Sell on Instagram
Connecting your BigCommerce store to Facebook allows you to tag products from your catalog directly in your Instagram photos. Instagram users can discover more information about your products and can link directly to your store for purchase.
Stores based in the US can also apply for and enable checkout on Instagram, which allows shoppers to seamlessly purchase the products they discover on Instagram without ever leaving the app. When enabled, new products you tag in posts will use the in-app checkout process instead of redirecting to BigCommerce for checkout.
Checkout on Instagram is available to US merchants and shoppers.
No fees until 2021! Merchants who join Checkout on Instagram through BigCommerce will have their selling fees waived until December 31, 2020. See details here.
How It Works
Instagram connects to your Facebook account to gain access to your product catalog. Once linked, you can use your catalog to tag products directly within the Instagram app on iOS and Android devices.
Once tagged, users see an icon in the post to indicate it’s shoppable. Tapping on the post reveals tags that contain information like product name and price. Tapping one of the tags reveals additional details like a description, extra photos, and a “View on Website” link to your storefront product page. Stores with Checkout on Instagram enabled will have an option to “Add to Bag” or “Checkout on Instagram” Up to 5 products can be tagged in a single post.
- Shopping on Instagram is available in over 70 countries with support for their respective currencies.
- Checkout on Instagram is available to US stores and shoppers using USD currency.
- Your store must be connected to Facebook (using our built-in integration).
- Instagram uses your Facebook Shop catalog to find and tag products. (Your Facebook Shop does not have to be active/visible to use Instagram.)
- You must have an Instagram Business account.
- If you don’t have one, download Instagram on your phone to get started.
- If you already have an Instagram account, make sure it’s set up as a business account.
- You must connect your Instagram and Facebook accounts.
- Catalog/account approval is at Instagram’s full discretion.
- Your products must comply with Facebook’s Commerce Policies to be eligible.
- Product customizations, modifiers, and rules are not supported.
Once your store has met the requirements, Instagram will review your connected accounts, then, over the next week, you’ll receive a notification in your Instagram account. Merchants who have already been invited by Instagram may get notification sooner.
If you haven't already connected Facebook and your BigCommerce store, follow the steps below. Once connected, you can link your Facebook and Instagram accounts, allowing you to tag products in your Instagram posts.
Before you begin:
- Make sure your products are not prohibited under Facebook’s commerce policies.
- Make sure you are logged in to Facebook with the account you want to use with your store. This account should be an Admin in the Facebook Business Manager you’ll connect to your store.
- If you haven’t already, create a Facebook Business Page.
- You will need your banking account information ready when setting up Payments.
Send Your Catalog to Facebook
1. Go to Channel Manager › Facebook and click Connect. If you haven’t already, Facebook will have you log in with the account you want to use with your store.
2. In the Facebook popup that appears, you’ll select your Facebook Business Page, Business Manager account, and Ad Account. You’ll also set up your Ad Account and Facebook Pixel, or create new ones. After setup on Facebook is complete, you’ll automatically be returned to BigCommerce to finish setting up.
3. Enter your shop details, including your business address and tax information. You’ll need to enter your state registration number for each state your collect taxes in (nexus). When you’re done, click Next.
Learn more about how Facebook determines tax rates.
4. Set up your shipping options. This is how orders that come from Checkout on Instagram will be shipped. You must set up at least one option but may have up to three (standard, expedited, and rush). Note that orders must be marked as “shipped” within 3 days of being placed and include tracking numbers.
Learn more about shipping policies for orders made through Checkout on Facebook or Instagram.
5. Set up your Return Policy. You must allow at least 30 days (up to 90 days) for returns and provide an email address for customer service contacts. When you’re done, click Next.
Learn more about accepting and closing returns for orders made through Checkout on Facebook or Instagram.
6. Click Accept terms to agree to Facebook’s Commerce Product Merchant Agreement, then click Setup Payments. In the popup that appears, complete the requested business details and banking information.
Learn more about accepting payments on Facebook and Instagram.
Note: If you run into issues setting up your payment information, contact Facebook Commerce support here.
7. For Category Mapping, set up your Default Category (this is a Facebook category). This will serve as a “catch-all” category for uncategorized products, so choose something that most closely fits your business or the category of products you sell most.
Next, map your BigCommerce categories to the closest matching category on Facebook. You don’t have to complete all your categories now; you can move on and come back to finish later if you want. When you’re ready, click Next.
8. Click Export to send your BigCommerce catalog to Facebook. You can leave this page and the export will continue. Depending on the size of your catalog, this can take up to 2+ hours.
Once the export is complete, you’ll get a report on which products were successfully exported. See our section on troubleshooting products that failed to export to Facebook for examples of why certain products fail, and how to fix it.
Connect Your Facebook and Instagram Accounts
You must have an Instagram business account to tag products in your Instagram posts and allow customers to check out on Instagram.
Follow the instructions here to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Note that catalog/account approval for inclusion on Instagram is at Instagram’s sole discretion. Once approved, you’ll receive notification from Instagram that you can start tagging products in your posts. You’ll also see a notification in the app, so make sure you have the latest version installed on your device.
Enable Checkout on Instagram
1. Go to Channel Manager › Facebook and click the tab for Instagram.
2. Click Enable Channel. On the next few screens, you’ll select your Instagram handle and complete any other required setup steps.
3. Once completed, your store will be queued for review by Instagram. They will let you know your connected accounts are under review, and you can return to this page later to check your approval status. Some stores that have already been notified by Instagram may be approved immediately.
Tagging Products in Instagram Posts
Before you begin:
- Your account must be approved for shopping on Instagram to tag products.
- Make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app.
To enable product tagging:
1. 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 the gear icon.
4. Tap Shopping.
5. Tap Continue.
6. Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile.
7. Tap Done.
If you don't see Shopping under Business Settings, your account is probably still under review or it hasn't been approved for shopping on Instagram. Usually, the review process takes a few days, but sometimes Instagram may need to review the account in more detail, which can take longer.
To tag products in your posts:
1. Select a photo and add a caption, and any effects or 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.
You can tag products in both new and existing posts from your Instagram business profile. You can tag up to 5 products per single-image post or 20 products per multi-image post. For products with required options (like size or color), only its variants can be tagged (not the parent product).
You can edit or delete products you've tagged in single image posts on Instagram, but keep in mind that for multi-image posts, you can't edit or delete tagged products once your post has been published.
If you delete a product from the shop on Facebook or the product catalog that's associated with your business profile, the associated tag will be removed from any posts the product is tagged in. You'll also lose insights for the associated tag that's been deleted.
Product information in the tags and product details page will display the currency and language of your catalog to a global audience. We recommend using insights on your Business Profile to better understand your audience and using the catalog containing the most relevant currency and language for your audience.
To preview posts or save a draft of a post, click Preview Tagged Products or Save Draft on the page that allows you to add a caption to your post, under Tag People and Tag Products.
Still having trouble? Learn how to troubleshoot common issues.
Checking Orders from Instagram
Orders from Instagram display with a unique icon in your control panel's Orders area.
Instagram order data, such as revenue, # of visits/orders, and conversion rate, can be found in Analytics › Marketing › Social › Instagram. The line with l.instagram.com (notice the "L" in front) represents sales through Instagram.
About Shopping on Instagram
What countries is Shopping on Instagram supported in?
Offsite checkout (for non-US merchants) is available in the following countries:
|Finland||Mayotte||United Arab Emirates*|
|French Guyana||Mexico||United Kingdom|
*Facebook/Instagram managed partners only.
Is there any additional cost or extra fee for enabling Shopping on Instagram for my BigCommerce store?
No. However, sales generated through Instagram and other built-in BigCommerce integrations are counted in your store's GMV/sales. Increased sales/revenue could result in your store being automatically upgraded, depending on your current plan. See BigCommerce Pricing for more information.
This is different from Checkout on Instagram, which includes a 5% transaction fee from Instagram.
What information will show in the post?
When someone taps into a tag, he/she will enter a product details view that will showcase an image of the product from the post, a description, price and a shop now link that takes a consumer directly to the business' website. This information may change over time as the product evolves.
Can I preview posts and save as draft?
Yes. To preview posts or save as draft, click on “Preview Tagged Products” or “Save Draft” on the post composition page under “Tag People” and “Tag Products.”
Will everyone be able to see these features?
Shopping on Instagram is currently available in over 70 countries. People in these countries on iOS and Android devices are able to see these features. If a person is located outside of these countries, he/she will see the post without tags. In addition, business profiles using shopping posts will be able to see shopping posts outside of these countries.
About Checkout on Instagram
Is there any additional cost or extra fee for enabling Checkout on Instagram for my BigCommerce store?
For orders that use Checkout on Instagram, Instagram charges a selling fee of 5% or a flat fee of $0.40 for transactions of $8.00 or less. In addition, sales generated through Instagram (and other built-in BigCommerce integrations) are counted in your store's GMV/sales. Increased sales/revenue could result in your store being automatically upgraded, depending on your current plan. See BigCommerce Pricing for more information.
Are there any current promotions?
Merchants who join Checkout on Instagram via BigCommerce will have selling fees waived until 12/31/2020. Selling fees will be waived on all items marked as shipped, beginning 7/22/2020, and ending at 11:59 PST on 12/31/2020. During this time, sellers will remain responsible for all other applicable fees, including responsibility for disputes and chargebacks. Starting in January 2021, Instagram will charge a selling fee of 5%, or a flat fee of 0.40$ for transactions of $8.00 or less.
- About Post-Purchase Support
- Respond to Chargebacks
- About Disputes and Claim Decisions
- About Purchase Protection
- About Payouts and Taxes in Commerce Manager
- About Financial Reports and Tax Forms in Commerce Manager
- About Tax Settings in Commerce Manager
- About Tax Categories in Commerce Manager
What are the requirements to access Shopping on Instagram/Checkout on Instagram?
Instagram accounts, that have converted to a business profile, and sell physical goods directly to consumers in the countries listed above are eligible for shopping on Instagram. A business must also have a product catalog through Facebook Shops.
Application Criteria includes:
- Instagram business profile enabled
- Business must sell eligible physical goods
- Have a product catalog through Facebook Shops
What happens to a business on Instagram that has one login that multiple people use to post content? Will everyone who logs into the account be able to tag products?
Yes, those who have access to the Instagram business account will be able to see all product catalogs owned by or shared with the Business Manager connected to the Instagram handle via the associated Facebook Page.
- Individual [HAS ACCESS TO] Instagram Business Profile.
How do I convert to a Business Profile on Instagram?
To convert your account to a business profile on Instagram, you must have a Facebook Page that you are an admin of (either from Page Settings or Business Manager). Once you have a Facebook Page, open your Instagram account and go to settings. From there, click on the “Switch to Business Profile” option, and you'll then be guided through the onboarding process. Many businesses will also see a blue “megaphone” pop-up on their profile screen asking them to convert.
How do I set up a product catalog on Facebook Shop?
See Facebook Shop.
I saw the megaphone but now I don't. How can I access it again? Or, I didn't set it up the first time.
If you dismissed the megaphone that prompted you to get started with tagging products on Instagram, it will reappear in a few days. However, you can always enable the ability to tag products on Instagram by navigating to your account settings. If you already have a product source connected to your Instagram and Facebook account:
1. Tap to Profile.
2. Tap to Settings.
3. Scroll down to Account section & tap Product.
4. Tap Continue.
5. View list of product catalogs associated with your selected Facebook page.
6. Tap on a product catalog. A blue checkmark appears on the right side of the list item.
7. Hit Next.
8. Tap Done to go to the next screen.If you have not connected a product source to your Instagram and Facebook account, you will see “No Products Found.” Follow the instructions to make sure the Business Manager associated to the Instagram account (via the Facebook Page) either OWNS a product catalog or HAS ACCESS TO a product catalog (see bottom of Help Center article “Request access to a product catalog”) for which you would like to tag products from.
Am I required to have a connection to Facebook, and how does this work?
Yes, all Instagram business profiles are associated to a Facebook Page at the time of creation. We then require that the Facebook Page is owned by a Business Manager in order to access product catalogs that are either owned by or shared with that Business Manager. To get started, ensure the following:
1. You HAVE ACCESS TO to Instagram Business Profile (via log-in).
2. The associated Facebook Page (this is a connection that was made when the business profile was created) IS OWNED BY a Business Manager.
3. The Business Manager either OWNS a product catalog or HAS ACCESS TO a product catalog (see bottom of Help Center article “Request access to a product catalog”) for which the individual would like to tag products from.
Can I edit old posts to add tags?
Yes. See Tagging Products withing Instagram above.
What should I do if I lose access to my Instagram account?
Use the Facebook Commerce Support Form here.
Are insights available for shopping posts?
Yes, insights are available for shopping posts and show engagement as well as click through data. If product tags are removed from the post, shopping post insights will also be lost.
- Insights on Shopping Posts
- On each shoppable post, click “View Insights” below the post image to see impressions, reach, likes, comments, and saves related to the post. The “Shopping” section of this page also shows views on the product details page (“Products were viewed on this post X times.”) and clicks off site (“The link to purchase was clicked X times.”)
- Top Posts
- Our insights tool allows you to sort top posts, including shopping posts, on a variety of metrics.
- From Profile, click the insights icon on the top right corner. From there, click “See More” in the Posts section and click the header on the next page. You should then be able to filter Shopping Posts by impressions, reach, engagement, likes, comments, saves, product opens, and outbound clicks by various time frames.
How do you access insights on shopping posts?
You can view insights on shopping posts, as you normally view insights by tapping into your profile and then into the specific post.
Product Source Questions
What policies apply to Shopping on Instagram/Checkout on Instagram?
Businesses that set up shopping on Instagram must agree to Instagram/Facebook commerce policies. When submitting new items to the Facebook Shop's catalog, businesses must also adhere to product policy guidelines from product catalogs advertising guidelines.
Why is the product I want to tag in my Instagram post not appearing?
Every product in a catalog is reviewed for policy violation. If a product is not appearing, it may have been disapproved or is a duplicate product.
Your BigCommerce store’s system error logs can provide insight to why certain products may have been not approved by Facebook or Instagram.
My product was disapproved. Where can I fix this and what does it look like?
We review all products to ensure they don't violate our Advertising Policies before appearing in ads. If your product violates our Advertising Policies, it will not be able to be used in your Instagram shopping ads. Businesses can try to update the product in the catalog with a non-trivial change (e.g. new image), and it will trigger a new review process. We are working on implementing a manual review process for rejected products on Instagram Shopping, but don't have timelines at this time.
You can contact the Facebook Commerce support team for Instagram Shopping questions issues through this support form.
Ads with Product Tags
What metrics do you provide for ads with product tags?
You can customize your Ads Manager metrics to include the following:
- Link Clicks: number of clicks on the product tags (that take people to the product details page) and/or View Products button (that takes people to the full sheet product grid)
- Outbound Clicks: number of clicks on links that take people off Facebook-owned properties. For ads with product tags, this will surface outbound clicks from the “View Website” CTA (Click-to-Action) button on the product details page of a tagged product and any clicks on the CTA (Click-to-Action) button on the full sheet product grid (if an advertiser has added a CTA url) and clicks on
- Content views (Product Details Page/PDP Views)
- Add to Carts
- Checkouts Initiated
- Purchases: Total #, $ Value, ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) Note: For Checkout businesses running ads with product tags and checkout, metrics will be split out by those that occur “On Facebook” (via checkout on Instagram) and those that occur “On Website” (when after seeing the ad, the user navigates to website within the attribution window)
What metrics are shown in Ads Manager versus Commerce Manager?
Ads Manager includes metrics driven specifically from ads; these metrics are not available on any other surfaces. Commerce Manager insights include Sales, Total Orders, Items Purchased, Unique Buyers, and more. Note that the Items Purchased metric on Commerce Manager shows total purchases generated from both ads and organic, and furthermore excludes any orders that a user cancelled within 30 minutes.
How can I distinguish between traffic/conversions from organic Shopping vs. ads with product tags?
The static Instagram Shopping UTM parameter (utm_source=IGShopping&utm_medium=Social) will continue to be applied to all PDP (Product Details Page) website URLs on organic Shopping posts. Advertisers can customize UTMs for ads with product tags in Ads Manager by manually inputting parameters for Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, Campaign Name, and Campaign Content. This will enable advertisers to differentiate between paid vs. organic traffic with website analytics tools.
Why am I unable to run a specific Shopping post as an ad?
Before creating an ad, the product tags on the media selected must be approved by ads and commerce policies. If there is a warning message, the ad is going through review. Advertisers also cannot boost Shopping from Creator posts and Product Launch posts.
Can I add/remove tags or change copy once the ad with product tags is running?
If you have boosted an existing shopping post, adding/removing product tags on the organic post will not be reflected in the ad. Therefore, changing the product tags on the organic post after the ad has been created is highly discouraged. If you have created a new ad with product tags, you can add/remove tags or change copy in Ads Manager.
Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences
Can I create audiences based on more than one shopping event?
Yes, you can create a Shopping Engagement Custom Audience of people who have made multiple shopping actions (e.g., people who have both viewed a Shop Collection and viewed a specific product) or exclude certain shopping events (e.g., people who have Added to Cart but not Purchased). You can add a max of five actions per audience (but you may create multiple audiences in order to include more than five actions).
Can I use audience exclusion?
Yes, you can exclude certain shopping events (e.g., people who have Added to Cart but not Purchased)
What is the audience creation window for Shopping Engagement Custom Audience?
The number of days is a dynamic timeframe that indicates the number of days (up to 180) people will remain in your audience after they engaged with your products in a shopping experience on Facebook or Instagram. People are removed from your audience outside the set period unless they engage with shopping again. The View Shop’s Home Page, View Shop’s Collection, Save Product, View Website, and Initiated Checkout actions were developed in August 2020, so people who took the shopping action before these dates may not be included.
Are audiences created from interactions with ads or organic content?
Audiences will be created from interactions made from both organic content and ads.
How can I build a strategy with both ads with product tags and Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences?
Ads with product tags drive reach, traffic, and engagement for your products at scale -- which will help grow the pool of your Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences. Advertisers can then retarget their shopping audiences with conversion-driving ads like Dynamic Product Ads in order to pull people back into the shopping journey.
Is Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences available via the Custom Audience API?