How to Sell on Instagram Without Spending A Dime

Table of Contents

This isn’t just another post about how to sell on Instagram.

Have you heard about Instagram's Shoppable Posts yet? If not. there’s something SUPER EXCITING that's fairly new to Instagram that I want to share with you to help you promote your business.

Instagram started rolling out shoppable posts to US users in late 2017 and as of today this feature is available to approved businesses in these countries…the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Netherlands, Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Ireland, South Africa, Belgium, Austria, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Malta, Ecuador, Panama, Portugal, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Norway, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Dominican Republic, Belize, Korea and Japan.

So if you’re in the one these countries and want to actually sell your products RIGHT on Instagram, you’re gonna want to read this post!

What are Instagram’s Shoppable Posts?

Shoppable posts allow business owners to tag products within their photos so users can see exactly how much the product is. By simply clicking on the tag, shoppers can go to your online store to BUY your product directly! How AH-MAY-ZING is that?!

Shoppable posts look something like this:

And here’s an example of the whole process of selling on Instagram, from Instagram post to purchase:

1. Users can identify your shoppable posts by the little shopping bag icon on the screen. On these posts, they can click to see product tags like this:

2. After clicking on a product, a tag that lists the name of the product as well as the price appears. To find out more about the product, simply click on the tag and a product page with more details pops up:

3. Now, simply click the Shop Now button to go directly to the product to buy it from the mobile online store.


As I’m sure you can imagine, this opens a whole new world of possibilities for online business owners to sell on Instagram!!

But before you get TOO excited about shoppable posts, there are a number of things you should know:

  1. Currently, this feature is ONLY available to businesses that sell a physical product. This means if you offer a service or digital products (like me!) you won’t be able to use shoppable posts to sell on Instagram.
  2. You’ll need to reside in one of the countries listed above.
  3. You'll need to convert your Instagram account to a business profile (if it hasn’t been already).
  4. You’ll need to set up a Facebook Shop in order to use this feature. I’ll include some info below on how to do this!
  5. You’ll need to get approved to create shoppable posts. I’ll walk you through this process below as well!

So, if you’re still ready, able and excited to create your first shoppable post, let’s jump in!

How to Create Your First Shoppable Post on Instagram

You’ll need to lay a bit of groundwork before you can actually create your first post. But just follow the steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time!

1. Make Sure You Have a Facebook Shop Set Up

If you currently use BigCommerce or Shopify, you can set up your Facebook shop directly through these platforms.

Click here to connect your BigCommerce shop to Facebook

Click here to connect your Shopify store to Facebook

If you don’t use one of these platforms, Facebook provides detailed instructions on setting up a Facebook shop here.

Don’t worry – setting up a Facebook shop is a quick and painless process, and won’t cost you a dime!

? Setting up a Facebook Shop is a quick and painless process, and won’t cost you a dime!Click To Tweet

Alternatively, you can choose to set up a Business Manager catalogue on Facebook rather than a shop. Again, this is a pretty simple process: Go to your Business Manager Settings, and then simply create a product catalogue.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a new catalogue.

2. Get Approved for Shopping on Instagram

This is another painless process, but it will probably take a few days.

To have your account automatically reviewed, you must meet all the conditions above (residing in one of the approved countries, having an Instagram business account, etc.).

Once you’re approved for shopping, you’ll receive a notification from Instagram and can start tagging your posts!

Here’s some more info on getting your business approved for shopping.

3. Turn on Product Tagging

Here’s how to enable shopping on your Instagram account:

  1. Tap  to go to your profile
  2. Tap the Get Started alert at the top of your profile
  3. If you don't see the alert in the image above, tap 
  4. Tap Shopping
  5. Tap Continue
  6. Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile
  7. Tap Done

BOOM! You’re all set up and ready to sell!

4. Tag Your Posts

Now, the fun stuff!

If you know how to tag friends in your posts, you know how to tag products. Here's a step by step…

  1. Select a photo and add a caption, effects and filters
  2. Tap the products in the photo that you want to tag
  3. Enter the names of the products you want to tag, then select them as they appear in the search box
  4. Tap Done
  5. Tap Share

And that’s it! Your post is now ready and waiting to be shopped!

Other Things you Should Know About Shoppable Posts to Help You Sell on Instagram

Since shoppable posts are so new, we’ll likely see some changes in the coming months. But for now, here are a few things you should know BEFORE you start tagging your posts!

  • You can tag products in both new and existing posts!
  • You can tag up to 5 products in a single post
  • You can tag up to 20 products in a carousel post
  • Whatever currency and language you use for your catalogue is what will show up for Instagram users…so choose wisely!
  • When tagging your photos, you can preview or save them for later by going to Tag Products then Preview Tagged Products or Save Draft
  • If you delete a product from your catalogue, it will be automatically removed from your tagged Instagram photos
  • You can’t sell just anything using shoppable posts. Some things you CAN’T tag are weapons, alcohol, adult health products, “unsafe supplements”, etc. For a complete list of what you can (and can’t) tag, go here.
  • You must be using the latest version of Instagram for any of this to work! So if you’re having any problems, make sure your app is up to date.

So…who’s going to start selling on Instagram using shoppable posts? Let me know in the comments below!

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5 years ago

Hi Kim, You never disappoint me as always. Every time I visit your blog, there is always new learnings that motivate me and honestly, I applied it on my own. Wish others could find this article, especially start-up businesses and may put to good use. I sincerely appreciate your post and knowledge.

5 years ago

Thank You For this information. You Are Awesome. Keep The Good Up. Thank You Once Again

Ronda Moore
5 years ago


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