How to Sell on Instagram

how to sell on instagram

Are you looking for creative ways to sell your products and services? If so, you may want to consider using the Instagram app. Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos with their followers.

In recent years, it has become a popular way to promote businesses and sell items with Instagram Shopping. In this article, we’ll discuss how to sell on Instagram. Let’s dive in!



Why Should You Start Selling on Instagram?

There are many reasons to begin selling on Instagram. Let’s take a look at five reasons Instagram users should use the platform to sell products…

  • Instagram is a Popular Social Media Platform. With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. This gives businesses a large audience to reach with their products and services.
  • Instagram is Visual. Instagram is a highly visual platform, which makes it ideal for businesses that sell products that are visually appealing.
  • Instagram Shopping is Easy to Use. The Instagram Shopping feature makes it easy for businesses to sell products directly on the platform. Simply tag products in your posts and stories, and followers can view product details and purchase items without leaving Instagram.
  • You Can Reach a Global Audience. Instagram is a global platform, which means businesses can reach buyers from all over the world.
  • Instagram Offers Insights. Instagram provides businesses with valuable insights into their audience and the performance of their posts. This information can help businesses adjust their strategies to better reach their target market.
Large User BaseWith over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram offers a vast audience for businesses to promote their products and services, increasing brand exposure.
Visual AppealInstagram's highly visual nature is perfect for businesses selling visually appealing products. High-quality images and engaging content can captivate potential customers.
User-Friendly ShoppingInstagram's Shopping feature simplifies the purchasing process. Businesses can tag products in posts and stories, allowing followers to buy without leaving the platform.
Global ReachAs a global platform, Instagram enables businesses to connect with potential customers worldwide, expanding their market reach and potential for international sales.
Valuable InsightsInstagram provides businesses with valuable audience insights and post performance data. This information empowers businesses to refine their strategies for better results.

How to Sell on Instagram

How to Sell on Instagram

Let’s take a look at how to begin selling your products on Instagram. Once you do, you’ll begin seeing a shopping bag icon on your photos.

1. Create an Instagram Account

If you don’t already have an Instagram account, you’ll need to create one. To do so, download the app from the App Store or Google Play and create an account.

You’ll want to connect it to your Facebook page if you have one. Connecting to your Facebook Business page will make it easier to share your content and reach a wider audience.

2. Choose a Niche

When creating your account, you’ll want to choose a niche. This will help you focus your content and reach a specific audience.

For example, if you sell women’s clothing, your niche could be fashion-conscious women.

3. Build a Following

Once you’ve created your account, it’s time to start building a following. To do so, post engaging content that appeals to your target audience.

Use hashtags, post regularly, and interact with other users to get started.


4. Upgrade to an Instagram Business Profile

If you plan on selling products on Instagram, you’ll need to upgrade to an Instagram business account. To do so, go to your profile settings and select “Switch to Business Profile.”

From there, you’ll be able to add information about your business, such as your business name, contact information, and website.

5. Set Up Instagram Shopping

If you want to sell products on Instagram, you’ll need to set up an Instagram Shopping account. To do this, go to your settings and select “Shopping.” Then, follow the prompts to connect your account to an Instagram shop online store.

Once you do this, you’ll be able to tag products in your posts and stories.

6. Publish Shoppable Posts to Your Instagram Feed

Next, you’ll want to publish shoppable Instagram posts to your feed and stories. With Instagram stories, you can tag products in your shoppable posts so that users can easily click through and buy them.

To do this, just type “@” followed by the product’s name. When someone clicks on the product, they’ll be taken to a page where they can learn more about it and buy it.

Create an Instagram AccountDownload the Instagram app, create an account, and consider linking it to your Facebook page for broader content sharing and audience reach.
Choose a NicheDefine your niche on Instagram to focus your content and attract a specific audience. For example, if you sell women's clothing, your niche could be fashion-conscious women.
Build a FollowingStart growing your follower base by posting engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Utilize hashtags, maintain regular posting, and engage with other users.
Upgrade to an Instagram Business ProfileTo sell products on Instagram, switch to a Business Profile via your settings. Provide essential business details like your business name, contact info, and website.
Set Up Instagram ShoppingEnable Instagram Shopping by navigating to your settings and selecting “Shopping.” Follow the prompts to connect your account to an Instagram shop online store.
Publish Shoppable PostsShare shoppable Instagram posts on your feed and stories. Utilize Instagram Stories to tag products, allowing users to click through and make purchases with ease.

How to Sell on Instagram

Top Tips for Selling on Instagram

Being able to sell on Instagram is a great opportunity for businesses, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are some top tips for selling on Instagram:

Instagram ads

Using Instagram ads is a great way to promote your products and reach a wider audience. When creating an ad, be sure to include high-quality images and compelling copy. You’ll also want to target your ad so that it reaches the right people.

User-generated content

Another great way to promote your products is to use user-generated content. This is content that’s created by your customers and posted to social media.

To encourage people to post about your products, you can offer discounts or run contests.

High-quality images

When selling on Instagram, it’s important to use high-quality images. This will help your products stand out and give potential customers a better idea of what they’re looking for.

Compelling copy

In addition to using high-quality images, you’ll also want to use compelling copy. This means writing descriptions that are clear and concise. You should also use hashtags and calls to action to further engage potential customers.

Regular posts

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re posting regularly. This will help you keep your account active and ensure that people are seeing your content.

How to Sell on Instagram

  • READ MORE: 10 Secrets to Success on Instagram for Small Business Users

Navigating Challenges in Instagram Selling

As with any e-commerce endeavor, selling on Instagram presents its share of challenges. It’s essential to be aware of these obstacles and have strategies in place to overcome them. Here are some common challenges and ways to navigate them:

  • Increased Competition: The popularity of Instagram as a selling platform means that competition can be fierce, especially in saturated niches. To stand out, focus on crafting unique content, engaging storytelling, and differentiating your brand from the competition.
  • Algorithm Changes: Instagram’s algorithm can impact the visibility of your posts. Stay informed about algorithm updates and adapt your content strategy accordingly. Posting consistently, engaging with your audience, and using relevant hashtags can help maintain visibility.
  • Maintaining Authenticity: Authenticity is highly valued on Instagram. Avoid appearing overly promotional or insincere in your posts. Build trust by showcasing your brand’s personality, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and responding genuinely to comments and messages.
  • Adherence to Regulations: Depending on your location and the nature of your products, you may need to comply with specific regulations and obtain licenses. Stay informed about legal requirements in your area and ensure your business operates within the law.
  • Handling Customer Service: As your business grows, managing customer inquiries and resolving issues can become challenging. Implement efficient customer service strategies, such as setting response time goals, using automated responses for common queries, and offering clear communication channels.
  • Scaling Operations: Scaling your business on Instagram may require additional resources, such as inventory management systems and shipping solutions. Plan for growth by optimizing your operations and considering partnerships or outsourcing when necessary.
  • Adapting to Trends: Instagram trends and user behavior evolve over time. Keep an eye on emerging trends and adapt your content and strategies to align with what resonates with your target audience.
  • Managing Inventory: Ensuring your inventory is up-to-date and managing stock levels can be demanding, especially during peak seasons. Utilize inventory management tools and establish a clear system for tracking stock levels and restocking.
  • Balancing Content: Finding the right balance between promotional and non-promotional content is essential. Overly promotional posts can turn off followers, so intersperse your product-related content with engaging and informative posts that provide value to your audience.
  • Dealing with Negative Feedback: Negative feedback or reviews can impact your reputation. Handle criticism professionally and aim to resolve issues satisfactorily. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to counterbalance negative feedback.

Can You Sell Directly on Instagram?

Yes, you can sell directly on Instagram. To do so, you’ll need to set up an Instagram Shopping account and publish shoppable posts to your feed and stories. Once you do this, people will be able to click on the products they’re interested in and buy them directly from your Instagram page.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Instagram?

There is no cost to sell on Instagram. You’ll need to upgrade to an Instagram Business account, which is also free. However, Instagram does charge a 5% selling fee per shipment. If a shipment is $8 or less, you’ll be charged a flat fee of only 40 cents.

Do You Need a Business License to Sell on Instagram?

If you plan on selling products on Instagram, you’ll need to obtain a business license. This will vary depending on your location and the type of product you’re selling. To get a business license, you’ll need to contact your local government office.


Instagram offers a compelling platform for businesses to sell their products and services. With its massive user base, visual appeal, and user-friendly features like Instagram Shopping, it’s a valuable tool for reaching a global audience and driving sales. Key steps to get started include creating a niche-focused account, building a strong following through engaging content and interactions, upgrading to an Instagram Business profile, and setting up Instagram Shopping. Additionally, utilizing Instagram ads, user-generated content, high-quality images, compelling copy, and maintaining a consistent posting schedule can enhance your success. While there are no upfront costs to sell on Instagram, businesses should be aware of the 5% selling fee per shipment, with a flat fee of 40 cents for shipments under $8. Depending on your location and product type, obtaining a business license may also be necessary to sell on Instagram. Overall, Instagram offers a dynamic platform for businesses to connect with customers and boost their sales efforts.

Image: Depositphotos

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Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 2 years. He holds certifications in SEO, digital marketing, and content marketing. Kevin is also certified in Information Technology Technical Support Fundamentals.