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Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh small biz given Instagram tool to sell online

ECONOMYNEXT – Small businesses in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan have been given a tool on Instagram, a social media platform to sell online amid curfews and lockdowns to combat the Novel Coronavirus.

“For many small businesses right now, we know that every sale helps,” Kaylie Smith, Head of Market Operations, Instagram Asia Pacific said.

“We want to do our part in helping them stay open, keep in touch with customers, and stay informed on how to navigate this crisis.

“This new tool makes it easier for people to make delivery food orders from small businesses on Instagram.”

The new feature was introduced on April 25, 2020. So far only a handful of businesses are seen to have activated the feature.

The button works as a link to the local business’s menu on delivery apps such as Uber eats.

There is a food order sticker for Instagram stories, to direct users.

Business accounts can activate an ‘Order Food’ button on their Instagram profile by adding a delivery partner link in Settings, under Action Buttons. Businesses can also add an ‘Order Food’ sticker to their Instagram Stories, which is available in their Stories tray.

A tap on the Stories sticker or profile button will take a person to the food order platform to complete the purchase. People can also re-share the Stories stickers in their own Stories to encourage their followers to support a small business.

Facebook, which owns Instagram said it plans to roll out more features in the coming weeks to support small scale businesses in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

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Frutti Natural, a high-end ice cream business in Sri Lanka said they saw a surge in orders after the features were activated on April 25. They had also boosted the page, but had not done any other promotion, the owner said.

Cashflows of many businesses had been hit by Coronavirus lockdowns, though food businesses had generally been able to turn their stock into cash.

But, new-age businesses on online platforms have an opportunity to grow as people are urged to stay home as much as possible in social distance measures. (SB-Colombo/Apr27/2020)

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