We are in midst of a global pandemic and small businesses have been largely affected by the slowdown of the economy. In light of this, Google has introduced new features on Google My Business App and Google Pay for Business to help local businesses to adapt to the COVID-19 situation. A shift of consumer behaviour to online shopping and digital payments, has made it essential for every business to have a digital presence.”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 expansion of ‘Nearby Stores’ feature on Google Pay will help local businesses get discovered by customers in their neighborhood. Additionally, merchant establishments can indicate their working hours, whether social distancing measures are being taken and the list of goods presently in stock.
- Google Pay for Business will soon offer ‘Merchant Loans’ to merchants based in India for which Google is working with partner financial institutions to surface the loan offerings.
- Businesses can drop a square shaped pin on Google Maps to point at their store location called ‘Prompted Pins’. Until the end of September, businesses will not have to pay for any clicks, calls or sales resulting from Prompted Pins, said Google.
- With growing usage of video-conferencing platforms, Google is providing businesses with the premium Google Meet service for free.
- Google also plans to offer professional versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides available for free till September 30.
Google has launched ‘Grow with Google Small Business’ hub in India . This hub will provide with all necessary tools and resources under one umbrella to help small businesses to go digital. Quick help videos, support pages to learn digital skills and more for businness owners and startups. These materials are available in English as of now and will soon be made available in Hindi as well.