Seafood firms turn to Instagram as a stepping-stone to digital operations

Published on
September 29, 2020

An increasing number of seafood firms are opening Instagram accounts to tap digital sales in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Anton Trantin, the co-founder of YORSO, a supply chain management platform start-up.

Trantin told SeafoodSource there’s been a significant increase in the number of client firms with Instagram accounts this year. The figure is based on a survey conducted by Yorso from April through June of 100 companies registered in its system.

“Twenty-two percent of them have opened Instagram accounts as a step toward moving their business into digital channels,” Trantin said.

The Yorso app has seen a 20 percent month-on-month traffic growth since June, Trantin said. A Russian start up with European, Japanese, and U.S. advisors and investors, Yorso automates marketing, trading, and logistics for seafood firms. Trantin himself works out of Spain, where Yorso has a partnership with the Mercabarna market near Barcelona.

Trantin said his team has integrated the Instagram chat-bot into Yorso “for leads on-boarding and once the user starts interacting from the web page the data goes directly into the Yorso CRM [customer relationship management].

“It helps to elicit initial information and do better customer database profiling in the long term with the effort of users themselves,” he said.

Trantin's firm is also experimenting with chat-bots for customer service for some of his clients. 

“We got new clients who are happy to be able to order directly from producers without the need to come to the fish markets,” Trantin said.

Trantin said he’s optimistic about Yorso’s growth due to seafood firms digitizing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, Trantin said, “the old generation of [seafood company] management is still reluctant to such type of things.”

“We started several small pilots with European and Russian companies who were open to this. I hope that new artificial intelligence [AI] and machine learning things will help find better matching [of buyers and sellers] but now it is too early to say if the results are super cool. Although, we are optimistic about this and having already some good cases of bringing clients using this approach from Israel, Canada, Portugal, Italy, and Denmark,” he said.

Sales in the Spanish market have stabilized due to renewed local demand even though the tourist clientele at local restaurants has largely vanished. However, the complexity of “treating” the food has increased: requiring the use of more plastic, more accuracy, more expenses for personnel equipment, and more education. Since March, Yorso has expanded the set of tools for companies “matching” algorithms “both for suppliers to find new markets and buyers to source fish,” Trantin said.

Photo courtesy of PixieMe/Shutterstock

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