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If your business runs an Instagram account, you should be familiar with how to share photos and videos in various formats to engage with your followers, but did you know that you could sell your products via Instagram in Malaysia as well?

With the Instagram Shopping feature, instead of directing your followers to visit your store website from your Instagram profile, they can simply tap on their desired item in shoppable posts and make their purchases within the app.

Why set up an Instagram shop?

The fact that almost half of the Malaysian population is on Instagram (15,436,000 users, to be exact) makes it an ideal e-commerce outlet to expand your reach and generate more sales. It has been found that 50% of Instagram users browse through Instagram Shopping on a weekly basis, whereas 70% of shoppers utilise Instagram to seek their next purchase.

Want to learn more about social selling? Here's everything you need to know about social selling tools, including IG Shops and more.

Now that Instagram Shopping is available in Malaysia, you should definitely make the most out of it for your business. Wonder how to successfully sell your products on Instagram? Read on as we guide you through the steps on how to set up your IG shop.

How to set up an Instagram Shopping account for your business in Malaysia

Merchant setting up Instagram shop in Malaysia

Source: Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

1. Ensure your account is eligible for Instagram Shopping

Your Instagram business account (and Facebook page) has to comply with Instagram/Facebook’s Commerce Eligibility Requirements.

You will need to own a website domain that contains product listings available for direct purchase on the site.

Your Instagram business account should also demonstrate trustworthiness, which can be determined by having an authentic, established presence on the platform with a sufficient follower base.

Struggling to build your brand presence on Instagram? Head over to our article on Instagram marketing for some ideas for your next IG post!

2. Switch to a Business Profile

If you haven’t done this already, you can easily switch your Instagram account to a Business Profile via Settings on the app, as you won’t be able to access Instagram Shopping features through a Personal Profile.

You should also connect your Instagram account with your Facebook page to access more features and tools to elevate your brand’s social media presence.

3. Upload a product catalogue

Selling on Instagram Shop product catalog

Source: ana tomy on Instagram

You can upload your product listings either directly using Facebook Commerce Manager or by importing your items from supported e-commerce platform partners (which we will talk more about below).

Once everything is set, submit your account to Instagram for review.

Note: you might need to complete a domain verification process to prove ownership of your business domain.

4. Your IG Shop is ready for business!

Once your account has been approved by Instagram, you can proceed to activate Instagram Shopping features.

To provide a seamless shopping experience for your followers as they browse through their feeds, you can add Shopping Tags to your content. This works similarly with user tags that you can add to photo and video posts, but instead directs users to the respective product detail pages on your Instagram Shop. For Instagram Stories, you can use Shopping Stickers for the same purpose or to directly link users to your Instagram Shop home page. (P.S.: Both Shopping Tags and Stickers work on Instagram Ads too!)

Although you would be able to enjoy most of the features available for Instagram Shopping, do note that the Direct Checkout function is only available in the US as of now.

Complete customers' purchases and close more sales with Instagram Direct

Now you should have had your IG Shop all set up, but just missing one final puzzle piece to complete the entire customer journey within Instagram - a Direct Checkout option for your customers in Malaysia!

It might seem like it doesn’t make much of a difference, but redirecting your customers between your e-commerce website and Instagram increases purchase friction, which could lead to them abandoning their carts.

So, how do you ensure that you provide a seamless Instagram shopping experience?

Comment auto reply on Instagram

For a locally-available alternative to replace the Direct Checkout function on Instagram Shopping, look no further than SleekFlow! By integrating your IG Shop with SleekFlow, you can easily select products from your e-commerce site and generate payment links that can be shared with your customers via Instagram Direct messages. Various payment options are available such as ApplePay, GooglePay or credit card, done directly in chat.

Still skeptical as to how Instagram Direct conversations can actually lead to better sales? Here’s a real-life example.

How skincare brand Kiehl’s leveraged IG Shop to boost sales

Facebook live Kiehls Malaysia

Source: Meta

Kiehl’s Malaysia provides an excellent demonstration of how this can be achieved by businesses in Malaysia.

During the 2021 Ramadan season, the skincare brand utilised various features on Instagram, including Instagram Direct, to boost their online sales as this was a key sales channel during the pandemic. When users clicked the links on some of Kiehl’s Ramadan Instagram Ads, they would be directed to an automatically initiated conversation on Instagram Direct, inviting them to either purchase products or to share any enquiries that they might have in mind.

From this campaign, Kiehl’s Malaysia has achieved an impressive sales conversion rate of 29% through conversational commerce on Instagram Direct alone.

Top Instagram e-commerce platforms that can easily boost sales

If you have previously established an online store using e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce or others (refer here for the full list of supported e-commerce partners), you can easily connect them with your Instagram business account to activate Instagram Shopping features. But if you have not started an online store yet and are looking for a reliable e-commerce platform that can be integrated with Instagram Shopping, here are two great options for you to consider:

Shopify: easy for businesses to sell efficiently

Shopify homepage for ecommerce businesses

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms worldwide. You can build and customize your online store on Shopify and sell from various platforms, from online to offline, in-person to social media marketplaces. By connecting your existing Shopify online store with Instagram Shopping, everything from your Shopify product catalogue will be automatically synchronised and displayed on your Instagram shopfront, with zero hassle and no manual input required. While having an IG Shop helps drive additional traffic to your Shopify online store, it can also increase sales from users who purchase items directly from your IG Shop, of course with the extra support of SleekFlow’s in-chat payment links!

Read more: 7 benefits of SleekFlow-Shopify integration

WooCommerce: a customizable e-commerce platform

ecommerce platform woocommerce

If you already have an existing WordPress website for your business but are just starting to implement your e-commerce strategy, you can consider utilising WooCommerce. WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin that converts WordPress sites into online stores, providing various features such as inventory and tax management, shipping integrations, order tracking, delivery status updates and more. To connect your WooCommerce-powered store with IG Shop, you will first need to install and activate the Facebook for WooCommerce plugin to connect with your Facebook and Instagram Business accounts.

Read more: Running an online business? Check out the 10 best e-commerce platforms!

Supercharge your social commerce game on Instagram with SleekFlow today

Manage Instagram inbox on SleekFlow

Once you have chosen your preferred e-commerce platform and connected it with your Instagram business account, you can now sit back and watch more sales generate via Instagram Shopping. To seamlessly wrap up your customer purchase experience, SleekFlow can serve as an local alternative to Instagram Direct Checkout to provide in-chat payment links to help you close more deals and reduce cart abandonments.

Not only that, SleekFlow has other great features to enhance your e-commerce experience and even increase online-to-offline (O2O) sales, including:

A social CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) system to segment, track and analyse your customers from all channels within one platform

SleekFlow social CRM

Wide range of channel integrations

Integration of multiple messaging channels such as WhatsApp Business, Instagram Business, Facebook Messenger and more

Salesforce web chat integration in SleekFlow

Automation

Comment auto-reply function that automatically responds and/or drops a direct message to users who comment specific keywords on your Instagram or Facebook posts.

Keyword Auto Reply

Unleash your potential of Instagram for business today!

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