Instagram shopping is a (relatively) new feature that gives accounts with online stores a way to tag their products in Instagram posts. Even better than that, it gives your Instagram followers a way to click straight through to your checkout page in one journey, directly from your Instagram post.
As an artist with an online shop, who posts mostly about the prints I have for sale, it seemed like an obvious step to set this up on my own account.
But it wasn’t as easy as all that.
If you are also trying to set up an Instagram shop and you are running into the Your store isn’t eligible for instagram shopping error message then this article is for you.
This is how I solved that error…
First things first
Warning number one: If you don’t know how to start the process then this is not the article for you. Please Google it. There are loads of resources out there that can help you start the process of creating a Facebook shop and catalogue (the precursor to getting an Instagram shop).
I am writing this for anyone who, like me, got so far and then ran into the brick wall of not being eligible.
Warning number two: This article is not for those of you who have successfully submitted your shop for approval and been denied by Instagram. That’s a different problem and not one I have any experience with.
The steps I had already taken
When I encountered this error message I had already taken the following steps:
- Connected my Woocommerce store to my Facebook account
- Created a Facebook page and added a shop
- Populated the shop using an automated feed from Woocommerce
- Built up a history on that Facebook page/shop (ie I had set it up many months before trying to create my Instagram shop)
- Connected Facebook to my website using a Facebook Pixel
- Owned an Instagram account with a history of posting (again, I had set it up a long time before trying to add a shop)
- Converted my Instagram account to a business account
- Connected my Instagram account and Facebook page together
- Created a Facebook Business Manager account and claimed ownership over both the Facebook page and Instagram account
In theory, I had all of the building blocks in place for being able to apply for an Instagram shop. But the option was not open to me. Instead, I was given the error message Your store isn’t eligible for instagram shopping.
So, how did I solve this?
I want to give you fair warning. I don’t know which of the following things are necessary to fix the issue and which are superfluous. What I do know is that I made all of the following changes and I was then eligible.
If you are trying these fixes and you can see which ones are definitely needed and which aren’t, I would love to know.
On my facebook page, I updated the category for my page to “Shopping & retail”.
Facebook Business Manager
In Facebook Business Manager I made sure that the catalogue containing my products and my Facebook page were all contained under the same business account.
I also opened up the Business Settings menu and scrolled down to Business Info.
I could see that most of my business information, such as the legal name of business and my contact information, hadn’t been completed. I worked through the whole page and completed as much information as I could, so that Facebook knew who I was and who my business was.
It’s worth noting that my Business Verification Status is currently still “unverified”, so this does not appear to be a pre-requisite for being eligible for an Instagram shop.
I then navigated to the Facebook Catalogue Manager and clicked on my existing catalogue. This is the catalogue of products that is used to populate my shop on my Facebook page. In my case, it is generated by an automated feed from my Woocommerce store, but yours may come from another source, eg Shopify, or have been manually populated.
I opened the Instagram Shopping “channel” and was presented with a four-step process.
I made sure the catalogue was linked up with my Facebook Business Manager account (1), that the catalogue contained products (2), and that it was connected to my Instagram account (3).
On my Instagram business account, I made sure that the website URL in my profile was the same as my Woocommerce store.
I also edited the category of my account so that it, too, showed as “Shopping & Retail”. You can edit the category by clicking Edit profile and scrolling down to Category.
At this point, all of the parts of the “journey” from my Instagram account back to my Woocommerce website were connected.
- My Instagram account was connected to my Facebook Business Manager account
- My Facebook page was connected to my Facebook Business Manager account
- My Woocommerce website was providing a feed into Facebook to populate my Facebook catalogue with products
- My Instagram account was set up as a business account and was pointing at my website in the URL in my biography
- Both my Instagram account and Facebook page were categorised as “Shopping & Retail”
Checking if I am now eligible
With all of those things in place, I rechecked my Instagram account.
Click on Settings then Business and then Shopping.
My Facebook catalogue was showing, so I clicked on the appropriate catalogue and clicked through to the next screen.
And it had worked! I was no longer presented with the Your store isn’t eligible for instagram shopping error message.
If you have reached this stage then you can now apply for an Instagram shop. You still need to be approved by Instagram and there are reasons why you might not get that approval. But you have at least got through to the approval stage, rather than being forever stuck at the “not eligible” error message.
Once you are up-and-running
Once you have been approved you can tag your posts to show which products they contain. You will be able to select from any of the products within the linked Facebook catalogue.
Your followers can click on the product tag to see more information about that product and they can also click all the way through to your website to buy the product itself.
Did it work for you?
If you reached this far down the article I am assuming you also had this issue. Did these changes solve the problem for you?
Hopefully this information has helped and you are now set up with your own Instagram shop. Come and find me on Instagram and let me know how it went.
This video, by Lidia S, was very helpful in guiding me towards some of the things I might have overlooked.