Selling digital products on Instagram is easier than you think. You will need to setup two things:
- An Instagram account
- A system to take payments and deliver the downloads
Facebook & Instagram (Meta) have recently announced that you cannot sell digital products using their Ads platform anymore so you won’t be able to run Facebook/Instagram ads for digital products from 2022.
I’m not sure what happened exactly, but they seem to have clamped down on it. There are ways to still sell though! Learn more about eligible countries for Instagram Shopping.
You can set up a Shopify store, and then direct customers from your Instagram to visit your store to buy your digital products. You can do this by:
- Add a link to your website in your Instagram bio
- Tell your followers to go to your website (store) in the descriptions of your posts or using your Instagram stories
It just means you won’t be able to use the Instagram/Shopify integration with digital products. Using the integration, you will need to set up Meta Commerce, and this is where they say you cannot sell digital products on Meta Commerce. But what you can do is still direct users to your store domain to buy the products. There is nothing in their rules saying you can’t do this.
1. Set up an Instagram account
I’m guessing you already have an Instagram account so I won’t go into much detail here. But if you haven’t, simply go to instagram.com and sign up.
2. The system to sell digital products – Shopify
There are a lot of systems you can use to sell digital products online, but they all have pros and cons.
The best-proven method in recent years is using a platform called Shopify. Shopify allows you to set up an account where you can add payment gateways to take payments, also track orders and chat with your customers, as well as much more!
Pricing & zero commission
Shopify has a lot of great deals for new store creators. Get yourself a free trial. The great thing about Shopify is that they don’t take commission fees unlike marketplaces such as Etsy and others. All you need to do is pay for a monthly subscription which varies from $29 USD per month upwards depending on what you want.
You can also pay for a $5 USD per month plan, but you will only be able to add the product Buy Buttons to your current website. That means you cannot have a storefront, you can only integrate Shopify into your own website using the $5 plan.
Why Shopify is better than other platforms
Integrates directly with Instagram (only physical products)
It’s now possible to integrate your Instagram with Shopify and create a shop! This is BIG news. No other platform can do this as well as Shopify.
That means that your customers will be able to checkout directly on Instagram without needing to go to another site to place the order.
Shopify don’t take excessive commissions unlike marketpalces such as Etsy etc. All you need to do is pay a monthly subscription with Shopify. Then every transaction will have a small transaction fee charged by the payment gateway. This happens on every payment transaction in the world no matter the platform.
You own the domain
Marketplaces and social media are essentially “rented space”. You sign up for a profile on their system, and need to follow their rules. With Shopify, you own the domain name and you own the store. You can design anyway you like, charge how much you want and be in control.
Safety and speed
Safety is super important when it comes to customer information. Shopify has a brilliant safety system which stands by all of the worldwide rules including GDPR.
Easiest to use
Shopify has proven to be the easiest to use platform for selling products. Their goal was to make it easy for anyone in the world to start a store without needing any computer knowledge.
Taxes and integrations
No matter where you live, Shopify will allow you to track taxes for digital goods. You can basically sell anywhere in the world without needing to set anything up yourself.
It also allows you to track multi-curency orders and let your customers pay in any currency they want.
Shopify also has one of the best app stores for eCommerce, allowing you to integrate with thousands of applications including Instagram.
How to set up
Step 1 – Sign up to Shopify
What you need to do is sign up for Shopify. Once you sign up, follow the steps and then you will need to select the plan you choose to create your store. It will ask you to enter your card details. Once you have done this, we are ready to proceed.
Step 2 – Install the free digital app to Shopify
Next, you will need to install the below app. You can do this by:
- Go to your Shopify dashboard
- Click “Apps” > “App and sales channel settings“
- Click the “Customize your store” button
- Search for the below app, or simply click the links.
Install the Downloadable Digital Assets app
Click the green “Add app” button and follow the steps to accept. When you get to the pricing page, choose a plan 7-day free trial, or click the continue button to use the free plan.
Step 3 – Create your products in Shopify
- Go back to your Shopify dashboard and go to “Products“.
- Here, you will click the “Add your products” button. If you have already created a product, it will show a green “Add product” button.
- Now, enter your product details including the name etc.
- Scroll down to the “Shipping” section and uncheck the “This is a physical product” box. This tells the system that it’s a digital product. This is very important.
Because it’s digital, it’s good to uncheck the “Track quantity” box too. Click “Save” once you are complete.
Step 4 – Upload your digital products & attach them
Video tutorial on setting up digital products
Scroll down to see a written guide in more detail.
Now, all you need to do is:
- Click the “Apps” button on the left of your Shopify dashboard
- Click “Downloadable Digital Assets“. A new tab will open.
- Now, go to the “Assets” page
- Click the “Upload new asset” button and upload your digital products
Next, attach the file to the Shopify products
- Click on the digital file that you just uploaded (blue text)
- Enter the name of your Shopify product in the search box, select the relevant one and press the “Attach” button.
This will mean the digital file is now attached and armed. If someone purchases this product, a download email will be delivered.
Step 5 – Set up your payment gateway in Shopify
I recommend using Shopify Payments & PayPal as your gateways. It gives users two options, and sometimes they feel more comfortable using PayPal.
You will also get the best rates this way too. Shopify Payments have the best transaction costs compared to other gateways.
- Go to Shopify
- Click “Settings” > “Payments“
- Here you can set up Shopify Payments, PayPal or any other gateway you choose.
Step 6 – Build your product landing page
Now you can get styling! The goal is to build an epic landing page that customers convert with. We have built a great guide on this. Take a look at how to build a high-converting landing page on Shopify.
Step 7 – Done! Ready to sell on Instagram
Now add your store domain to your Instagram bio and also use it to tell customers where to buy the products!
You can also use a new feature that Shopify has built called Linkpop Link in bio. It allows you to add a shop directly to your bio! Feel free to check it out and try to integrate it into your Instagram. Learn more about Linkpop.
It’s free and completely customizable to suit your style!
Step 8 (Optional) – Customize the “Downloadable Digital Assets” app
I recommend you go back to the Downloadable Digital Assets app and add some customisations to your digital product experience. You can do a lot of things! You can even prevent customers from sharing products with others.
Features & tutorials:
- PDF Stamping
- Email tracking
- Add URs as assets
- No limits on file size or type
- Set IP Address limitations
- Order bandwidth & download tracking
- Set pre-order release dates
- Update assets & notify customers
- Fraud protection
- Add download limitations
- Attach unlimited assets to products
- Use your own email to send downloads
- Email customisation templates
- Downloads show in customer accounts
- Connect your own Amazon S3
- Sell personalised digital products
Download email template and styling
The customer will receive a digital download email instantly. You can also show the download links on the checkout Thank You page if you have the Starter plan or higher. You are also able to customize the email templates to suit your brand; this is available on the Scale plan or higher.
Example of Thank You page
Here is an example of what the download links will look like after the customer has reached the Thank You page.
If you get stuck with anything, please feel free to contact us and ask anything you want! We can even provide custom plans if you are on a tight budget.
Digital products require different taxes depending on what countries you’re selling in. Please check with your local laws regarding digital goods tax. Europe is required to pay VAT in the country your customer’s billing address is in. Learn more about digital goods tax.