SMEs can grow their business by taking it online

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    • Grow business onlineGrow business online
    27 October 2020

    Key Takeaways

    • Online sales in Malaysia saw a significant 28.9 per cent increase since restrictions were put in place with the movement control order (MCO), whereas food delivery service saw a spike of 300 per cent
    • UOB has partnered with Exabytes and iPay88 Malaysia to create Move Your Business Online (MYBO), which offers professional assistance in designing and building a webstore, and allows seamless payments
    • UOB has also partnered with platforms such as Beep by StoreHub, a cloud-based delivery and pick-up service for food and beverage (F&B) outlets and retail businesses, to help SMEs grow their online revenues

    Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been severely impacted due to the pandemic, registering over 50 per cent declines in business following the announcement of the MCO. Furthermore, 80 per cent of SMEs have been affected by a cash-flow crunch due to the pandemic. It is important to note that Malaysian SMEs contribute significantly to the national economy (38.3 per cent of GDP) and provide employment to 5.7 million people, which accounts for 70 per cent of Malaysia’s employment total1.

    Given the nature of the pandemic, which shows no sign of slowing, businesses need to adapt to changing realities. Consumer behaviours and buying patterns have shifted, and the only way to respond is to go where the customers are: online. For SMEs in Malaysia, there has never been a better time to embrace digital.

     

    Online is booming


    Since MCOs came into effect, online sales saw a significant 28.9 per cent increase2. Meanwhile, online food orders increased significantly – registering 300 per cent growth in the first two months when movement restrictions were enforced. This clearly indicates tremendous growth opportunity in the food-delivery space.

    UOB understands the changing needs of its SME clientele, having already extended strong encouragement for SME owners to build active online sales channels.

    This push for online uptake will allow SMEs in the F&B sector to better serve their growing online clientele, while also being able to track customers’ purchase patterns and preferences. Furthermore, this service will continue to be extended to UOB Malaysia customers at a 20 per cent lower fee than its regular rates. The major highlight here is that Beep Delivery’s transaction fee is only 2 per cent of online sales; typical food delivery marketplaces charge as much as 30 per cent in commissions.

     

    Innovating and adapting swiftly are key


    UOB welcomes both new and existing customers to grow their businesses and reconnect with their communities.


    Malaysian SMEs have displayed resilience when faced with challenges, and they are well equipped to respond to changing circumstances. The key for SMEs is to innovate and adapt to constantly changing consumer preferences and economic environments. This alone can ensure a steady voyage amid choppy waters.

     

    Building online capabilities


    One leading initiative that UOB has prioritised in collaboration with StoreHub is a cloud-based operating system for omnichannel retail and F&B businesses. StoreHubs’s Beep Delivery was pressed into service shortly after the MCO was announced. UOB’s SME customers in the F&B space can now use its Beep platform and access Beep Delivery to digitalise their online food-delivery service and save costs. On top of that, to help SMEs maintain SOPs and hygiene, Beep QR order can help customers to facilitate contactless ordering and payment for their dine-in customers and operations.

    To be eligible, SME applicants must have a UOB Business Current Account, UOB BizCA+ or BizMax account. In addition, SMEs can avail a three-month or a six-month fee waiver if they meet certain minimum deposit or balance criteria.

    Move Your Business Online (MYBO) is another UOB initiative in partnership with two industry stalwarts – Exabytes and iPay88 Malaysia. It is specifically tailored to encourage SMEs to build an online presence by moving beyond a solely brick-and-mortar operation. UOB Malaysia customers are encouraged to experience the many benefits that MYBO offers for business expansion in the new normal.

    In terms of eligibility, a BizCA+ account is all that is needed. Besides savings of up to RM1,800, complementary services are extended in the form of online banking and transaction-fee waivers.

    Key benefits include:

    The future is online

    StoreHub MYBO
    Flexible management:
    A business owner using StoreHub can manage their business from anywhere, anytime simply by using a smartphone.
    Website-building assistance:
    SME owners can enlist professional guidance in registering a domain name and with designing and building a webstore that can accommodate up to 1,000 products. Users can begin online selling in as little as 3 days.
    Quick setup:
    StoreHub allows for fast setups thanks to its easy process that can be completed in a few hours.
    Complimentary business communication tools:
    A complimentary and customisable business email is provided along with your own domain name.
    Free support:
    Business owners subscribed to StoreHub's services are eligible for free assistance (7 days a week) from its competent support team. Support is available via phone, chat and email, and the average response time is just 1 minute.
    Secure payment interface:
    SME owners can safely receive online payments from their customers by way of credit cards, FPX and e-wallets such as Boost, GrabPay, Touch 'n Go eWallet and MCash, among others.
    Optimised for multi-industry use:
    The StoreHub platform can be used across service, retail and F&B businesses.
    Automated marketing tools:
    MYBO offers automated email and SMS marketing features.
    Get insights:
    Business owners can access their business-related data and reports in real-time on their smartphones.
    Shipping:
    An integrated product-shipping feature adds both convenience and efficiency.


    With challenges come opportunities. The pandemic has only accelerated the inevitable shift online to reap the benefits of the digital economy.

    UOB’s partnerships with technology companies in Malaysia provide opportunities for SMEs to thrive in the ‘new normal’, where they can achieve growth with a trusted partner. Going online is simple, lucrative and helpful for business growth. It is also easy. So, let us serve you so you can grow your business and serve your customers.

     

    [1] https://www.recommend.my/blog/survey-malaysian-smes-deeply-affected-by-covid-19-outbreak-and-mco/

    [2] https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2020/06/11/malaysia039s-online-retail-sales-up-289--in-april

     

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