Due to the change in consumer behaviour as many opt for shopping online and prefer digital payments, Google has introduced a host of new features to help small businesses create their online presence. The new features introduced on Google My Business app and Google Pay for Business will help small businesses to be discovered by customers across Google search and maps, and even start accepting digital payments. With the new tools, Google aims to help small businesses in India impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recover and rebuild by going digital.
"We have consistently invested in programs and solutions to remove the barriers that come in the way of small and medium businesses benefiting from digital. And every month we drive over 150M direct connections between these businesses and customers including calls, online reservations and direction requests. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have accelerated the need for many more businesses, especially small businesses to adopt technology and get online to minimise the disruption and recover," says Shalini Girish, Director-India, Google Customer Solutions.
The national rollout of 'Nearby Stores' Spot on Google Pay will help local businesses get discovered by customers in their vicinity. Additionally, merchant establishments can indicate their business hours, whether social distancing measures are in place at the store and the essential goods presently in stock. The 'Merchant Loans' on Google Pay for Business has over 3 million merchants that are using Google Pay for Business app to accept and make payments digitally. Google Pay is also working with partner financial institutions to surface their loan offerings for merchants, which can be availed within Google Pay for Business app. It will be available soon. Promoted pins on Google Maps will help businesses stand out during these moments by displaying a prominent, square-shaped pin. Business owners can also highlight specific services such as pick-up and delivery, or other unique offerings to make shopping convenient.
As video conferencing services are helping business continuity, businesses of all sizes can get Google's premium video meetings service Meet for free. With G Suite essentials, Google also plans to offer professional-grade versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides available for free through September 30.
"We recognise that recovery will come in different stages for different businesses and navigating the digital world can be a daunting experience for many. Under our Digital Unlocked program, we are proud to have supported over 1 million businesses and individuals to gain from our digital skilling program in India. And we will be doubling down on this effort to help businesses across all parts of India to unlock the full value of going digital by not just helping them connect with more customers online and offline," says Girish.
Making it easier for the small businesses to discover all the Google resources, it has launched Grow with Google Small Business hub in India. This hub will act as a single destination for all small businesses to get access to all the products and tools they need to go digital, maintain business continuity and get access to helpful resources like quick help videos, support pages to learn digital skills. Available in English as of now, this will soon be made available in Hindi as well.