Small businesses flourish due to increased orders
More and more people are shifting to Instagram stores to shop. Sales got a push during the lockdowns, say Instagram store owners.
Shreya Kushwa, 21, a student in Bengaluru, started Instagram shopping during the pandemic. “During the lockdown, I didn’t have much to do; all I did was to scroll Instagram. That’s how I found these small businesses. They are usually cheaper, the packaging is very cute, and the quality is good because they aren’t mass-produced. Also, it feels nice to support these small businesses.”
Riya Jain, 22, an MBA student, concurred. Her experience with Instagram shopping has been very good. “These stores, in order to develop a strong and loyal consumer base, sell very good quality products. Some of these products are handpicked and single pieces which make the shopping experience unique,” she informed The Observer
Some shoppers did face a problem with the delivery of products.
AlkaVerma, an Instagram shopper, shared: “I ordered a denim shirt, and it took almost a month for them to deliver it. The product was of good quality and the prices were reasonable therefore I continued shopping from Instagram. I started Instagram shopping during the pandemic since we couldn’t go out and all I did was to scroll Instagram or read books.” said.
Saloni Ved, the owner of small illustration art business called feliciaillustrations, said: “Sales have increased post lockdown as people like the concept of small business, and we put a lot of effort in packaging and satisfying the consumer. Many Instagram influencers are switching from brands to small businesses which help us grow and gain an audience.”
Tavleen Rajpal, a young Instagram store owner, had a similar experience. “Sales have definitely gone up. I am sure Amazon or other online sellers have similar products, but the lower prices make the deal more attractive. Also, most Instagram stores customize goods for their customers as they aren’t mass-produced.” This gives customers a homely feeling.Features like reels and stories make it easier for small-scale businesses to promote their products.
“If it was not for reels, my store wouldn’t have the reach and audience it has today. It is very important to be active and make use of these tools to our advantage. They have a really good reach,” Rajpal added.
Some sellers have seen greater sales and orders from Instagram than their offline stores.
Falguni Pathak, 22, who owns a boutique and an Instagram store, compared the sales from both places and said: “There was a rise in the sales and all of the orders came from Instagram. Initially, people started shopping on Instagram stores because it was convenient and safe but then gradually I feel like it has become a habit now. Instagram reels and stories are actually a very easy and effective way of advertising our products without actually paying for advertising.”
However, the grass isn’t green for all as some Instagram shop owners saw a decline in their sales. “Due to lockdowns, delivering goods wasn’t very easy especially inter-state deliveries. This is primarily the reason why we were seeing a drop. But as things opened up the sales actually got better”
Instagram has acted as a supplement for small and medium business to grow and thrive. According to an Economic Times report, Instagram has been helping these small- and medium-sized businesses to grow in the past years. Instagram recently added a new section, called ‘Drops’, exclusively to boost shopping on its platform.