Instagram adds merch sales integration from MerchBar, but not for most artists
Instagram has added a music merch sales integration via a partnership with Merchbar, but only a select group of artists are eligible.
I’ve been critical of similar partnerships in the past – including Merchbar’s integrations with Spotify and YouTube – because while they appear to make a platform or service more artist-friendly, they are in actuality only available to select artists.
The new Instagram Merchbar deal is no exception. At launch it will add items from just 4,300 artists, labels, and creators to their Instagram feed, stories, and video posts including Reels and Live.
This integration works by adding a product tag to each post. Merchbar has also added useful features that allow artists to support each other’s work and promote co-created content (Find more details below).
Alternative Ways To Sell On Instagram
To be fair, trying to serve the longtail of artists comes with real challenges. But sites and services like Bandcamp have done it successfully by enabling artists to create their own stores and then taking their cut at checkout.
Artists and labels also have alternatives beyond Merchbar for selling on Instagram including via several services already popular with the music community. Electronic payment service Square has an Instagram integration as does Shopify. Instagram also has its own Shops feature.
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a shop on Instagram.
New Instagram shopping features enabled via Merchbar
Product tags allow musicians, labels & creators to highlight products from their catalog across content in feed, stories, Reels, IGTV, and Live, so people can learn more and make a purchase. U.S. musicians, labels & creators using checkout on Instagram can also highlight products in post captions and in their bios with Product Mentions.
Shops on Instagram
Easily set up a digital storefront on your Instagram profile showcasing products available for purchase including customizable collections. (Coming soon.)
A new channel for musicians, labels & creators to sell products through their Instagram Live and form deeper connections with people in real-time.
Ads With Product Tags
Allows musicians, labels & creators to maximize the reach of products by boosting shoppable posts or creating the ad from scratch in Ads Manager for more creative flexibility.
Checkout On Instagram
Checkout on Instagram allows musicians, labels & creators in the U.S. to sell their products directly on Instagram. Fans can purchase products that they discover securely and seamlessly using Facebook Pay, without leaving the app.
A way for musicians, labels & creators to announce an upcoming product launch on Instagram so people can preview details and set reminders to buy as soon as it’s available.