Instagram Expands Shopping Features to SMBs, Creators

The Checkout expansion empowers more businesses to sell directly and comes as Sephora launches a platform-specific shop.

Need to Know

  • Instagram’s expanded shopping comes with an updated list of eligibility requirements, opening the e-commerce door for more small businesses and creators. 
  • The guidelines specify that to be approved, the Instagram account must correctly represent the store where the items are being sold, must demonstrate trustworthiness, have an adequate follower base, and must have return policies clearly stated. 
  • Existing businesses using the shopping feature will receive notifications in the upcoming weeks with updated instructions on how to comply with the changes. 
  • Not just for small businesses, beauty giant Sephora collaborated with the social media channel to create a unique shopping experience for the beauty retailer’s 20 million followers. 


As brands continue to look for innovative ways to expand their e-commerce offering, connecting to customers during the everyday moments of their lives has become increasingly important. With over 112.5 million Instagram users in the U.S. alone, and over 63% of users logging into the social media platform once a day, Instagram’s e-commerce expansion could boost sales for many small and large businesses alike. 

The new updates, taking effect July 9th, come with new Commerce Eligibility Requirements open the door to many businesses and individual creators looking to sell products. 

“Whether you are a candle business making a foray into e-commerce, a musician selling merch or a food blogger expanding into your own cookware line, any eligible business or creator account with at least one eligible product can use shopping tags to drive people to their website to make a purchase,” the social platform wrote in the announcement

Included in the new eligibility requirements, brands must have a significant following, have their return and refund policies clearly stated and have their Instagram account linked to an owned store or website selling at least one product.  

While this creates a significant opportunity for many small businesses and creators, beauty giant Sephora has also signed onto the new checkout feature. Sephora and Instagram announced a partnership using the platform that makes shopping easier for its 20 million followers. Making over 80 of the brands its sells available via Instagram checkout, the retailer hopes to make the shopping experience more seamless and convenient for its customers. 

Instagrams overhaul not only allows more brands to connect to customers anytime and anywhere they use the app, but also makes the social media platform a viable e-commerce solution.