If you have dreams of becoming the star of a home shopping channel, you can make it come alive in 2022 with Instagram’s newest Live Shopping feature. What once started as a photo-sharing platform has evolved into a dynamic app that hosts various videos, from reels to live stories. In addition, you can now take advantage of this distribution channel to sell your products. Learn all about Instagram Live Shopping in this mini-guide below: 

The Goal of Instagram Live Shopping 

This feature allows you to sell products on your very own Live Instagram (IG) broadcast. It is akin to what you see on old home shopping channels, but this version is more interactive (and, of course, more accessible to the average user). With this tool, you can show your products, engage with followers, provide feedback, and collaborate with other brands. 

The way it works is simple: When Instagram introduced its Shops concept, approved accounts could upload their product catalogs. As a result, brands like you can create a pseudo-e-commerce storefront right in your app. Live Shopping will pull products from the same catalog. With this feature, you can put your best sellers in the eyes of prospective buyers during your live broadcast. 

To sum it up, you can think of Live Shopping as the streaming service of shopping, and it’s available on more platforms than just Instagram – learn more about why Live Shopping is turning into such a big trend here

The Caveats of Live Shopping 

Sadly, Live shopping is only available for Instagram Business accounts with checkout capabilities. You can tag a product to your catalog to appear on the bottom of the screen. This paves the way for easy purchases when your followers like what they see.  

Moreover, this feature is only open for US-based Instagram business accounts with access to IG Checkout. In the same token, you must also be a US IG user to purchase. But don’t fret if you don’t fall into these categories because the industry buzz says they will roll out these features globally sometime soon. In the meantime, you can prepare your business for Live Shopping by learning all you can, so you’re ready to jump on the trend as soon as the feature becomes available! 

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Steps to Conduct an Instagrammable Live Shopping Event 

Before hosting your Live Shopping stream, you must have an existing IG shop and product catalog. This step is crucial because you can’t tag products during your stream if you didn’t publish your catalog ahead of time.  

Build an eye-catching catalog to ensure your clients proceed with checkout using the app. As a result, they don’t have to find their way to your website to make a purchase. Below is an example of a business page that is ready to go on Instagram because they have a complete catalog along with a checkout option (not yet set up correctly? Learn how here). 

Notably, you can build a collection of up to 30 products in the catalog, so pick your best sellers since the IG app gets them before your followers. Your pictures and descriptions must entice people to buy. Once you’re done uploading products into the IG system, you can launch your Live Shopping stream:  

Step 1: Press the Plus icon located in the top right corner of the screen 

Step 2: Click the Live option

Step 3: Tap on the Shopping tab

Step 4: Pick the products you want to highlight from your catalog 

Step 5: Select the broadcast button to go Live

Step 6: Once your camera is up and running, you have the option to pin one item at a time onto the screen. For example, if you are featuring a bracelet from your store, you can pin that product on the screen so viewers will see your demonstration and quickly click and learn more or checkout.  

As you roll out your Live broadcast, any fan viewers or new leads can tap on the product to learn more. This will take them to the product detail page, and if they like it, they can purchase it on the IG app. Yes, it’s that convenient for your target audience to have a shopping spree!

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Optimize the Live Shopping Feature 

The Live broadcast is authentic because viewers will see a raw, uncut, and unedited video. It creates a unique selling and buying experience, and because viewers see your genuine side, you foster a better relationship. On top of that, the interactive feature of Live Shopping gives your audience immediate feedback.  

However, apart from selling, you can do many other things with Live Shopping to help your bottom line. Constantly bombarding your followers with the same products can backfire, and frequent hard selling will burn them out, so strive hard for balance. Instead, conduct both product and content-driven live streams. This process will make people curious about your brand and excited to stay tuned. 

Check out the following suggestions to bolster up your Live Shopping Broadcasts: 

Make Announcements  

When you have something significant to announce, it’s more fun when it’s live. If you have new products or a new collection, share the details. You can readily answer queries from fans to satisfy their curiosity, providing a more personal touch. You can also utilize the product launch reminder option to build hype – this sets reminders for your fans to tune in.  

Show How Things Function 

Doing a live tutorial or product demo creates engagement. When you go live, your profile thumbnail appears on the top of the screen. People are naturally curious, so they may take a peek at your broadcast. This is an excellent opportunity to capture attention because people are afraid to miss out on the latest trends and entice them to buy by showing how your products work in real-time. 

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Collaborate with Other Creators 

It’s your chance to cross-promote with other creators. Why not invite an influencer to host your Live Shopping stream? You can also offer VIP rates for the host’s fans. It’s a win-win situation because you open a broader audience base for each other. 

Host a Q&A 

People love getting answers to their questions, so a Q&A on Live Shopping is always a hit. This lures hesitant shoppers over to your brand as you address their concerns. Use Live Shopping as an opportunity for people to understand your products and inspire them to make a purchase. An informed audience can make better choices.  

Keep Your Spontaneity to Ensure You Are “Insta-Worthy” 

To become an Insta-worthy, shoppable IG star, you must learn to optimize the Live Shopping tool and use it to its fullest extent (as discussed above, this is more than just selling a product!). Although you can create planned events, don’t forget to intersperse your calendar with spontaneous Live sessions. Leverage its authenticity by having a can-do attitude, surprise your followers with surprise demos, quick behind-the-scenes shoots, and flash sales, and reward fans who stay tuned to your live session. Have fun with Live Shopping and count on it to increase your bottom line in 2022. Happy recording!

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