Instagram expands its in-app Shopping feature to small businesses and independent creators

Instagram has expanded its in-app Instagram Shopping feature to include a vast range of businesses, including small businesses and individual creators. 

Small businesses and individual creators looking to sell products through the app will be able to use the new feature by following a number of guidelines under Instagram’s new ‘Commerce Eligibility Requirements.’

Rules and requirements include that the seller must have a verifiable presence and meet a minimum follower count, and products being sold via the app must also be present through a single, main e-commerce site which the seller owns and sells from.

To meet the guidelines, businesses and creators must also have a clear selling, refund and return policies. Sellers must also adhere with Instagram’s other basic terms of use, and must be in a supported market.

Instagram said: “Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merchandise, or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line, any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase.”

New sellers using this feature will receive a notification of approval and will be able to begin tagging products.

Those rejected and unable to use the feature will be notified and provided with information to help them successfully reapply.

Businesses who already use Instagram’s Shopping feature will receive an in-app notification with instructions on how to follow new policies.

The new requirements will launch on 9 July in all markets where Instagram Shopping is supported.

In 2017,  Instagram launched its shopping feature and rolled out its ‘Checkout with Instagram’ feature in March 2019, starting its rules of charging participating businesses with a selling fee.

Last week, TikTok launched “TikTok For Business” offering businesses and retailers a range of marketing tools, making the company a direct competitor to Snapchat and Instagram.