Google: SMEs need digital tools to grow business in pandemic era

by BERNAMA / pic by AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – E-commerce is helping businesses to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic and it offers enormous potential for them to prosper in the future, according to technology company Google.

Its government affairs and public policy manager Nick Bauer said there are opportunities abound for Malaysian businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to leverage on e-commerce for growing their exports.

He said the pandemic has tested many different sectors and businesses but it has also shown the resilience of Malaysia and the opportunities arising from the digital economy.

“Google is committed to ensuring every business in Malaysia has the support and tools that they need in order to recover and rebuild,” he said today during a virtual fourth-panel session on the second day of the e-National Export Day (eNED) 2021.

The company has provided three ways in helping businesses grow with free and easy Google digital tools.

Firstly, Bauer said that the My Export Score, a free report which combines data from Google Analytics, Google Ads and SimilarWeb, creates a ‘market readiness’ score along with a breakdown of the business website’s international performance and next steps (if any).

Secondly, business growth would be aided with the Market Finder tool which identifies potential markets based on multiple factors, he added.

“It (Market Finder) starts by crawling your website and gathering product category information that you can confirm when it completes,” he explained.

Thirdly, he said that by using Google Maps, it helps to make a direct connection between customers and businesses by phone calls, messaging or leaving reviews.

Bauer also said that in Malaysia, Google has rolled out various initiatives and programmes to help businesses pivot quickly while learning new digital skills.

He noted the ‘Mahir Digital bersama Google’ as a prime initiative.

“The virtual workshop helps the transition of local businesses into the digital era.

“It has added new modules aimed at guiding business owners in building their online presence and taking their sales online,” said Bauer.

He said that in 2020, the programme had reached out to 15,000 SMEs in helping them to drive online sales by using Google digital tools.

This year, via eNED 2021, Google has collaborated with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) to bring more skills into the agency’s exporters development and export promotion programmes in a bid to navigate SMEs in their online businesses.