collaborating with a brand, you will either need to join the brand’s live as a guest like normal, or have the brand give you access to log into their Instagram account and host a takeover live to use their shopping feature.