UNIVERSAL Robina Corp. (URC) plans to further develop its social e-commerce system, following its successful use of Facebook as a stock-replenishing platform for neighborhood store owners.

“URC is now planning for its next phase of growth. It will soon automate community management and its ordering system,” Oscar Villamora, vice president for customer development in Southeast Asia of URC, said in a statement on Tuesday.

In October last year, the company launched a program allowing sari-sari store owners, or mom-and-pop shops, to order URC products from distributors using Facebook. The social media platform also allows the company to “tailor-fit content to drive community engagement and to allow a seamless ordering process.”

The program has an “Ate Chat” feature, which acts as a digital concierge attending to queries and concerns of store owners.

“She also provides products and price lists and promos, and then directs those with queries to where they can order what they need online from distributors nearest them,” Mr. Villamora said.

The URC distributor page received thousands of messages within two weeks from its launch, with sales exceeding targets six times by November. URC now aims to create a sustainable ecosystem for the company’s social commerce.

URC shares at the local bourse rose by 0.07% or 10 centavos on Tuesday, closing at P139.10 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte