How To Dropship on Instagram - Your Ultimate Guide

In this article, we’ll look at different ways to use Instagram for dropshipping.

 min read
October 29, 2023
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We always create an Instagram profile for our dropshipping brands. This allows us to activate Instagram shops and advertise our products. 

Instagram shops give customers an alternative way to purchase our products, and running ads helps potential customers find us.

In this article, we’ll look at how to dropship using Instagram shops, different ways to advertise on Instagram, and much more.

Ready? Let’s get into it.

Key Takeaways

  • To create an Instagram shop, you need an existing online store.
  • There are several checkout options on Instagram, but only those with businesses based in the US can allow customers to checkout on Instagram. 
  • You can also use Instagram to promote your business with paid adverts, influencer marketing, and by building an organic following.

How to Dropship on Instagram 

You can list your dropshipping products on Instagram. 

Instagram users can then browse and shop from your business's Instagram profile.

To create a shop on Instagram, you need the following:

  • Website with your product listings. Your website must allow direct purchases.
  • Facebook Account
  • Business Facebook Page
  • Professional Instagram Account 

Your website will be your dropshipping store. We recommend setting up your dropshipping store before you start selling on Instagram. 

This includes the following:

  • Find winning products (we recommend using Dropship’s Product Database tool).
  • Source products and find a supplier (we recommend using AliExpress).
  • Create a store (we recommend using Shopify).
  • Import products to your store (use Dropship to easily import AliExpress products to your Shopify store).
  • Set up automation software to fulfill your orders (we recommend AutoDS for this).
  • Advertise and start selling the products.

If you want more information on How to Start Dropshipping, check out this article with all the details.

How to Create an Instagram Shop

You can create your Instagram shop through Facebook’s Commerce Manager. 

Alternatively, if you sell on Shopify or one of Meta's other partnered platforms, you can create your Instagram shop on that platform.

Before you start selling on Instagram, there are a few requirements you need to adhere to.

Instagram Shop Requirements

  • Existing Website - You cannot solely dropship on Instagram. The products you sell on your Instagram account must be available on your website. Instagram will verify your domain before you’re allowed to sell on Instagram [1].
  • Comply with Instagram’s Policies - Instagram professional accounts must comply with Instagram’s terms of use and community guidelines. If you don’t, the access to your account could be disabled.  
  • Have an Instagram Business Account - To use Instagram shops, you need a business account.
  • Eligible Business Location - Your business must be located in one of the following markets:
  • Canada
  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland 
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Established and Trustworthy Account - Your Instagram account must demonstrate that it’s trustworthy. This includes remaining authentic with sufficient followers and an established presence. 
  • Business Transparency - The information on your Instagram page must be accurate. This includes pricing and product availability information. Instagram also requires you to display your refund and return policy clearly.

How to Set Up an Instagram Shop with Facebook Commerce Manager

  1. Go to the Facebook Commerce Manager.
  1. Click Create a Shop and then Get Started.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Choose how you want to set up your account. If you use Shopify, BigCommerce, or one of the other partner platforms, you can select it here.

If you select one of these, you will be redirected to these platforms. From here, you can create your Instagram shop. If you want to learn how to do this with Shopify, we’ve added all the details in the next section.

If you click, ‘I don’t use these platforms,’ you can continue creating your Instagram shop here. 

  1. Choose your checkout method. There are two options available, these include the following:
  • Checkout On Another Website - Create a store and allow customers to browse your products on Instagram. But when it’s time to check out, they will be redirected to your website.
  • Checkout With Facebook Or Instagram - Let customers checkout directly on Instagram. They can use Shop Pay by Shopify to pay for your products. 

Note: This option is only available for US-based businesses with US bank accounts.

You might also see a Checkout with Messaging option. This option is only available for Facebook shops.

  1. Choose Your Sales Channel and click Next.

This is your Facebook Business page.

  1. Select your business account.

This is your connected Instagram account.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Enter your delivery destinations and click Next.
  1. Preview your shop overview. Read and agree to the seller agreement. 
  2. Click Finish Setup.

You will then be directed to your Commerce Manager. 

Here, you can add your items, create catalogs, customize, and publish your shop.

How to Set Up an Instagram Shop with Shopify

  1. Install Facebook and Instagram from the Shopify App Store.
  1. Select Facebook under the Sales Channels from your Shopify menu.
  2. Click Set Up.
  3. Connect your Facebook account and Instagram sales channel.
  4. Read and agree to the terms and conditions. 
  5. Click Request Approval.

How to Advertise Dropshipping Products on Instagram 

Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms, with an estimated 2 billion monthly active users [2]. 

Starting an Instagram profile to promote your products or creating paid ads are two of the ways you can get your products in front of this huge number of users. 

This can help you generate sales from your Instagram shop. Or you can divert the traffic to your dropshipping site.

Let’s look at the different ways to advertise your dropshipping products on Instagram.

Paid Instagram Ads

Create paid advertisements using the Meta Ads Manager and choose Instagram as your placement.

You can create video or image ads and add a caption with a link to your site. 

Adjust who you are targeting with your ads and set a budget and ad running duration.

You can then use the analytics to understand what’s working for your ads and make changes to reach your audience and generate more sales.

Influencer Marketing

Instagram influencer marketing is when you pay an influencer to post your products.

These influencers have an existing engaged audience that trusts their opinion.

The influencers post the product on their page to their followers. 

The followers trust their recommendations and hopefully buy your product.

Influencer marketing can increase your brand's credibility, as the influencer shows that they trust it. 

You can also hand-pick influencers whose audience is your target market. This allows you to get your product in front of the right people.

Promotion in Exchange for Free Products

Promotion in exchange for products is similar to influencer marketing, but instead of paying the influencer for their promotion, you send them free products.

Usually, influencers with a smaller audience are more likely to accept this type of promotion. If they have a larger following, you will likely need to pay for product promotion. 

Influencers with a smaller audience are generally less likely to generate as many sales as an influencer with a larger audience. 

However, it can be a great method of promotion if your budget is limited.

Build an Organic Following

Instead of paying for promotion, you can create an Instagram for your brand and gain organic followers.

It can be difficult to gain an organic following, but those who follow you are likely to be your biggest fans and most likely to buy from you.

There are no shortcuts to growing an organic following. But there are a few things you can do to make your Instagram more appealing to increase your followers. Such as the following:

  • Posting consistently
  • Posting engaging content
  • Creating a variety of content, such as reels, stories, and images
  • Engaging with your current followers
  • Following users who might be interested in your page. You can usually find users who might be interested in your content on your competitor's Instagram.
  • Commenting and engaging with other Instagram users in a similar niche

In the section below, Instagram for Dropshipping Tips and Tricks, we’ll look at other methods to help you create the best Instagram profile to grow your following and increase your sales.

Should I Dropship on Instagram?

Selling on Instagram has tons of benefits, including making it easy for customers to find and buy your products. However, creating an Instagram shop isn’t right for every dropshipper. 

If you’re not sure whether you should sell on Instagram, check out our list of pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros of Dropshipping on Instagram

  • Frictionless Checkout Process - If your business is based in the US, you can allow shoppers to checkout using the Instagram app. Users don’t need to set up an account to buy from you. Their payment details are also saved and stored within their Instagram account. This makes it easy for them to checkout, which can increase your conversion rate.
  • Easy Shopping - Shoppers can click the shopping tag to buy the products in your images. This means they don’t have to flick between different apps or open a browser to shop from you. With one click, they can be directed to the catalog or your website’s product page. The speed and ease of shopping with Instagram can increase sales.
  • Increase Product Visibility - Instagram has a huge number of users. Dropshipping your products on Instagram gets your products in front of your potential customers. 
  • Build Brand Recognition - Creating a business Instagram profile can help potential customers trust you and increase brand recognition.
  • Payouts - Instagram works with recognized payment processors, making receiving your payouts easy.

Cons of Dropshipping on Instagram

  • Additional Fees - Instagram used to charge a 5% selling fee. However, on July 1st, 2023, if your shop is powered by Shopify, your sales will be charged the same transaction fees as your website. The fee varies by transaction type if you sign up via either Instagram or Facebook. For card transactions and Shop Pay, there is a 2.9% fee. For PayPal transactions, there is a 3.49% fee.
  • More Complicated Management - If you’re used to selling on your own store, you’ll usually only have contact with your customer via email or your own help desk feature. However, if you sell on Instagram, you will need to keep an eye on your Instagram messages and comments in case there are any issues or questions about your products. This can be time-consuming to manage, and if you forget to check the messages, there is a risk that your Instagram shop could be disabled.  
  • Not Available Everywhere - Instagram shops aren’t available in all locations (available locations listed above). And checkout on Instagram is only available in the US. Sadly, this means that dropshipping on Instagram isn’t available for everyone. 

Instagram for Dropshipping Tips and Tricks

We’ve used Instagram to help us reach new customers and increase our brand's credibility to generate traffic to our site and grow our sales.

These are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned by doing so.

Write the Best Instagram Bio

Your Instagram bio is displayed directly underneath your profile photo and post, follower, and following count. 

When someone visits your profile, it is likely the first thing they’ll see; therefore, you need to make it count.

Within the bio, there is space for the following:

  • Name
  • Category
  • Description
  • External Link

Bio Tips: 

  • Keep it Short - We recommend keeping your bio short and concise. You want your visitors to know what your brand does instantly. 
  • Add Keywords - You should also add some keywords to your bio. This can help potential customers discover your store.
  • Use a Call To Action (CTA) -  Encourage those who visit your page to perform an action. This will usually be to visit your website or buy your product. You could use a phrase like ‘Check out our latest products’ or offer an exclusive discount if they shop from your Instagram. For example, Dropship’s bio says, ‘Try Dropship for Free.’ This incentivizes visitors to click the link as it benefits them.
  • Use a Link in Bio Tool - Instagram also only lets you add one external link. If you want to add several links, you can use a Link in Bio tool, like LinkTree. A link in bio tool allows you to create a landing page with multiple links. For example, you might want to add a link to your website, Amazon storefront, refund and return policy, sign up for a discount promotion link, and anything else.

Quality Images and Branding

The content you post on your Instagram should reflect your brand and business.  

The content should also engage, entertain, and interest users. When users visit your page, you want to keep them there and follow you. 

Make sure you’re posting high-quality images and videos, as this makes your business look professional and trustworthy. 

We can look at Chamberlain Coffee as an example. Their images have a clear color scheme with a vintage feel, they use memorable brand characters, and their captions and bio only use lowercase characters. All of these factors create a clear brand identity. 

Use Stories and Reels

Stories and reels are different ways to share videos with your followers. 

They serve different purposes but are both great ways to engage your audience.

  • Reels - Reels are similar to TikTok videos. The videos should be professional and represent your brand. Reels have more exposure than stories as they appear in your Instagram feed and Explore page. This allows users to discover your brand and increases your followers. Users can also comment on your reels. The comments are public; you can reply to comments, and users can start conversations in the comments. 
  • Stories - These are a more casual way to engage with your existing audience. Your stories are only visible to those who follow you or visit your profile.The stories are only available for 24 hours, after which they disappear from your profile (unless added as a highlight). You could share brand updates, offer exclusive deals, or give a sneak peek into your brand. Users can reply and react to your stories, but these are private between you and the follower. This allows you to build relationships with your audience. 

Use Stories and Reels to share your message, promote your brand, update your users, build existing relationships, increase your following, and much more.

Add Testimonials

Testimonials are user experiences that you can share on your Instagram page.

These could be images or text that show previous customers' positive experiences.

Potential customers will see the results, feedback, or experiences previous customers have had, which can increase trust and the likelihood they’ll purchase your product. 

Post Consistently

Instagram users are always scrolling and looking for relatable and entertaining content.

If you post content that provides this, they are more likely to connect and engage with your brand. 

The more posts you have and the more frequently you post, the easier this is for them to do.

This allows them to get to know your brand better and builds trust, which can convert them into customers. 

Use Hashtags

Hashtags make your content discoverable. You can add keywords as hashtags to your posts. 

Hashtags are helpful in two ways. The first is that Instagram users can search by keyword. If you use the keyword as a hashtag on your post, the post should appear when the keyword is searched for.

The second is that hashtags also allow Instagram to know what your posts include and help them show your content to relevant users.

This means that if you use a hashtag like dropshipping, it might be displayed in the feed of someone interested in dropshipping [3].

This exposes your brand to those who might be interested in it.

Add Shopping Tags to Your Photos

If you’re selling your products using Instagram shops, you can post a photo of the products and add a shopping tag.

You can also allow others to post photos of your products and tag the products.

For example, if you sell a pair of jeans, and a customer buys the jeans, they can post a photo wearing them and add a shopping tag to their photo. 

Users can click on the shopping tag and purchase your product on Instagram.

Adding shopping tags increases your brand's visibility and sales, as it makes it easy for users to find, browse, and buy from your store.

Tags can also help potential customers see the product styled by real people, inspiring them to purchase it.

Reply and Engage 

If someone comments or engages with your post, it’s nice to show them that you care and value their opinion by responding. 

You can also provide value in your responses, allowing you to gain your users' trust and start building a relationship. 

If a user posts something negative about your brand or provides feedback, you can respond respectfully and see if there is anything you can do to change their negative experience.

Being active and engaging with users gives your brand credibility and builds its reputation. It can make users who purchase products from your brand feel secure, as they know you’ll reply to any questions or issues they might have.

Instagram Shop Accounts and Examples 

Looking at established Instagram shops can give us inspiration for our own store.

Here are three examples that we can learn from.

  1. Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown is a cosmetics brand that, along with their website, has an Instagram shop.

The brand posts images and reels of makeup looks. 

The shoppable product posts are tagged with the shopping basket icon. If users like the look and want to recreate it, they can click on the icon. 

This will open the Instagram shop and reveal the products used. Shoppers can then checkout or save the products for later.

Shopping tags allow users to find and buy products easily without leaving the app.

Instagram shops will also show the shopper other products that Bobbi Brown sells. This can increase the overall cart value and help the shopper find other products they might like.

  1. Dusk

Dusk is a luxury bed and bedding company. Its Instagram has a neutral aesthetic, which gives it a clear brand identity.

We can see that some of their posts have products tagged with the shopping cart icon. When we tap on the image, it shows the product tag. 

In the example above, the tag has an On Sale message appear. This can increase the urgency of buyers clicking on the tag and checking out, as they want to buy the product before the sale ends.

As well as being able to shop their products, their profile includes a link in bio landing page. As we saw earlier, this is a great way to combine all external links, making it easy for users to find what they need.

When you click here, you can find every important Dusk link. 

These include links to their other social media profiles and giveaway and fundraiser details. It also has a link to their website. But, rather than just listing the link as, they use UP TO 70% OFF in the link title to encourage Instagram users to visit the website.

  1. Converse

I’m sure we all know what Converse is, but if you don’t, it’s an American footwear and lifestyle brand. 

They have an Instagram shop that makes it easy to purchase their products.

In the image above, we can see they have a post called Silver Season, with three different types of silver sneakers. These are all shoppable by clicking on the tag.

We can also look at other elements on their Instagram profile to gain inspiration, such as the bio, which includes ‘Get Ready’ and a red exclamation emoji. This draws our attention, builds excitement, and gives those who click on their profile a sneak peek into new launches.

We can also see that their highlights or saved stories are categorized so users find the ones they’re interested in. Each highlight cover has a similar graphic that clearly displays the contents. This gives the profile a cohesive and professional look.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Should I Make an Instagram for My Dropshipping Business? 

Yes. Creating social media pages for your business can give you credibility and build your brand’s reputation.

You can also sell your products on Instagram using Instagram shops. 

This feature can help you generate more sales as it makes it easy for users to find and buy your products.  

What Social Media Is Best for Dropshipping? 

It depends on your target market. 

Facebook has an older demographic, with 43.9% of users aged 45 and above [4].

Instagram has a slightly younger demographic, with 52.5% of Instagram users in the US aged between 18 and 24 [5].

TikTok has the youngest users. 67% of 18-19 year olds in the US use TikTok [6].

We recommend considering the expected age of those purchasing your products and advertising on the platform they are most likely to use.

What Is Instagram Influencer Marketing? 

Instagram influencer marketing is when you pay an Instagram influencer to promote your product to their audience. This could be using photos, videos, stories, or reels. 

The hope is that their followers will purchase your product based on the influencer's recommendation and promotion.

Do I Need Followers for Dropshipping?

No. If you’ve found a winning product, you can create and run Facebook and Instagram ads. This can help you generate sales without having a social media following.

Final Thoughts

If it’s available in your location, consider creating an Instagram shop for your dropshipping products.

Selling on Instagram can increase your brand's visibility and increase your sales.

If you need help getting started, check out Dropship’s Product Database tool using the 7-day free trial. It allows you to spy on other dropshippers products, sales, and much more so you can find winning products to sell on Instagram.

Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify $1/month for 3 months.
Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify for $1 for one month.

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