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Instagram rolls out shopping feature to small businesses, independent creators

Published
Jun 29, 2020
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Instagram is expanding its in-app Instagram Shopping feature beyond big-name retailers to include a wider range of businesses, including small businesses and individual creators. 


Instagram


To participate, businesses and individual creators looking to sell products through the app must follow a series of guidelines under Instagram's new 'Commerce Eligibility Requirements,' unveiled on June 23. 

These rules include a requirement that the seller must have a verifiable presence and meet a minimum follower count, and items being sold through Instagram must also be available through a single, main e-commerce site that the seller owns and sells from, Instagram said.  

In order to meet the guidelines, businesses and creators must also have transparent selling, refund and return policies, must comply with Instagram's other basic terms of use, and must be in a supported market. 

"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," Instagram said. 

New sellers signing up for Instagram shopping will receive a notification of their approval and will be able to start tagging products, while those who are rejected will be notified and given information to help them successfully reapply. Businesses who already use Instagram Shopping will receive an in-app notification with instructions on how to comply with the new policies. 

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

Instagram first began rolling out its shopping feature in 2017, and launched its 'Checkout with Instagram' feature in March of 2019, beginning its policy of charging participating businesses with a selling fee. 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on small businesses, this new rollout could help businesses and independent creators looking to sell more online reach a wider audience without having to go through Instagram competitors like Amazon. 

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