This morning marked the dawn of a new age for the online retail space in Australia. Having heard rumbles about an integration between Shopify and Instagram that would provide the ability to hyperlink products in Instagram posts, I was disappointed to find that it was only available to accounts that were created in the U.S and only visible to those in the U.S. None the less, it was time to get all the ducks in a row for our retail clients when this feature hit our shores.
First call to action was to have the Shopify store up and running. (BigCommerce also has an automatic plugin, however you can also use Facebook's Business Manager for sites outside of Shopify and BigCommerce).
As Instagram would be pulling the products not from the Shopify store but from Facebook's new 'Store', we used the 'Facebook' app within Shopify's app store. This automatically pushed all of the lovely products from Shopify directly into Facebook. The approval for this process can take up to 48 hours and you must be an admin of the page to grant access.
We were delighted this morning when Shopify sent the email we had been eagerly awaiting announcing Instagram for Shopify. After following the link in the email to add the Instagram sales channel in the Shopify admin, we connected to the Instagram account. (The account must be set as a business account not a personal account). The approval can to take up to a few days however it was almost instant.
Then from the Instagram app our clients added the Product Catalogue in their Instagram options.
Products can be tagged in new posts (you can only tag either a product or a person, not both) and by using the 'edit' function and removing any previous tags you can tag products in older posts.
Having everything set up before the roll-out was hugely beneficial as there have been glitches reported by people trying to connect their accounts post release. The main complaint being unable to connect the Facebook app due to a false error, stating that you are not the admin of the Facebook page. Stay tuned for the solution if this is what you are experiencing.
I am so excited for this game changer as it finally puts the power back in the Instagram account holder’s hands after the agonising struggle against Instagram’s algorithms, this truly is a win-win for both businesses and customers. Instagram has redeemed itself as a worthy platform for businesses to invest in and Shopify have demonstrated that they are far ahead of the curve in the online retail space!