Google introduces new features for small businesses in India

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 25, 2020 Published on June 25, 2020

Google India today launched its Grow with Google Small Business hub in India alongside a range of new features to help small businesses better leverage the platform.

Google’s small business hub will be a one-stop-shop for accessing all products and tools required for them to “go digital, maintain business continuity and get access to helpful resources like quick help videos, support pages to learn digital skills,” Google said.

The tech giant will make the feature available in Hindi as well soon.

Google has also introduced new features on Google My Business app and Google Pay for Business. The features will help businesses improve their online presence by making it easier for them to get discovered on Google search and Google maps and simplify digital payments.

Shalini Girish: Director, India, Google Customer Solutions said, “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.

As part of its new feature set, the search giant has rolled out its ‘Nearby Stores’ feature on Google Pay across the company. The feature had been recently introduced by Google to make it easier for users to discover nearby stores and make digital payments. The feature is now available across India.

Establishments can also specify business hours, social distancing measures at the store and the status of the essential goods presently in stock on the platform.

Loan offerings

Google will also enable loan offerings on its payments platforms for merchants shortly.

“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,” it said.

Google Maps

For Google Maps, the company has introduced ‘promoted pins’ on the app. The “prominent” square pins will help business owners highlight specific services such as pickup and delivery, among other offerings.

“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,” Google said.

Apart from this, the tech major will offer free remote working and collaboration tools with G Suite essentials to businesses. These include professional-grade versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. These tools will be available for free for small businesses until September 30.

On Google My Business include, the company now enables owners to mark a business as temporarily closed or update the hours of operation. They can also update the status of the business operations on Google Search and Maps, once the business reopens.

They can also specify what operations are currently functional.

“For instance, SMBs can select options such as delivery, takeout, online services such as classes, appointments, or service fee estimates,” Google explained.

They can also share more detailed information and updates on safety measures about Covid-19 on the platform.

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Published on June 25, 2020
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