What is an Instagram store ?
With the booming e-commerce industry in India, people are developing a habit to shop online and new trend of Instagram Store shopping is rising. E-commerce giants like Flipkart and amazon have established themselves as trustworthy marketplace where small and big sellers have opened their shop to reach customers across the country. This has led to a wave of small online sellers who are leveraging social media like Instagram, Facebook to reach their customers without amazon or Flipkart.
Instagram is at the top of the list among fashion and apparels shops. With the help of Instagram they can reach their customers directly, interact with them and save the heavy commission that these e-commerce giants take away. And this new wave of online shops is derived by millennials and young fashion enthusiasts who want to bring the unique experience of online shops with competitive pricing and designs that is loved by young India. All they need is to create an Instagram page, click some awesome pictures and they are ready to display.
What is their biggest problem ?
The biggest problem with small sellers on Instagram is that they can’t afford Cash on Delivery(COD). The reason behind is the cost and return issue with COD orders. The shipping companies charge an extra amount for COD orders as cash handling charges. As the margins are already very low, it’s very difficult for the Instagram sellers to adjust these extra charges. It’s not just that, the real problem with COD order is high returns because many buyers refuse to accept COD orders.
What is RTO?
RTO in the e-commerce industry refers to those orders that are returned to origin (seller) that were undelivered for some reason. And in case of COD order the delivery rate is only 50-60%, the rest of all 40-50% orders don’t get delivered because customers simply refuse to accept the order. This low COD acceptance rate hurts small sellers badly as they also have to pay for taking the order back to origin.
No COD Option
To avoid these losses because of the low acceptance rate of COD orders, small sellers just remove the COD option. However this hurts the revenue, because in India 70-80% orders are still bought on COD.
The good thing is, this is changing however slowly but people have started trusting the online sellers. These Instagram sellers also work very hard to provide good service and satisfy their customers. Customers also pay online easily via UPI. And because of their super affordable pricing and quality customers agree to pay online. This is a win-win for everyone.
Misuse of trust
Trust in the society is a very basic fabric of our society to function. But some bad people misuse this trust and harm the entire industry as well as our society. Trust is very important, while trust should never be blind. With little awareness you can easily identify the genuine and authentic sellers.
How to Identify Genuine and Authentic Instagram Sellers ?
Identifying the genuine and authentic sellers like @shopatsarojini on Instagram is very easy, if you follow a few checklists. Here, I’ve pointed out some checklists to identify the genuine and authentic Instagram sellers.
- Owners information
- When you visit an Instagram profile, look for their owners name and details of the page in bio. Try scrolling through the posts if you can find their own images somewhere or look into reels and especially IGTV videos.
- If you kind find the owner’s name or their real image on the store, DM them directly to ask about their identity directly. Real sellers are never afraid of disclosing their identity. You can also ask for their personal profile on Instagram. Shop at Sarojini is run by Aman Singh and Natasha Dixit, both directors of Crestancorp Private Limited.
- Official Website
- Many Instagram accounts have official websites where they sell their products from. Look for their official website. However not all the small Instagram sellers have their own website, but the major one does. So it’s fairly common to have a website.
- The official website of Shop at Sarojini is https://www.shopatsarojini.com/ and Instagram handle is https://www.instagram.com/shopatsarojini/
- If they have a website, read their About Us page. Try to get to know about them, look for contact details, and their terms and conditions. Most of them have no return or refund policy but it’s ok if you consider the price point of their products.
- Legal Company Name or Registration Status
- The easiest and trustworthy are private limited companies. If the Instagram store and their e-commerce store is run by a registered private limited company. Then you can easily get their directors name by just searching the company name on google.
- Look for the registered legal company name of the owner of the Instagram store. It may not be a private limited company. But there are many different types of companies could be registered with Ministry of Corporate Affairs ( MCA – Portal https://www.mca.gov.in/)
- Look for posts/images pattern design, photo background in profile
- Genuine sellers click their own pictures themselves, so you will see a pattern in their product images and posts. The background and flat-lay design of the product images are similar. They may change it from time to time, but still one drop will always be in the same theme.
- Non genuine or pages that are not authentic, usually steal images from here and there. Many times from other Instagram pages. You can easily identify jumbled posts on their profiles.
- Look for reviews, and stories posted on the page. They also share customer reviews, however non genuine sellers can edit and post it. But you will get the idea when you see it.
- Look for other social media handles
- Genuine Instagram sellers usually create their profile on many social sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest with the same username. It’s a good sign if they are consistent with all of the social media platforms. However it’s not necessary because many unfortunate sellers don’t get the same username or somes simply just don’t care. But having multiple social media accounts with the same username is always a good sign.
There are different sellers small or big trying their best to deliver happiness all across the country. The best part is they are completely Indian ( Desi) unlike big e-commerce giants. Please extend your love and support for small sellers of our country. While beware and be alert to Identify the genuine and authentic sellers.
Happy & Prosperous Diwali to all.