Etsy & Instagram Shopping

October 3, 2020

 


An Introduction to Etsy and Instagram Shopping

If you're on Instagram, you've likely seen everyone from major brands to small, independent sellers tag their products directly in a post or story, which you can then shop directly from their profile. In theory, Instagram Shops (and their counterpart, Facebook Shops) create a seamless shopping experience for people to discover and purchase products from makers around the world. However, if you're an Etsy seller, you might have realized that connecting your Etsy shop to Instagram can be a tricky and terribly frustrating affair - largely because independent sellers do not own the domain Etsy.com!


It was around 1am when I found myself thoroughly frustrated with the process of trying to connect my little Etsy shop to Instagram in order to enable Instagram Shopping. I was checking other Etsy sellers' profiles, and found that only a handful had managed to integrate Instagram Shopping. My dear friend Yadira (@youaremagic.com) was sharing her struggles on Instagram at the same time, and together we commiserated that it should not be this hard!


I scoured online blogs, and only found a handful of helpful resources: this 2018 YouTube tutorial by Tyler Wentworth on how to tag Etsy products on Instagram and this Etsy Community forum with sellers trying to help one another get Instagram shopping up and running. Both proved that this process is far from intuitive for many Etsy sellers - myself included! 


This blog post is my (admittedly small) attempt to share how I was able to set-up Instagram Shopping using my Etsy shop, all without owning the Etsy domain.


Step 1: Ensure you meet Instagram's Commerce Eligibility Requirements

First, it's important to ensure that you're eligible for Instagram Shopping! Not every product qualifies; for example, Instagram currently does not permit downloadable PDF files (such as my embroidery and crochet patterns, which fall under Section 22: Subscriptions and Digital Products!). You can read their full Commerce Policies here.


You'll also need to confirm that you're located in a supported market, provide accurate product descriptions, offer items for direct purchase via your website or Checkout on Facebook or Instagram, demonstrate trustworthiness, and follow best practices for maintaining a reputable business with clear prices and policies.


Step 2: Your Instagram account must be a business account

Instagram currently offers three types of accounts: personal, business, or creator. Instagram Shopping is only available for business accounts, so before you're able to create your shop on Instagram, you'll need to have a business account.


To switch to a business account, open your Instagram app and tap on "Settings" in the upper right corner. From there, you'll need to select "Account." When you scroll to the bottom of this section, you'll see the option to "Switch to Business Account." Tap this link and complete the required steps.


With a business account, you'll be able to see metrics on how your content performs and get insights into how followers are interacting with your content. (My favorite business perk is seeing where my followers live around the world!)


Step 3: Connect to a catalog

Once you have a business account, you'll need to connect your Instagram business profile to a Facebook catalog. You could opt to use a Facebook Partner to set up your catalog for you, but I found the do-it-yourself method to be quite straightforward!


The catalog is accessible via your Facebook Business Manager (yes, Instagram and Facebook are connected!).


You'll create your catalog by adding products from your Etsy shop, making sure the URLs you link are arranged as "yourshopname.etsy.com/listinginformation". I titled my catalog "Etsy Stickers," as I currently only sell stickers via Instagram Shopping (they're my one and only physical good!).


Make sure the Facebook account connected to the platform is the same as the account connected to your Instagram professional account. Seriously, they need to match!


Step 4: Submit your Instagram account for review

After you have set-up your Facebook shop and connected your Instagram account, you can submit your account for review. Go to your Instagram profile's settings, tap "Business" and then tap "Instagram Shopping." Follow the steps provided to ensure you are able to submit your account for review. In my experience, it takes about a week for your account to be reviewed. (You can visit "Shopping" in "Settings" at any time to check your review status.)


If you've been approved for Instagram Shopping, you will receive a notification from Instagram to complete set-up in "Shopping" in "Settings" in order to start tagging products in your posts and stories. However, you're likely to be asked to verify your domain - which is where the real fun begins!


Step 5: Verify your domain name

In Facebook Business Manager, click on "Business Settings" (this may be in the top right of your screen, or it may be hiding under the subsection "More Tools" in a panel on the left). 

In the "Business Settings," select the "Brand Safety" tab, and then select "Domains" from the left side navigation list. Click on the "Add" button, and enter your domain in the "Add a Domain" pop-up dialog box. You should format your domain as "yourshopname.etsy.com". 


You will have been provided with a meta-tag verification code by Facebook/Instagram. Navigate to the meta-tag verification tab in your Facebook Business Manager, and only copy the alpha-numerical characters in quotation marks at the end of the code.


Next, you'll need to sign into your account on Etsy.com. Go to your Shop Manager page, and click on "Settings." Click on "Facebook Shops," which will likely be at the bottom left side of the navigation list. Paste your verification code from Facebook into the "Your domain verification code" box. Click "Confirm."


Return to the domain verification page in your Facebook Business Manager, and click "Verify."


You should now see a confirmation that your domain is verified, and you'll be able to add products from your Facebook catalog on Instagram!


From personal experience, I can say that it might take a few hours for your "Facebook Shops" tab in your Etsy Shop Manager page to appear - I think I found mine around 2pm the next day, almost 12 hours after I had begun the process!




A huge thank you to all the Etsy sellers and community members who have provided support in the writing of this blog post - your confidence in my ability to eventually figure it out is what made this all possible!
Please drop any questions below, and I'll do my best to help you!



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