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GrabMerchant helps MSMEs digitize, thrive in time of post-pandemic

Muthi Achadiat Kautsar
Muthi Achadiat Kautsar

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, June 22, 2020  /  03:41 pm
GrabMerchant helps MSMEs digitize, thrive in time of post-pandemic

Digitize, thrive: Businesses that have undergone a digital transformation have bigger opportunities to thrive after the pandemic. (Grab/File)

Millions of people are still struggling with the effects of COVID-19, even though the pandemic has begun to subside in some parts of the world. For those who are working to mitigate the diseases’ impacts, their work is still far from done.

Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing app, has been rolling out initiatives to respond to the challenges brought by the pandemic since the very beginning. First and foremost, the company is aware that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) are among the hardest hit by the health crisis — while they are the backbone of the Indonesian economy.

Fulfilling its commitment to supporting the welfare of MSMEs while helping to ensure people can continue to access food and other daily essentials conveniently, Grab unveiled GrabMerchant, an all-in-one platform for MSMEs to digitize and thrive in the so-called new normal.

Recent easing of large-scale social restrictions may have signaled the gradual reopening of businesses, but the general public is still fearful of a second wave of COVID-19 infections if health protocols are not properly followed.

For businesses to survive, therefore, they must undergo a digital transformation.

Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Teten Masduki said in a virtual press conference for the launch of GrabMerchant on June 11 that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown us the importance of digitalization.

“[…] MSMEs that have adopted digital technologies were able to continue operating during large-scale social restrictions and better mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on their businesses,” Teten said, adding that the new GrabMerchant platform was a much-needed innovation at this time and would help accelerate the digital transformation of MSMEs in Indonesia so that they could adapt and thrive in the digital economy.

All-in-one platform: GrabMerchant provides digital tools and services needed to successfully run an online business from end to end, while keeping costs in check. All-in-one platform: GrabMerchant provides digital tools and services needed to successfully run an online business from end to end, while keeping costs in check. (Grab/File)

Read also: BRI, Grab launch soft-loan program for drivers, merchants

How does GrabMerchant work?

GrabMerchant includes an app and a web portal, with new easy-to-use tools for merchants to run a successful online business end-to-end. The app enables businesses to manage the day-to-day operations of their online store and access growth tools, while the web portal gives office staff a 360-degree view of the business performance across their store network.

Neneng Goenadi, managing director of Grab Indonesia, said small businesses make up the backbone of Indonesia’s economy, but the vast majority of these businesses were offline. Therefore, the small businesses will need to embrace technology and digitalize or risk falling further behind, she added.

“Our new GrabMerchant platform advances our long-term Grab for Good commitment to digitalizing small businesses in Indonesia by providing them a toolbox of easy-to-use solutions to help them start, run and grow their online businesses independently.”

GrabMerchant, which also accepts digital payments, has several key features:

1. Self-onboarding

Online food merchants can now be established by downloading the GrabMerchant app, following its sign-up process and in as fast as 24 hours, their products can be offered through GrabFood. The sign-up process is fully digital and merchants can get real-time updates on their application status via the GrabMerchant app.

2. Three user profiles for added security

GrabMerchant comes with Owner, Manager and Cashier profiles for added security. The Owner profile has full access to GrabMerchant services, including operations management, business performance tracking and analytics, payment settlement, inventory management, marketing campaign management and financial product applications.

The Store Manager profile can oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of the store. Meanwhile, the Cashier profile is strictly for payments and order handling. Apart from catering to different needs, the User Profile feature provides an added layer of security for business owners by limiting access to sensitive business information.

3. Supplies

Users of GrabMerchant, or merchant-partners, are able to purchase supplies and ingredients at wholesale rates, thanks to Grab partnership with suppliers like agriculture marketplaces TaniHub and Sayurbox. Merchant-partners can also enjoy the convenience of next-day delivery, and this service is currently available to 100,000 merchant partners in selected areas within seven Indonesian cities.

4. Marketing

Through the Marketing tile that will be available in July with a new Ad Manager tool, merchant-partners will be able to easily create attractive ads, including their own banner and search ads, with the cost of only US$1 per day. Furthermore, merchant-partners can choose their target audience, view their ad performance through easy-to-read reports, as well as join recommended Grab-led campaigns and create promotions through the Promo tool under the Marketing tile.

5. Business Insights

Slated to be available in July, the Business Insights tool will give users insights into their own sales, operations, customers’ purchasing habits and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. This tool also enables them to spot and respond quickly to new opportunities, such as creating bundled meals based on what customers are ordering.

GrabMerchant, which is formerly the GrabFood Merchant app, has been hailed as “helpful” and “convenient” by its users.

Muhammad Faisyal, owner of poultry-based restaurant Kongkowrongok in Bandung, West Java, said the app helped him run his two online outlets efficiently. He highlighted the Transactions and Wholesale features as well as the Promo tool.

Meanwhile, Desi Iriyanti from meatball restaurant Bakso Muncul Kebantenan in Jakarta said food delivery partners like Grab helped her operate her business during the pandemic.

“The new GrabMerchant app is easy to use. It helps us to monitor our orders and earnings daily, and we do not need to keep so much cash on hand with digital payments,” Desi said, referring to the app’s integration with e-wallet OVO.

In order to make use of the GrabMerchant features, existing merchant-partners only need to update their current GrabFood merchant app, while new users can download GrabMerchant from Google Play Store and soon from AppStore. The GrabMerchant web portal, meanwhile, will be available in July.

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