How To Use Instagram For eCommerce Business: The Definitive Guide

How To Use Instagram For eCommerce Business: The Definitive Guide

While the question of how to use Instagram for eCommerce is common, the answer to that is not very simple.

If you’re running an eCommerce business, you need to have a strong presence on Instagram. It’s the norm. Instagram marketing is not only the most lucrative lead generation mechanism but also a promising conversions tool.

It is believed that approximately 80% of Instagram’s 1 billion active monthly users follow a business account on the visual content sharing platform.

As Instagram evolves into a more immersive platform with interactive features such as Instagram Stories, IGTV, and direct ‘buy’ options, your eCommerce business can hugely benefit from building a follow-worthy Instagram profile.

In this article, we look at Instagram from all the angles and answer some of the most pressing questions of online sellers such as:

  1. How can you get more followers on Instagram?
  2. How can you use Instagram to boost your eCommerce SEO?
  3. How to use Instagram hashtags for online shopping?
  4. How to sell your products or services via Instagram?
  5. How to market your online store on Instagram?
  6. How to build a good Instagram profile for your eCommerce business?
  7. How can IGTV boost your eCommerce business?

How Can You Get More Followers On Instagram?

For a small eCommerce business or one that is just starting out, increasing followers on Instagram, and building a loyal base of followers and advocates will take time and effort.

For example, assume you’re building a fashion eCommerce brand. There’s a lot of digital and social media marketing that you’ll have to do to give your brand visibility. SEO for fashion eCommerce is not easy but building a following on social platforms will help you attract the right audience.

Having said that, there are a few things that you can do right away to build a credible list of followers on Instagram.

1. Optimize Your Profile

Start by customizing your Instagram profile. Make it look professional and appealing by including a profile picture that should ideally be your brand logo.

Secondly, include a short description that tells your potential followers who you are and what you specialize in. The idea here is to give them a reason to follow you.

For example:

@WeWork: “Make a life, not just a living.”

@Oreo: “See the world through our OREO Wonderfilled lens.”

@Staples: “We make it easy to #MakeMoreHappen”

Your username should be your brand name – one that is easy to understand, easy to type, easy to search for. Ideally, your brand name should be the same as your eCommerce website’s domain name.

To effectively use Instagram for eCommerce, consider crafting nifty Instagram hashtags to describe your brand. And while you’re at it, include a link to your eCommerce website in your bio.

This way, people searching for your business will easily find you, and this will increase your followers on Instagram.

2. Apply For A Verification Badge

You must’ve come across Instagram profiles of leading brands and celebrities with a blue dot next to it. This blue dot is called a badge, and it appears on accounts that are verified.

This badge works as a strong trust-building mechanism. When people come to a profile with this badge next to its username, it assures them that the business account or brand is not fake or bogus.

While Instagram has a list of eligibility requirements for the badge, the platform does allow eCommerce businesses to apply for one. You can learn more about that process in Instagram’s help center.

Remember, sporting a verified badge is a great way to increase followers on Instagram for your eCommerce business.

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3. Publish High-Quality Posts

Instagram is a purely visual platform. Which is why post quality matters a lot. A bad photo or an unclear video will hamper your brand image significantly.

While you may not necessarily need a professional photographer or a high-end camera, here’s what you should keep in mind for your product photography:

  • Focus on one product or subject at a time
  • Find interesting and unique perspectives
  • Aim for symmetry
  • Capture the little detail
  • Entertain your followers

Make sure your photographs are edited properly before you post them. Although Instagram suggests a 1080px x 1080px resolution, you should upload the image at the max resolution allowed, 2048px x 2048px.

Set a regular posting schedule to ensure that you are constantly publishing images and maintaining a steady momentum.

Create content templates and plan your posts regularly. Also, include witty and smart captions to entertain people who stumble upon your posts.

4. Use The Right Hashtags

Although Twitter pioneered the idea of hashtags as a means of topic segregation, Instagram has engineered it for better content discovery which is why hashtags are a great way of increasing followers on Instagram.

In fact, Instagram hashtags are the most effective way for people to search for content across the platform. Most brands use hashtags to get followers on Instagram.

This is why you must use relevant hashtags for your posts to get wider exposure. This way more people will be able to engage with your content and you’ll have a flood of new followers on Instagram. For example, if you’re selling something, look for online shopping hashtags on Instagram and include them in your post.

However, you shouldn’t go about inserting random hashtags on your posts. There is a method to using hashtags effectively and that is to use them smartly and sparingly.

Dig deeper to search for trending hashtags in your industry or niche. The easiest way to do this research is in the Instagram app itself, in the “explore” tab (i.e. the magnifying glass icon).

When you search for a particular hashtag, it’ll suggest a list of related hashtags at the top of your screen.

For example, if you search for #fashion on Instagram, it suggests relevant hashtags such as #fashionnova, #fashionblogger, #fashionista, and so on.

To connect with your followers on a personal level, you can opt to use trending hashtags such as #tbt (“Throwback Thursday”), #MotivationMonday, #TransformationTuesday.

Supplement these hashtags with intuitive content and watch your followers increase.

5. Actively Use Instagram Stories

Although Snapchat introduced the feature of stories, Instagram Stories has grown significantly and now has over 400 million daily users.

With Instagram Stories, brands can share content on-the-fly. It gives eCommerce businesses a chance to humanize their brand for 24 hours and publish raw content that may not be as polished as a published photo.

Using Instagram Stories will enable your brand to engage with users in a variety of different ways and cultivate brand loyalty and appeal.

This will not only help to increase followers on Instagram but also to keep existing followers appraised of what you do on a daily basis and it’s one of the best ways to use Instagram for eCommerce and boost your online store.

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6. Run Instagram Contests

Another great way to use Instagram for eCommerce and gain more followers whilst increasing engagement on your photos is to run creative contests.

For instance, you can ask people to follow your account or like or comment on your photo in order to enter.

An effective way to get more people to participate in your contests is to add a UGC (User-Generated Content) element.

This requires your followers or prospective followers to post pictures of their own on their respective profiles and tag your brand or a specific hashtag.

In addition, they must follow your account. This is a great way to get people to engage with your brand and have them follow you.

7. Interact With Users

Instagram is a community of people who share images and videos that interest one another. And as an eCommerce business, you should post illustrious images that interest your audience.

Actively follow their accounts and interact with their content. Doing this will enable you to get people to draw attention to your own Instagram account.


They will want to check out your profile once they get the notification that you’ve followed them.

Furthermore, you can like and comment on their pictures. This will give them a chance to engage with you and follow you back or visit your store and even buy from you citing the special bond.

How Can You Use Instagram To Boost Your eCommerce Seo?

The eCommerce SEO techniques that you usually use to optimize web pages can also be used for a social media platform like Instagram. The trick isn’t to shoehorn Instagram into your existing SEO strategy but to implement your knowledge about SEO in driving organic to your Instagram account.

1. Optimize Your Instagram profile

The first and foremost step in boosting your Instagram reach is to optimize your Instagram profile. Driving traffic to your account is pointless if your profile isn’t optimized for an up to the mark user experience.

Some of the tips for optimizing your profile are:

  • Make your profile public
  • Create a searchable and recognizable @Username
  • Use a colorful and slick brand profile image
  • Register for a business account
  • Mention a trackable link in your bio

A good thing to keep in mind here is to include a link that is brandable and memorable since it’s the only real estate to mention your eCommerce store’s web address. Instagram name SEO is also something you can optimize. Short names on a relevant new domain extension like .store will do wonders for your online store.

These steps might seem basic, but they’re necessary to implement before moving on to using other Instagram SEO techniques.

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2. Mention Your Primary Keyword In Your @Username & Display Name

Instagram is a search engine in itself. You need to work within the app to show up for the correct terms in the search bar. Firstly, you need to define your primary keyword.

Let’s take the example of a ‘bakery’. A user who wants to see baked goods on their feed is likely to search for ‘bakery’. Once you identify your primary keyword, you need to make sure that you mention it in your @Username and display name both.

With this keyword in both places, the probability of your account showing up in the search account increases considerably. You should also use your primary keyword as part of your bio and hashtags for posts.

3. Mention Your Secondary Keywords In Your Bio

Secondary keywords are the topics and phrases that revolve around your primary keyword. The next step after mentioning your primary keyword is to get the best out of your secondary keywords.

For instance, in the above-mentioned example, the secondary keywords could be ‘wedding cakes’, ‘cupcakes’, ‘cakes’, ‘baking’, ‘baked goods’, etc. It’s important to craft an informative and attractive bio, but along with it, you need to include at least a few important search-optimized keywords.

Secondary keywords play an essential role where people aren’t searching for your primary keyword but might be interested in your products or services.

A user might not be searching for ‘bakery’ but if they’re searching for ‘baking recipes’ and bump into your account because of your secondary keywords, they might still end up following you because of your content.

4. Use Hashtags As Keywords

Instagram is a search engine that uses hashtags as a means to identify and filter content. In fact, you can even follow hashtags as you do with pages or people.

As a good practice, you should use Instagram hashtags as part of your bio as well as your posts. While optimizing your profile is a one-time activity, optimizing posts is an ongoing process and requires special attention and most brands use hashtags to get followers on Instagram.

Most users aren’t going to be looking for you directly. However, they’re likely to bump into your profile through the hashtags that you’ve used on a particular post.

Hashtags are like secondary keywords too, and each Instagram post requires its own hashtag strategy. You can include your own brand name or a catchphrase as part of your hashtags.

You can also use hashtags that are specific to your image or video (anything you can directly relate to on a particular post).  Post-specific hashtags increase your chances of attracting a diverse and wider audience.

It’s always better to use post-specific hashtags rather than inserting the same five hashtags on every post.

5. Use Secondary Keyword In Captions

An engaging caption not only helps in attracting new followers but also in satisfying existing ones. An unknown fact about this is that the right caption can also help you show up in the search results.

You can optimize your captions in the same way as you did with your name, bio, and hashtags. Using relevant secondary keywords in your caption helps to create a complete picture for Instagram’s algorithm. 

Doing this will enable Instagram to filter your posts and accordingly rank them for search queries.

6. Use Instagram Alt Text

Instagram Alt Text, short for Alternative Text, is a new feature that allows users to write alternative captions for their photos. If the photo doesn’t load for any reason whatsoever, users will see the descriptive text instead.

The feature was mainly introduced for screen readers, which allows visually impaired users to access Instagram, but it also plays a major role in Instagram SEO.

If you don’t use alt-text, Instagram will populate the alt-text options for your photos, but you can rather choose to do that yourself and describe your post in the best way possible using relevant keywords.

You can add alt text by following the below-mentioned steps:

  • Start uploading a picture on Instagram
  • Select your desired filter and tap ‘Next’
  • Tap ‘Advanced Settings’ at the bottom
  • Tap ‘Alt Text’
  • Type your alt text in the box and tap ‘Done’

Using Alt Text could help your posts rank better in Instagram’s algorithm and can have your posts pop up as voice search results too.

7. Refer To Analytics

If you’re using Instagram SEO techniques for the first time, you need to track your Instagram strategy constantly to understand how it’s impacting your social media goals.

Instagram has its free analytics tool for business accounts that shows the activity of your audience, which posts are most engaging and their reach and impressions.

For more advanced features that give you detailed analytics, you can opt for external social media tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Sprinklr.

Tracking the success of your Instagram SEO strategy could help you refine your content, gain buy-in from leadership, and also improve the overall success of your strategy.

8. Avoid Common Black Hat SEO Techniques

Similar to Google, even Instagram identifies and punishes users for using black hat SEO techniques, by reducing the reach or visibility of accounts that try to cheat the system.

Instagram has also introduced a ‘shadowban’ for users that break the ruled repeatedly.

Some of the ways to avoid these Black hat SEO techniques on Instagram are:

  • Don’t use bots
  • Don’t steal content
  • Don’t spam with keywords
  • Don’t follow or unfollow too many accounts very fast
  • Don’t buy followers

SEO is a long term strategy and it requires patience to see the results. It’s tempting to fall for ways that give a quick boost in followers or reach, but it could do you more harm than good.

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How To Use Instagram Hashtags For Online Shopping?

Instagram hashtags are an eminent part of your overall Instagram marketing strategy. Without a well-crafted hashtag strategy, your Instagram posts won’t reach their true potential.

This is why it is essential to pick out the most relevant and high-performing Instagram hashtags for selling online. Here are the answers to the 10 most asked questions about Instagram hashtags for selling. 

Question 1: What Are Instagram Hashtags?

Instagram hashtags are singular words, or a string of words, or a phrase (with no spaces), that begin with the hash (#) symbol. Hashtags are used as part of an Instagram post’s description.

Hashtags are a means of categorization that Instagram uses to organize and compartmentalize content in order to better distribute it to users.

Simply put, hashtags enable Instagram to present the right content to the right users. For example, #pizza or #homemadepizza.

Question 2: Who Uses Instagram Hashtags?

Twitter may have started the hashtag trend, but they’ve now spread like wildfire and engulfed other social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Vine, Google+, Facebook, and most recently Google search.

When it comes to Instagram hashtags, everyone uses them to drive traffic to their posts or to a relevant target audience. For instance, #drivetastefully is a popular hashtag in the petrolhead community.

Similarly, #outfitoftheday is used by fashion influencers and retail brands. Online shopping hashtags on Instagram are equally popular.

Question 3: How Do Instagram Hashtags Work?

Hashtags on Instagram can be inserted into the description section of posts and they then become clickable phrases. Simply adding a # in front of any word or phrase can turn it into a working hashtag.

Hashtags are used to classify content and efficiently present it to users. So when a user clicks on a hashtag on a specific Instagram post, they’re directed to its discover feed, which displays the collection of all public content attached to the particular hashtag.

Since hashtags are a means of content classification and primarily used by people to discover new content, the right hashtags can help your target audience learn about your eCommerce brand.

Citing the growing importance of hashtags, Instagram has expanded the functionality of hashtags.

Clickable Instagram hashtags can now be included as part of a brand’s or individual’s profile bio. Even Instagram Stories are now equipped to include a hashtag sticker.

This means your eCommerce brand can include working hashtags on your Stories.

When users’ click on the hashtag, they’ll be taken to the hashtag’s feed, exactly how the way they would if they’d clicked on a hashtag on your post.

This is especially useful for eCommerce brands looking to promote certain products through a catchy hashtag.

Furthermore, Instagram has enabled users to follow hashtags that they’re interested in. This ensures that content related to those specific hashtags appear regularly as part of their feed.

Question 4: Why Should You Use Instagram Hashtags?

Using hashtags on your Instagram posts have multiple advantages and purposes. So, here’s why you should use Instagram hashtags for your posts:

1. Increase Likes: 

When you include hashtags for your Instagram posts, you are giving users another lucrative avenue to search for your posts, and your brand.

Because users who are interested in eCommerce or fashion or retail are likely to search for relevant hashtags that are related to your brand.

This is why it’s a great idea to hunt for the best and most relevant hashtags for people to stumble upon your posts and like them.

2. Increase Followers: 

Using the right Instagram hashtags is a great way to improve your brand’s visibility on the platform as it helps to get people to notice your brand and what you offer.

This means you will be able to use hashtags as a means to target the right audience that is interested in what you are offering. This means they will follow you which will help you to extend your reach.

This is great for your eCommerce brand as you’ll be able to promote your products and your brand to relevant users.

3. Drive Sales: 

Instagram hashtags aren’t just about increasing likes and followers; they also have a tremendous value attached to them in terms of driving sales.

If you use specific relevant hashtags to promote specific products, then you’re likely to attract users who are looking to buy something niche similar to what you are offering.

This means you significantly boost your online store’s sales with well-crafted Instagram hashtags when coupled with enticing visuals.

Question 5: How To Find The Most Relevant Instagram Hashtags for eCommerce?

When you are running an eCommerce business or an online store, it is imperative to establish a strong presence on Instagram.

And since hashtags are the best way to increase likes, followers, and drive sales, it is essential to understand the logic involved in searching for the most relevant Instagram hashtags.

To help your research process, here are 5 imperative questions to address before you decide which Instagram hashtags to choose:

1. Who Is Your Target Audience?

There are numerous popular hashtags on Instagram. However, if you’re simply going to add the most famous or randomly popular hashtag to every post, you’re not going to have any success.

What will help is studying who your audience is and what they are searching for?

For instance, if you are including high ranking keywords that your audience is searching for, there’s a higher probability of them discovering your brand.

2. What Hashtags Are Your Competitors Using?

Another way to choose relevant Instagram hashtags is to analyze what hashtags your competitors are frequently using or what hashtags are driving engagement for them.

Make note that this doesn’t mean that you have to blatantly imitate those exact same hashtags in your own Instagram posts.

The idea here is to help you get creative with your hashtag game whilst targeting a relevant audience that is looking for content within a niche industry.

3. Which Hashtags Are Instagram Influencers Using?

Instagram home to some of the strongest and most diverse set of fashion and style related bloggers and influencers.

Instagram influencers are people with a massive following who endorse products and promote their own sense of personal opinions.

You can run a check on the hashtags that influencers are using to drive traffic. See which ones are relevant to your brand and the products you sell and accordingly tweak them or use them as is.

4. Which Hashtags Are Trending On Twitter?

Twitter was the birthplace of hashtags being used to classify content and so, if you are looking to search for trending topics or hashtags that are relevant to your product, Twitter can give you a helping hand.

However, hashtags on Twitter work differently as compared to Instagram.

Twitter is focused on news and trending topics and therefore, you can use Twitter as a research tool instead of thoughtlessly copy-pasting the same hashtags into your Instagram post.

5. Which Tools Can Help in Finding the Most Relevant Instagram Hashtags?

When it comes to scoping out the perfect Instagram hashtags for your eCommerce brand, there are several nifty tools that you can use.

Here are 5 tools to help you with finding hashtags for your eCommerce brand’s Instagram posts:

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Question 6: How To Make Your Own Instagram Hashtag?

Do you have a brand tagline or a slogan? That can be your Instagram hashtag now. If your brand name is unique enough, turn it into a hashtag. Try these tricks if you’re wondering how do I make my own hashtag on Instagram:

  • Brainstorm. The hashtag will be representing your brand. So ensure that it’s short and sweet. Think of some potential ones based on your brand name, product, etc.
  • Research. Check if your chosen hashtag is already in use. If you wish to create a community around your hashtag, then you want to start fresh.
  • Promote. Share your hashtag on all social media. Put it on all your online and offline communication.
  • Monitor. Make sure you monitor what people tag with your hashtag, and interact with them often.

You can also check out this video on how to make your own Instagram hashtag.

Question 7: Which Instagram Hashtags Are Trending?

Wondering what are some good hashtags to get followers? Check out these hashtags to use on Instagram to get followers.

Best Instagram Hashtags In 2020:

















These Instagram hashtags are the most popular overall, which means they might not all be relevant to your eCommerce business.

Take a look below at some of the top Instagram hashtags for specific niches.

Online Shopping Hashtags











Popular Shopping Hashtags

















Best Hashtags For Selling Clothes
















Best Hashtags For New Product Launch














Best Fashion Business Hashtags












Best Instagram Hashtags For Travel eCommerce
















Best Instagram Hashtags For Food And Beverage eCommerce















Best pet care hashtags











Best Tech and Gadgets Hashtags














Best Instagram Hashtags For Weddings eCommerce
















Best Instagram Hashtags For Fitness And Workout Equipement eCommerce












Best Instagram Hashtags For Holidays Sales

















Best Instagram Hashtags For Contests










Question 8: What Are The Different Types Of Instagram Hashtags?

Since hashtags are basically a string of words or a singular word, you can use hashtags in a number of ways to drive engagement and to build a stronger follower base for your eCommerce brand.

Achieve Instagram hashtag effectiveness with these 5 different ways:

1. Brand Building Hashtags For Instagram

Branded hashtags are exclusive hashtags crafted specifically for your brand or a particular product. They should be a part of your profile bio.

The primary objective here is to use that specific hashtag to work as a message to build awareness and encourage users to share content using the hashtag.

Just Like Apple does with #ShotOniPhone

2. Location Specific Hashtags For Instagram

This type of hashtag is applicable to local eCommerce businesses that are selling to local audiences.

For instance, if you’re selling state-based T-shirts, why not use #NewYorkHustle or #CaliforniaLove to connect with the right audience.

3. Fun Hashtags For Instagram

These Instagram hashtags are situational based or rather based on the post. Fun hashtags work well to engage with your current audience and do less to grow your audience.

For instance, a post that includes #shoptillyoudrop is a fun-filled hashtag that is entertaining and engaging.

4. General Hashtags For Instagram

General hashtags such a #latergram or #instagood or #tbt can be frequently used and for any post. These Instagram hashtags can give your posts a significant bump in likes and overall reach.

5. Seasonal Hashtags For Instagram

You can use #fridayfeeling or #mondaymotivation to engage with your followers with weekly content.

Similarly, seasonal Instagram hashtags can be used to highlight holidays, a specific time of the year, or even a specific time of the day. Most users love timely content and they’re likely to do well.

6. Trending Hashtags For Instagram

There are many hashtags that rank high and are popular only for a specific period of time. This mainly occurs during current events that span some calamity or certain political environments or some special event.

These hashtags can be used to drive traffic momentarily to your posts since the interest level of users for that particular topic is high.

7. Niche Hashtags For Instagram

Certain niche products have a niche audience who have niche interests. For instance, there are many people who have a passion for veganism and organic foods.

Including niche hashtags such as #organicfood or #veganfood or #veganuary or #veganfoodrecipes will help you target the absolute right people.

8. Unique Event-Based Hashtags For Instagram

Many brands use unique hashtags to alert their users about contests or special events. You can do the same for your online store.

Instagram hashtags like #contestalert and #instagiveaway can help you find an interested audience.

Similarly, hashtags like #flashsale or #BFCM can alert bargain hunters to your posts.

Question 9: How Many Instagram Hashtags Should You Use?

Instagram permits thirty hashtags on a single post. However, that’s not how many you should use.

While most marketing experts suggest using up to two or three hashtags, many others suggest using all thirty. The best way to gauge this is to test it for yourself and check which posts do better.

Question 10: What Are Banned Hashtags?

Not many know that Instagram bans certain hashtags. These words need not necessarily be swear words or derogatory phrases, but they imply and invoke bad taste. These words make the list of banned hashtags.

Instagram routinely “bans” hashtags (and profiles) that are frequently used to denote illicit content.

When compiling a list of relevant Instagram hashtags for your eCommerce brand’s posts, check out this full list of banned Instagram hashtags before zeroing in on your final choice.

Question 11: How To Measure Your Instagram Hashtag Strategy?

When it comes to marketing, all your efforts should be measured and analyzed. This is applicable for Instagram hashtags too. You need to dive into which hashtags are working and which ones aren’t.

Fortunately, there are several ways to measure the impact of your Instagram hashtags to your overall marketing strategy.

Step1: Use Instagram’s analytics or third-party analytics platforms to study the growth of your channel.

Step 2: Analyze the increase in impressions, reach, and likes for your profile and posts. If there is a big bump up in your followers or post likes, then your strategy is working. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

Step 3: Use hashtag research tools to monitor the effectiveness of the Instagram hashtags that you frequently use. The key here is to ensure that the popularity of the hashtags you use is on the rise. Hashtracking is a useful tool to analyze hashtags for your Instagram posts.

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Selling On Instagram – How Does It Work?

Selling on Instagram has become even easier with the launch of the shoppable posts feature. Clearly selling on Instagram has benefits galore and is also a great way to establish a strong online presence.

To use Instagram for eCommerce and make the most of this feature, brands need to insert a CTA within their stories to sell directly from there and with more than 400 million users watching Stories every month, this feature is certainly a valuable source to increase sales for brands.

How To Boost Online Sales When Selling On Instagram?

Step 1: Sign up as a business

Instagram is owned by Facebook. This means to use Instagram for eCommerce, you must comply with Facebook’s merchant agreement and commerce policy. Only businesses can sell on Instagram and so you must sign up as a business account.

Step 2: Set up your product catalog on Facebook

Once you have a business profile set up, you need to set up your product catalog on Facebook. Only the products under this catalog can be tagged on your Instagram shoppable posts and stories.

Step 3: Approval from Instagram

Account approval from Instagram may take a few days. Once done, you will receive a notification.

Step 4: Turn on Shopping features

To begin adding products to your Instagram posts, turn on the shopping features in your account.

How to Sell via Your Instagram Posts

Step 1: Upload product image(s)

Like for any other post, upload high-quality images of your product. You can upload multiple images (up to 10 images in one post) to give users a better idea of what the product will look like in different implementations.

Step 2: Add a caption and tag your products

Write a crisp and descriptive caption for your post and then select ‘Tag Products’. This option will enable you to tag your products (from your Facebook product catalog).

Step 3: Share your post

Once you’ve uploaded the images, crafted a caption, and tagged your products, it is time to share your post with the world! Posts tagged with products will appear on your feed with a little shopping bag icon.

How to Sell Using Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a rage today. With Instagram introducing shoppable stories, brands can now tap into this feature to enhance sales and better connect with their customers to make selling on Instagram effective.

Businesses that are approved by Facebook and Instagram to sell on Instagram, can add one product sticker to any story. Upon tapping the product sticker within the story, your viewers will be redirected to a page where they can purchase the product directly.

Step 1: Add to your story (image or video)

Step 2: Tap the sticker icon and select the product option.

Step 3: Add your product (only one per Story). You can find all your products from your product catalog by typing its name.

Step 4: The tagged products in your Stories will appear with a shopping bag icon.

Handy Tips to Keep in Mind When Selling on Instagram

1. Tag Smartly

Tagging your posts is the smartest way to derive the most value from your post. Smartly tag each item and ensure that they do not overlap and have enough space between them. This will make the post easy to understand and eliminate any confusion.

2. Tag Multiple Products

Tagging multiple products means you can win your buyer’s attention and increase the utility of every post. For instance, a post that has shoes, shirts, and trousers, all tagged in one post makes for a more valuable post.

3. Tag the right products

Remember, the products that you tag on your Instagram post must coincide with the ones on your Facebook product catalog. This means you need to be sure that you are tagging the right products (especially when it comes to products with similar names).

4. Use Creative Hashtags

Hashtags are an imminent part of your Instagram post, and now since you can follow hashtags, this a great opportunity to get creative with your hashtag game. Use descriptive hashtags that can boost your product’s visibility and attract new customers.

5. Upload High-Quality Photos

Instagram is still a highly visual medium and therefore, high-quality images make for compelling and intuitive content. This will not only entice your current customers to learn more about your post but will also attract random scrollers to tap on your product tags and visit your website.

Voila! You are now all set to start selling on Instagram!

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How To Market Your Online Store On Instagram?

An interesting statistic suggests that 68% of Instagram followers engage regularly with brands while a Track Maven research found that the engagement ratio on average, is 8 times higher on Instagram than any other social media platform.

Here are 6 ways to use Instagram for eCommerce marketing campaign and make the most of what the social media platform offers.

1. It’s all in the name

The first step towards creating a successful Instagram marketing campaign is to optimize your profile. Optimize your brand’s profile by:

  • Reflecting your brand name or motto in the username
  • Using the logo as your profile photo
  • Including a smart bio with a link to your website

These may seem like simple things to do, but there are businesses that don’t pay attention to this and as a result, come across as less credible brands. These three simple steps will help you to make the most of your Instagram marketing strategy.

2. Quality matters

Being a social media marketing platform that is driven by visual content, posting high-quality images the first intuitive step towards driving engagements and outperforming the competition.

Build your Instagram profile to become a splendid gallery of your products. High-quality pictures that are thought-provoking and tell a story will make your brand stand out and help to build a credible brand image for your business as a whole.

Use tools such as Canva or Pablo to create high-quality and engaging content that compels people to follow your page and engage with your brand. Instagram marketing isn’t about hard-selling your products or advertising products only to get people to make a purchase.

It’s about showcasing your brand’s journey, new stories that define the brand, and the lifestyle attached to the products that you sell.

A great example of Instagram marketing comes from Adidas. A majority of the images featured on the Adidas profile shows athletes in action or the teams they support across all sports. Only when you look closely that you notice that all of these athletes and teams are wearing Adidas products.

Adidas isn’t just marketing their products, but they are marketing the sort of lifestyle that their brand inspires. And let’s face it, who would shy away from being a famous athlete at the top of their game?!

3. Believe in the rule of thirds

Just like we mentioned above, Instagram marketing is all about subtly showcasing your products as opposed to hard selling. As an extension to that thumb rule, it is advisable to adhere to the rule of thirds. This includes:

  • Promotional Posts: Posts that showcase your products or anything related to the company.
  • Engagement Posts – Posts that encourage your audience to indulge in a conversation (questions, contests, giveaways, special offers, etc.)
  • Sharing Posts – Posts related to industry news

Cross-collaborations works well when trying to get your new online business’s name out there and to attract more followers.

This also helps build brand awareness and serves as an effective hack to start with your Instagram marketing campaign.

Once you have a decent number of followers, you can switch to promotional posts that will help you drive site traffic and sales.

4. Master the hashtag game

Twitter may have introduced hashtags as a search mechanism to find the most trending topics, but it’s Instagram that took it to its full potential.

Now you can follow hashtags and browse through posts on your Instagram feed from all the pages and users that use them.

For instance, the hashtag #ShotOniPhone is Apple’s hashtag to showcase images clicked by people from all over the globe using an iPhone. They simply curate the posts based on this hashtag.

Not only is this a smart way to indirectly highlight your product and associate it with a certain lifestyle or trend, but it also doubles up as a great branding mechanism.

For example, if you sell custom hats, try using a hashtag such as #MadHats to create a brand slogan that resonates with your brand and one that is instantly recognizable by your followers.

Another hashtag hack includes using relevant hashtags as per the post. For instance, if your post has the image of a person wearing one of your hats in front of the Eiffel tower, use hashtags such as #Paris, #France, #Architecture, #WonderOfTheWorld, #ExploreTheGlobe, #Traveler, #VisualsOfLife, etc.

Chances are that many people are searching for images with those hashtags and this way they can stumble upon your profile and visit your website.

5. Make your products instantly sellable

The ultimate goal of your Instagram marketing strategy is to sell the products you showcase on your profile. With Instagram’s shoppable tags you can tag products with the price and description as a clear call-to-action to purchase straight from your profile.

Setting up your Instagram shoppable posts is simple and it can transform your Instagram profile into a sales channel. Here are a few tips on getting started:

  • Set up a shop section on your business Facebook page. Currently, shopping on Instagram supports catalogs on Facebook’s Business Manager. You can create and manage catalogs on Business Manager and add a section to shop on your brand’s Facebook page. Connect this page to Instagram and simply add your products there.
  • You can tag products in both new and existing posts from your Instagram business profile. Instagram allows you to tag up to 5 products per single-image post or 20 products per multi-image post. Top Tip: It is better to provide the customer with the option to checkout from your own website rather than on Facebook.
  • It will take a few days for you to get a notification on your Instagram account before you can start tagging posts. Wait for the notification and then start tagging.
  • When uploading a new post, select the “tag a product” option. With this, you should see a populated list of all the products you have uploaded to your Facebook shop. This way you can choose which products you want to list on your Instagram account.

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How To Build A Good Instagram Profile For Your eCommerce Business?

To use Instagram for eCommerce, you need an optimized profile will help your eCommerce business attract genuine people to follow you, engage with you, and learn about your brand and its products.

Here’s what you need to do to make sure your Instagram Profile is optimized right.

1. Make Your Instagram Profile Public (Not Private)

By default, your Instagram profile will be public. This means anyone on Instagram can follow your profile and engage with your posts and Stories. However, there is an option to make your profile private.

Doing this means, people will have to send you a follow request before being able to engage with your brand. If you’re creating an Instagram profile for your eCommerce business, then you should ensure that your profile is public since it allows anyone to interact with you and follow your brand.

2. Choose The Right Instagram Profile Picture

Ideally, the Instagram profile picture of your eCommerce business should be your brand logo or your mascot or your brand ambassador. The picture should be consistent across all digital media platforms.

Maintaining visual consistency across all channels is a great way to build a formidable eCommerce brand. 

Consider the size and image quality of your Instagram profile picture. Use a high-quality picture that doesn’t appear too small or pixilated. Instagram profile picture size dimensions are 100×100 pixels on a mobile device, but the picture appears larger on the desktop. 

Based on the device type, Instagram resizes your profile picture. This means you should choose the right size and quality. It’s wise to have a few options so you can A/B test your profile picture to check which works better.

3. Pick The Right Username

Your Instagram profile name (or handle name) should be easily understood, easily recognizable, and easily searchable. However, if the name of your choice is already taken as a username, pick a name that closely relates to your brand name.

A smart thing to do would be to keep your business name as the first part of your username so people can find you easily.  Alternatively, you can consider choosing an abbreviation or short variation of your company’s name. 

The name that appears on your Instagram profile should also include a keyword that defines the nature of your business. This will help to optimize your Instagram profile for searches since most will use specific keywords to look for your profile.

Selecting the right keyword requires a good understanding of your potential followers and what they look for. In addition, your choice of keywords should showcase what your brand stands for.

Your handle name can include a specific product name or the city name where you are located/serve.

4. Optimize Your Bio

Your bio is a great place to use relevant keywords and hashtags. This helps to optimize your Instagram profile for SEO to appear in search queries thereby increasing your reach.

Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags, and this is a great way to categorize yourself to appear in relevant search queries. People not only follow profiles but certain hashtags as well which will help you get featured in the searches.  

As a best practice, you should target keywords that perfectly describe the nature of your business and where you are located along with the right hashtags. 

For example, a search for the words “vegan shoes Canada” on Instagram shows the profile for Nice Shoes, Canada-based vegan footwear, and accessories brand.


Your bio is the only piece of real estate where you can insert your store’s URL or a dedicated landing page. In either case, you should ensure that you are using a memorable and relevant URL.  

Ideally, you should opt for a simple and short domain name like or as your call to action. In fact, you can use your .store domain extension as a simple non-clickable CTA for your posts as well (!

5. Submit The Correct Details

The Instagram profile for your eCommerce business should always be a business profile, and you need to be sure to select the right business category while creating your profile.

As a business profile, you will be able to add not only a business category but also insert your contact information and include action buttons in your Instagram profile bio.

To ensure that your followers are able to contact you, you can add your business’s official email address, phone number, and office address.

6. Publish High-Quality Content

While this may seem obvious, a lot of eCommerce businesses and online retail brands make the mistake of uploading low-resolution photographs that appear grainy or pixelated.

To use Instagram for eCommerce, publish high-quality photos are a critical factor of a well-optimized Instagram profile. When someone visits your profile, there is a high probability that they will first scroll through your feed of photos, and depending on the quality of your photos, they will decide whether to follow you or not.

Similarly, it is important to maintain a quality check of the captions and hashtags used across your posts, Stories, and bio. Ensure to consistently post high-quality pictures that keep your followers engaged. 

The posts on your Instagram profile should be relevant to your business, and information about your line of business. In case you are using it to promote your products, ensure that you have a bank of good-quality well-shot photographs that you can use to post regularly.

A good habit here would be to follow a certain style of photographs or a specific language that resonates with your eCommerce business’s brand guidelines.

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7. Harness The Power Of Instagram Stories

Make the most of Instagram Stories by telling authentic brand stories and featuring real people. With Instagram Stories, you can create a narrative that keeps your followers in the habit of viewing your stories and to engage with your brand.

Include relevant hashtags, witty captions, and dedicated CTA links to point people in the right direction. Instagram also allows eCommerce businesses to sell to their viewers directly from Stories.

8. Actively Engage With Your Audience

Keep your notifications on so you know when your followers are sending you DMs (Direct Message) and when they are commenting on your posts. Try and respond to as many genuine messages and queries as you can.

Keep your DMs open for anyone who wishes to get in touch with you, and make sure you monitor the messages that you are receiving here.

It also works favorably if a brand replies to comments on posts and responds to the mentions on others’ profiles. It not only helps build camaraderie but has the potential to establish a brand personality.

Other people will witness your comments and how actively you engage with people and this will probe them to visit your profile and to follow you.

How Can IGTV Boost Your eCommerce Business?

What is Instagram TV (IGTV)?

Instagram TV can be used as a standalone app or on Instagram itself. Regular Instagram posts allow for a maximum of 1 minute for a video, but Instagram IGTV breaks that barrier.

Any user can set up their own channel on IGTV and share video content that’s up to 10 minutes long. If the user is a verified Instagram user or is uploading from desktop, they can even post videos up to 1 hour in length.

There used to be an IGTV icon on the top of the Instagram app for users who wanted to access it within Instagram, but it has recently been removed.

Instagram TV videos of people you’re following will keep showing up on your regular Instagram feed, and you can watch the IGTV videos of the accounts you follow from your feed itself.

So to keep it simple, Instagram decided to get rid of the icon. Users who want to access IGTV as a whole can access it from their standalone app though.

IGTV Vs YouTube

Even though YouTube has been in the video business for a lot longer, Instagram TV does offer individual users and brands some benefits over YouTube:

  • No Commercials – Currently, there are no commercials on IGTV. Your viewers don’t get interrupted with ads and can watch your content without losing interest, unlike YouTube.
  • Mobile Optimization – YouTube was started at the time of laptops and PCs, and that’s why their videos were always horizontal. Even after the smartphone revolution, YouTube continued with their horizontal videos, and to watch them on full screen on phones, viewers had to tilt their phones. Instagram TV was specifically designed for smartphones, with vertical videos that don’t require viewers to turn their phones into a horizontal position for viewing. Not only is it optimized for phone viewing, but also meant for users to upload videos via their phones easily.

The two social media apps will definitely keep competing, but Instagram has a “built-in” audience of more than 1 billion users. Whenever any of these users start their channel on IGTV, their followers are directly exposed to it.

Instagram TV and eCommerce

eCommerce is highly dependent on online marketing and the growing popularity of Instagram for multiple reasons. Besides just being a social media platform, IGTV provides multiple opportunities to reach new people using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Instagram hashtags.

With the help of these features, IGTV takes eCommerce marketing a notch above. If your brand is already using Instagram and Instagram stories, it’s time to upgrade and get the best out of Instagram TV.

You already have an audience that is used to watching your 15-second stories and 1-minute videos. Give them something more than that through your IGTV. Since IGTV videos directly go to your followers’ feed like your regular Instagram posts, there’s no extra effort required for them to watch it.

As soon as one minute is over, they get an option to choose whether they want to watch the remaining on IGTV or not. Make sure that your content is compelling enough for them to click and watch the remaining part.

IGTV allows you to have swipe-up features that act as CTAs to get your audience to land at different pages. The benefit of IGTV is that it requires a vertical format, which means you can shoot videos on a smartphone. This is a simple and easy process.

The purpose of Instagram TV is to create interpersonal videos, which help you bond and connect with your audience.

Another upgrade that IGTV provides over Instagram is clickable links. Instagram doesn’t allow you to post clickable links in your post captions. If at all, you want to send your audience to a particular link, you’ll have to put the link in your bio, and mention in the caption that the link to that particular page is in your bio.

Now, if the audience is really interested, they might go to your bio and click on it, but the chances are pretty low. With IGTV you can put the links in the caption itself, which the audience can click and reach your destination directly.

Types Of Content

You can create content for your IGTV channel in various ways. Let’s look at a few ideas below:

1. Q&A

You must be getting a lot of questions from your audience about your brand or business or for specific products or for simple guidance. Whatever it is, use your Instagram IGTV to answer their questions in detail. The more you pay attention to your customers’ concerns, the stronger your relationship gets with them.

2. Educate

Whatever your brand industry or niche is, try teaching a skill or two to your audience. For instance, your eCommerce brand is about selling fitness products, make a home-friendly workout routine for your audience, and teach them that.

Similarly, if your eCommerce brand is about selling professional music equipment, you can give your audience tips on sound mixing. Anything that could be relevant and helpful for your audience, could help you grow your brand value.

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3. BTS

BTS or Behind The Scenes give your audience access to see your brand’s content in a candid way. If a particular video or photo of yours had performed really well on Instagram, you can use the footage from that shoot to create an interesting BTS video.

Since people liked the final output, they would also like to see how it was created on the inside. However, don’t make it a habit to post BTS for every post and especially not when they look unprofessional.

4. Vlogs

One of the best forms of content for IGTV is vlogs. Instagram allows only 1-minute videos, and there isn’t much you can do in it. However, with Instagram TV, you can build a personal relationship with your audience by directly vlogging to them, through longer videos.

5. Bloopers

For instance, if you were at a day-long product shoot, which included a lot of fun moments between you and your team. Don’t let all of that footage go to waste. Use some of the fun and entertaining sections to make a blooper video.

Bloopers help in breaking the monotony of your channel. Since your audience would be used to watching serious and brand-specific videos on your IGTV, a fun blooper video could engage better with them once in a while.

How Brands Used IGTV Successfully

1. Netflix

Netflix’s first IGTV video was not only unique but proof that experiments on social media do work. Their video featured Cole Sprouse, a lead actor from their series Riverdale, eating a burger for an hour. It might sound a bit weird, but the actor made it look entertaining and it got more than 1 million views and hundreds of comments.

2. Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton had broadcasted one of its fashion shows which featured the Men’s Spring and Summer 2019 collection on their Instagram IGTV.

The video was visually appealing and was specifically created vertically for the platform. IGTV allows brands to extend their events to a larger audience.

The fashion label enabled their fans globally to have access and see the fashion show straight from their phones while also sharing backstage content.

3. Warby Parker

Warby Parker is an eyewear brand that approached IGTV with its campaign, ‘Wearing Warby’. The video featured interviews with Influencers such as author Marley Davis, and food blogger Molly Yeh. They also included inspirational stories of how they help the needy for every sale. They used IGTV for featuring influencers and highlighting their social work simultaneously.

An Example Of How To Use Instagram To Market Your Online Fashion Store

There are numerous fashion brands that choose to use Instagram for eCommerce for raising brand awareness as well as forming a connection with their target audience. The fashion industry also uses social media platforms like Instagram to brush up their sales, traffic, and customer loyalty.

1. Use Instagram Feed to Sell Directly to Online Shoppers

Online fashion brands can use their Instagram account to sell directly to their customers.

Through Instagram account feed, fashion brands allow their customers’ easy access to pricing and product details of their products, thus optimizing the purchase process.

Intelligently incorporating call-to-action in the Instagram bio that directs a user to the online shopping website is another smart way to use Instagram for eCommerce.

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2. Leverage Influencer Marketing

It may be challenging for new fashion brands to create content and grow a following of their own at first. However, such brands can always resort to influencer marketing, which gives them a shot in the limelight through an already established influencer’s followers.

Marketing through Instagram influencers spikes up brand awareness and the total outreach of a brand, thus contributing to lead generation and improved sales. 

Influencer marketing campaigns can bring home $5.20 for every $1 spent on it, as reported in 2019. Most marketing professionals count on Instagram posts, followed by Instagram stories as the preferred medium for influencer marketing.

3. Get The Most Out Of Instagram Stories

While an Instagram story’s lifespan is just 24 hours, they can create a long-lasting impact on your followers. Instagram stories feature multiple modes, features, and filters that can be used on video and static photo content.

All fashion brands on Instagram can leverage the ‘stories’ to promote their products or services creatively. 

For example, fashion brands that showcase behind the scenes action through Instagram stories create engaging content to keep their audience hooked. Even brands that decorate their stories with shopping-related CTA stickers see a spike in their sales. 

4. Story Highlights

Fashion brands can walk down the Instagram story highlights route to keep visitors updated with their products and services as well as use it for marketing.

Unlike Instagram stories, story highlights stay on the brand’s Instagram profiles for well beyond 24 hours, until the profile owner decides to get rid of them. As story highlights are placed just under the brand’s Instagram bio, they can act as click-bait for visitors to the profile. 

Another smart way you can promote your fashion brand on Instagram is to use story highlights and play around with themed icon sets.

5. Narrow Down On A Hashtag

Fashion brands or, for that matter, any brands need befitting hashtags to drive sales on social media platforms like Instagram.

The secret sauce is to choose a hashtag wisely that resonates with your brand and is unique enough to provide a competitive edge in the market. 

Because hashtags are crucial for brand awareness, research hashtags that your target customer segment engages with, or the ones that your competitors and influencers commonly use.

6. Use Your Existing Customer Base to Market Your Brand

Most Instagram users love to post beautiful pictures of themselves, and that can be of unique advantage to your fashion brand.

To use Instagram for eCommerce,  take lessons from the fact that recommendations from peers are of distinct value to individuals. Have your users generate content for your Instagram handle as this gives instant credibility to your fashion brand. 

User-generated content can boost conversion for your fashion business. Incentivize your customers to tag you in the pictures they post wearing stuff from your fashion label and then repost those pictures on your Instagram handle.

This gives your prospects ideas on how to style the stuff brought from you and inspires them to make immediate purchases. It can be a win-win for social media users looking for a chance to get noticed or featured by a fashion brand on Instagram. 

7. Invest In Instagram Ads

While it may seem like the deadbeat way to reach out to your target customers, Instagram ads necessities monetary investments. Instagram Ads campaigns can feature various formats- image Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads, and even Stories Ads. 

Brands that wish to promote a single product often run an image ad or video advert. However, brands that are set to launch new collections or a bunch of products often opt for carousel ads or Instagram stories ads to drive sales.

8. Product Tagging is Crucial

Instagram is one of the most shoppable social media platforms because of the unique ability of tagging products that it allows its sellers. Sellers can tag the products as they appear in new posts and can even add tags to old ones. Users find it useful to tag up to five products in a post. 

When users click on a tagged product, they are led to a separate landing page from where they can buy that particular product. Instagram sellers connect a product catalog to their profile and link its contents to the products featured in their visual content. 

Start Using Instagram For eCommerce And Increase Your Sales

Visually captivating nature of Instagram content allows brands to be creative in their marketing effort on the channel. A plethora of features and filters will enable enough freedom to fashion brands that use it to entice potential customers from the target marketing segment.

That is why most brands around the world want to use Instagram to market their online store. 

Even the customer’s love for Instagram as a shopping platform is justified with opportunities to buy their favorite items with a single click.

 We hope that the tips and tricks discussed above help you showcase your fashion brand in the right light, engage your customers, and scale optimally. Strategize the way you use these Instagram marketing tactics to capture your target customers and improve your ROI. 

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