ReelFruit is a dried fruit snacks brand in Nigeria. [Read more: ‘An uphill battle’: Entrepreneur explains how she built a dried fruit snacks brand in Nigeria]. While the company’s products are available in over 350 stores nationwide, it is also seeing traction on digital platforms, particularly Instagram. In this article, founder and CEO Affiong Williams explains how ReelFruit increased its Instagram sales 11-fold over the past year.
It’s no secret that a lot of Nigerians are now plugged into the internet. Whether it’s shopping, catching up on the news or chatting with friends, there is a large number of active internet users in the country and it continues to grow as people continue to seek connectedness and convenience. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram has become quite the marketplace as people shop for any item that catches their attention. Prior to 2020, we had tried to market our products in different ways but often got very little reward for our efforts, in terms of revenue. The Covid-19 pandemic really proved to us the world of opportunity to connect with our customers online and sell directly to them.
How it started
We began social media marketing in 2018. The focus for us was to have some sort of visibility online and to sell our products. We hoped to build an online community, but as Instagram started becoming more “transactional” our attempts to post regularly and tell stories began to have less impact.
We were timid about using our Instagram page purely for sales and the result was less than N120,000/month (about $291) in online sales and this was heavily influenced by the sales of our ‘All in One Pack’.
How we upped our game
We realised Instagram is ruled by impulse buying. The key components required are catchy ads, quick response time. and a “valuable” price. Understanding how people purchased on Instagram helped us come up with the winning formula:
Bundles (right product combination) + great price and value + Instagram promotions + fast response time.
We knew bundles were a huge seller because most people want variety, rather than singular products in a carton of 24. This was why we introduced bundles – ‘Value Pack’, ‘Coco Pack’ and ‘Double Delight Pack’. Our product mix was informed by analysing sales trends. We combined our best sellers into our Value Pack, our coconut chips range in our Coco Pack and our two top sellers in our Double Delight Pack.
Great price and value
Even though customers wanted variety, they wanted to get it at a great price that offered value (free delivery to central locations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt). This is why we were very specific about our pricing and with free delivery, we were able to offer added value, which heavily influenced our sales.
A key component of our formula was running promotions all through the month. One thing was clear, we had a great product and price and wanted new and existing customers to know about it. We were very deliberate about who we targeted, their interests and their locations. Instagram ads are a cheap way to get your products in front of more people. We started off with $1 a day but have since increased to $10 a day.
Faster response time
We quickly realised that while we were running ads and getting leads, for a sale to happen, we needed to respond to messages or comments within 10 minutes. We hired a customer experience officer who is in charge of responding to all our interactions online. As soon as we started doing this, we noticed a 137% increase in growth in the first quarter.
We also ensured that all product deliveries were dispatched within 24 to 48 hours, as it has become clear most people want their ReelFruit snack as soon as possible!
Conclusion: The result
In 12 months since we started being deliberate about our Instagram marketing, we’ve seen 1,100% growth in revenue from Instagram alone. Our value pack has been very instrumental in the revenue generated this year and has grown by 119% from Q1 2021 to Q2 2021.
Our Instagram channel has also opened opportunities for large bulk orders. Last year, we had a customer purchase product worth 800k and even recently, we had another purchase products worth 300k. The great thing about it is that there is so much potential. The more you invest money, time and effort, the more the revenue increases. We are excited to see what the future holds, as we continuously learn and find ways to generate revenue online.