John Tsioris, CEO, InstaShop Image Credit: Supplied


Optimising operational parameters in a highly dynamic environment holds the key to a seamless experience and customer satisfaction, says InstaShop CEO, John Tsioris

What has been the impact of coronavirus on online sales at InstaShop? How are you adapting to the current circumstances?

The outbreak has definitely driven a higher adoption of the InstaShop service. We have seen a 70 per cent increase in our app downloads during the Covid-19 outbreak, while we have also observed that preexisting users have increased their frequency of usage of the InstaShop grocery, pharmacy and other services.

Due to the accelerated growth, the challenges we face are mostly related to optimising operational parameters in a highly dynamic environment, aiming to provide a seamless user experience. We are working closely with our retail and brand partners from an operational perspective to ensure product availability. We are also continuously optimising processes and technology in order to cater to the demand in the best possible way. We have doubled our customer service team to make sure every user request is answered in a timely manner.

InstaShop Pepsi
InstaShop has doubled its customer service team to ensure every customer need is met Image Credit: Supplied

Do you see any new trends in online sales? What has been doing well in terms of online sales?

The Stay At Home directive has led many consumers to shift their offline shopping, online. This has translated to an over +50 per cent increase in daily orders and over +60 per cent increase in the basket value as users tend to stock up more.

In addition, the demand for particular categories such as hygiene (personal and home) and nonperishable food categories have seen exponential growth rates of +125 per cent during this period. Brands such as Dettol, Fine and American Garden have grown up to 800 per cent.

Users are most definitely cooking at home versus ordering in, based on the increased purchase of cooking ingredients and equipment.

What are some of the new online deals you have on offer?

We have been working with the best brands since 2018 and what we have seen is that during Covid-19 brands are becoming even more innovative, trying to cater to the needs of their customers under the newly experienced lockdown circumstances.

Instead of running campaigns that promote discounted products, brands are now leaning towards giveaways and prizes that aim to make the users’ quarantined life easier and more enjoyable.

We see a clear trend of brands offering free subscriptions to popular streaming platforms; Puck has run a campaign during April where InstaShop users could win a free OSN subscription, Knorr gave away 6 months of free Shahid subscription for users buying Knorr products and Kitkat by Nestle gave away gift cards for Netflix. Nestle Fitness is also coming up with very interesting activations, focusing on fitness equipment and has already given away wellness kits for the yoga fanatics and currently running a campaign so users are able to win a treadmill. Pepsico is keeping everyone happy by hosting a “30 days of surprises” campaign for May, with one prize everyday, from gaming consoles to smartphones, who could ask for more!

Overall Covid-19 has had a strong impact on our Industry; We have the acceleration of the adoption of online grocery solutions from consumers on the one side, while on the other side, we see that industry stakeholders that ignored ecommerce across the years, actively looking on building their relevant capabilities. When looking at the adoption rate of new and existing users during this period, overall online sales have seen a peak. Eventually this trend is expected to normalise to a new higher base.