Grab launches new programme to help small businesses go and grow online in the ‘new normal’
VIỆT NAM, ngày 08 tháng 6 năm 2020 – Grab today announced a Small Business Booster Programme aimed at helping small businesses in Southeast Asia adapt to the COVID-19 new normal. It includes tools and initiatives to make it easier for offline businesses to make the shift online, and helps those already on the Grab platform to expand their visibility and adapt their operations to an increasingly digital-reliant world. The programme extends Grab’s long-term commitment to digitalise traditional and small businesses and ensure they are included in the growing digital economy. Grab further announces partnerships with governments across Southeast Asia to connect farmers and other rural entrepreneurs to the digital economy.
“COVID-19 has accelerated change. We have seen dependency on online services grow exponentially almost overnight. This is spurring innovation in Southeast Asia, but there is also the risk that it will widen the digital divide. Small businesses make up the backbone of Southeast Asia’s economy, but the vast majority are offline. They will need to embrace technology and digitalise or risk falling further behind. It’s a new business model for them. Through our Small Business Booster Programme we hope to help small businesses navigate this new normal. We will draw on our technology and reach to find new ways of doing business that can inclusively support everyone,” said Hooi Ling Tan, co-founder, Grab.
Helping Southeast Asia’s small businesses adapt to a COVID-19 new normal
Prolonged social distancing measures and changes in consumer behaviours have led to an elevated demand for digital services that is expected to be permanent even as movement restrictions ease. Consumers are likely to remain cautious about venturing out, and many companies are envisioning more of their workforce working from home permanently. Yet only 34% of small businesses in Southeast Asia have an online presence.
The Small Business Booster Programme aims to facilitate the digitalisation of small businesses – either by giving them a digital shopfront on the Grab platform or through e-payments integration. Amongst small businesses that are already on the Grab platform, an internal survey found that 76% would like more support in increasing their online visibility, and 56% want tools to help them innovate and provide insights to grow their business. The programme seeks to address their needs in these areas.
Key components of the programme include:
- GrabMerchant: An all-in-one, self-serve merchant platform for business owners to help grow their online customer base, optimise their operations, while keeping costs in check. Key features include:
- Self-onboarding: Small businesses can build an online store, set up cashless payment options, and be up and running on Grab in 24 hours.
- Insights: The enterprise-grade Insights tool gives merchants a view into their sales, their operations, their customer profile and purchasing habits, and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. It allows them to spot and respond quickly to new opportunities such as creating bundled meals based on what customers are ordering, and equips them to address operational inefficiencies.
- Ads: An ads creation tool that empowers merchant-partners to build their own food banner and food search ads, and track the ad performance in real-time.
- Supplies: Grab merchant-partners can purchase supplies and ingredients at wholesale rates, and enjoy the convenience of next-day delivery.
GrabMerchant will be available to merchant-partners as an app and a web portal. The app will roll out progressively from June 2020, followed by the web portal from July 2020 in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Merchant Discovery: From mid-June, Grab users will be able to view merchants near them through the Nearby Merchants widget on the Grab app. This will help increase discoverability for businesses and drive more foot traffic to their physical stores when movement restrictions ease. Powered by the Merchant Discovery feature, businesses who sign up can also choose to push promotions to customers who are nearby to draw them to their stores and encourage spending. Grab will roll out additional customer loyalty plans for merchant-partners in Q3 2020, to help small businesses increase sales and improve customer retention.
- US$3.5 million in advertising value for Southeast Asia small businesses: The “Homegrown Heroes” initiative will see Grab creating personalised ads for approximately 6,000 local businesses in 28 cities across 8 countries, and feature them on the most prominent spaces within the app for a 5-week period starting in July. Grab will cover the cost and resources required to produce these marketing materials. Merchants who previously purchased banner ads on GrabFood homepage saw a 300% return on advertising spend.
Partnering Southeast Asia’s governments to connect rural entrepreneurs to the digital economy
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalisation, and Grab has been actively working with local governments across Southeast Asia to ensure that traditional ecosystems are not left behind. This includes initiatives in Indonesia and Malaysia to bring wet market and Ramadan Bazaar sellers on to the Grab platform.
Grab is expanding on this focus, working with governments in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand to connect rural entrepreneurs to the digital economy. These partnerships aim to expand economic opportunities for farmers and agricultural producers across the region by enabling them to earn directly from sales off the Grab platform, at the same time ease concerns around food security.
Grab for Good: More than 100 partner initiatives launched in response to COVID-19; US$8.5 billion contributed to SEA’s economy
The second edition of the Grab for Good: Social Impact Report launched today focuses on COVID-19’s impact and Grab’s response.
Between March and April 2020, Grab committed over US$40 million to partner relief efforts and rolled out over 100 initiatives to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on drivers- and delivery-partners, frontliners and communities.
Between March and April 2020, over 78,000 merchants were onboarded to the Grab platform. Small businesses saw a 21% increase in online revenue through Grab during this period. Grab also created earning opportunities for over 115,000 individuals who signed up as driver or delivery-partners during their period.
The report also found that through driver-, delivery-, merchant-, and agent-partner incomes and sales generated through the Grab platform, Grab contributed an estimated US$8.5 billion to Southeast Asia’s economy in the 12 months leading up to March 2020.
“COVID-19 will require exceptional effort from all levels of society, working together, to overcome. Scientists are working on a vaccine. Policymakers are finding ways to bolster their countries’ economies. Everyday folk are helping to flatten the curve by practicing social distancing. Private companies like Grab are using our platform and tech to find ways for even the smallest micro-entrepreneur or business to continue sustaining their livelihoods in these challenging times. The future is uncertain, but Southeast Asia is a community that knows how to face adversity, and thrive,” added Tan.