DURING these trying pandemic times, businesses are struggling to stay afloat while facing the monumental task of going digital with their operations.
In support of local commerce, Visa has launched the Where You Shop Matters initiative that encourages consumers to support domestic businesses and at the same time help SMEs to embrace ecommerce.
Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, introduced Where You Shop Matters in line with the Government’s Buy Malaysian Products campaign that was launched last month and the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign to boost travel within the country.
Where You Shop Matters is part of Visa’s broader small businesses strategy and follows the company’s commitment to support 10 million small and micro businesses in the Asia Pacific.
The Visa Foundation committed US$210mil in aid of small and micro businesses as well as to provide immediate Covid-19 emergency relief earlier this year.
“We introduced Where You Shop Matters to rally Malaysians to support small businesses in the country. The impact of Covid-19 on these businesses, along with shifting consumer behaviours to ecommerce, reinforced the need for Visa to launch this initiative, ” said Visa Malaysia country manager Ng Kong Boon.
“We understand that taking their business online can be a daunting prospect for many SMEs who might not know where to start.
“In Malaysia, our focus is to help these small businesses embark on this digitalisation journey to start and grow their online presence. We are excited to offer SMEs an ecommerce tool kit, together with Visa commercial offers to help them start, manage and grow their online stores.
“To further support local retailers, Visa will be featuring hundreds of local brands on our website to encourage Malaysians to purchase from homegrown retailers during this period of difficulty.
“We are heartened that 98% of Malaysians surveyed have indicated that they are willing to shop at local retailers to support their business recovery, ” said Ng.
The recent Visa survey also shows that almost half of the respondents plan to shop online more, while 83% believe it is important for small businesses to have an online presence.
Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia is working on recovering and boosting the nation’s economy through local tourism and brands.
“Since the interstate travel ban was lifted, we have seen an increased appreciation for the local tourism industry, ” said Tourism Malaysia director general Datuk Musa Yusof.
“Through Visa’s variety of offerings for cardholders as well as local entrepreneurs, we believe we will continue to see an enhanced penchant among Malaysians for locally made goods and services, ” he said.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Surina Shukri commented that Visa’s Where You Shop Matters campaign complements the ongoing Penjana Shop Malaysia Online initiative and the Penjana micro SMEs (MSMEs) ecommerce campaign for the recovery of the country’s economy.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has become the motivator for a large number of local MSMEs and businesses to accelerate ecommerce adoption. I am confident that this campaign will promote more digitally-powered businesses, and at the same time help catalyse more high-value digital jobs for the nation, ” she said.
Where You Shop Matters partners with several ecommerce enablers such as BigCommerce, EasyStore, SiteGiant and StoreHub to encourage and help SMEs kickstart their business online.
Visa’s partners will be providing ecommerce starter packages including waiver on monthly subscription for small businesses who may be setting up their business online for the first time.
There will be a series of Visa commercial offers that small businesses can utilise – including advertising support and business office tools – to grow their online presence and manage their business digitally.
“We encourage small businesses to embrace digital transformation and bring their business online. Apart from providing the right business automation for EasyStore merchants, we are glad to partner Visa to open up new opportunities for more merchants to sell across Malaysia and worldwide effortlessly, ” said EasyStore chief technology officer Frost Chen.
“We are excited and pleased to partner with Visa in a shared objective to reach out and empower more SMEs to digitalise their business. Over the years, we saw the challenges that SMEs faced to start their business online. With this initiative, SMEs will now have more opportunities to transition to ecommerce. We believe this is an essential step to provide small businesses the tools and support they need to grow digitally and ultimately, accelerate the digital transformation in Malaysia, “ said SiteGiant chief executive officer Stanley Lim.
“The StoreHub Business Programme is one of our ongoing initiatives to add value to our merchants as we are committed to help them succeed. We are pleased to partner Visa in this programme and continue supporting local F&B businesses, ” said StoreHub chieftain and co-founder Wai Hong Fong.
For more details on Where You Shop Matters, go to www.visa.com.my
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