Google rolls out new features to help small businesses increase online presence

The tech giant has launched Grow with Google Small Business hub in India to equip merchants with the tools they need to go digital

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 25, 2020 5:23 PM

Continuing with its efforts to support small businesses in India impacted due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Google India today announced a host of new helpful products and initiatives for small businesses to help them to recover and rebuild in this new environment by going digital. First to make 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 serve 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. This will soon be made available in Hindi as well. 

For small businesses looking to build an online presence and start using digital payments, Google has also introduced a host of new features on Google My Business app and Google Pay for Business which helps small businesses to be discovered by customers across Google search and maps and start accepting digital payments.  

Talking about the new tools and features, Shalini Girish: Director, India, Google Customer Solutions said, “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.” 

“We recognize 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”, She added. 

The new range of features and functionalities across products include:  

  • National roll-out of ‘Nearby Stores’ Spot on Google Pay: This helps local businesses get discovered by customers in their vicinity. Google introduced this feature in May and starting today, it is expanding this offering to become available across India. 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. 
  • Merchant Loans on Google Pay for Business: With over 3 million merchants now using Google Pay for Business app to accept and make payments digitally, Google Pay is also working partner financial institutions to surface their loan offerings for merchants, which can be availed right within Google Pay for Business app, something that is especially pertinent in these uncertain times. We will make this offering live soon.  
  • Stand out on Google Maps, for free: A new offering called promoted pins on Google Maps, to help businesses stand out during these moments by displaying a prominent, square-shaped pin. Business owners can also highlight specific services such as pickup and delivery, or other unique offerings to make shopping convenient.  We've started rolling out Promoted pins to Smart campaign advertisers with a Google My Business profile and will be fully available in the coming weeks. Until the end of September 2020, businesses will not have to pay for any clicks, calls or sales resulting from Promoted pins. 
  • Free Remote Working & Collaboration Tools with G Suite essentials: Video conferencing services are the new life line for business continuity. Businesses of all sizes can now get Google’s premium video meetings service Meet for free. And with G Suite essentials, not only do small businesses get pro video conferencing service, Google will also offer professional-grade versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides available for free through 30th September.  
  1. New features on  Google My Business include:
    • Marking the business as temporarily closed or update the hours of operation, and also easily update on Google Search and Maps, once the business reopens 
    • Select attributes that show customers new ways by which the business is serving them. For instance, SMBs can select options such as delivery, takeout, online services such as classes, appointments, or service fee estimates
    • Use the new COVID-19 post type to share more detailed and timely updates such as safety measures put in place such as curbside pickup, as well as product and service availability

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