[This is a must read article… This business model is incredibly common at present.]
How Line is turning Instagram into an ecommerce app in Thailand – techinasia, February 20, 2015
…It works like this: a merchant creates an Instagram account and posts photos of their wares. Merchants selling women’s fashion seem to be the most common, but I did notice other product categories among Thai shoppers. A merchant on Instagram usually mentions what he or she sells in the bio and includes a Line ID.
Consumers that stumble across the Instagram page and like what they see use Line to contact the merchant and ultimately make an online transaction. By using Line, merchants are able to engage directly with each prospective customer and build trust. By way of this interaction over Line, the merchant and the customer complete the transaction, agreeing on the product, any potential discounts, and even payment terms. Consumers in Thailand prefer this method because it gives them a direct contact with a live person, not an anonymous online shopping cart…