This post was done in partnership with Google Malaysia.
As we begin the transition towards recovery mode with the gradual easing of the movement control order (MCO), the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist as an economic crisis, impacting businesses all across Malaysia – especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs). To help support these SMEs, both regular people and brands alike have started various initiatives online, and it’s no different here at Google.
But what does this mean for business owners? For a start, consumers are now more willing to support SMEs, making it a great opportunity for businesses to connect with them. While we understand that times may be tough, we’ll explore how you – as a business owner – can catch the attention and add value to a consumer’s life through some simple digital strategies.
A shift to digital as Malaysians adjust to spending more time at home
Over the past weeks, Malaysians have not just been searching for their daily necessities; they have also been looking for solutions online. With the MCO in place and a restriction on mass gatherings, Malaysians are now more active on digital platforms, attracting new consumers through the use of delivery services and eCommerce websites. Although there has been an easing of the MCO, it’s clear that going digital is here to stay.
On top of that, Malaysians are also finding diverse ways to keep themselves occupied at home. They’re not just spending more time learning how to cook, they’re also going online to improve themselves. From education courses, errands, to self-grooming methods, Malaysians are now spending their free time at home using the internet in different ways from before.
Three steps SMEs can take today
Thanks to a higher demand for services and information online, your digital storefront is more important than ever. And this can be improved through a strong digital presence.
From being the first thing your customers see to a touch-point resulting in a sale, here are some complementary tools (optional: from us at Google) to help you represent your business online to ensure a high level of customer service even without physical contact.
1. Keep your customers informed
When consumers search for your brand on the internet, you’ll want to ensure that important business details such as your location, types of services provided, contact, and updated information are readily available. Google My Business is a free listing that helps you get discovered online to engage with your customers, ensuring your brand is easily found on Google Search and even Maps.
Think of it as a digital business card – a profile that appears when consumers use Search for information on your company, regardless of your provided services being online or offline.
For those looking for more, Google My Business even comes with a website builder that can convert your updated profile into an actual website in 10 minutes, at no charge. If you prefer a more mobile option, Google My Business is available on both Google Play and the App Store.
2. Learn more about your customers by exploring trends
By understanding what is important to Malaysians, you’ll be able to uncover opportunities as you figure out their current needs and interests. Find out what, where, when, and how consumers around Malaysia are currently using Search with Google Trends – by diving deep into data, almost in real-time.
These insights will help you answer questions such as what food items are currently trending, which areas are more interested in a topic, and much more. By customising your search interest to get the right data, you’ll be able to adjust your business and marketing strategies to better reach your customers.
Embrace new ways to engage with your customers
Experiment and be creative in engaging with your customers. As more and more people go online due to a continued ban on mass gatherings, short videos and YouTube Livestreams are becoming increasingly popular methods for connecting people. Requiring nothing more than a data network and a mobile phone, a live-stream video allows the presenter to interact with their customers in real-time. From online marketplace sales to fun tutorials – anything is possible.
With these simple ideas, connecting with your customers is now just a few clicks away. By keeping them updated, exploring what matters to them, and embracing new ways to engage online – your digital presence will change how your customers see your business online.
You can also tune in to a virtual workshop and learn directly from our programme trainers at Mahir Bersama Google, Google Malaysia’s SME upskilling programme.