Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Grab launches new program to help small businesses thrive online in the 'new normal'

Southeast Asia’s leading every day everything app, Grab today announced its Small Business Booster Program aimed at helping small businesses adapt to the new reality due to COVID-19. It includes tools and initiatives to make it easier for offline businesses to make the shift online and helps those already on the Grab platform to expand their visibility and adapt their operations to an increasingly digital-reliant world. The program extends Grab’s long-term commitment to digitize traditional and small businesses and ensure they are included in the growing digital economy. In the Philippines, Grab has kickstarted its digitalization initiatives with a partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the eKadiwa Program as well as with the Department of Tourism for the Philippine Harvest Initiative, both initiatives aimed at connecting farmers and other rural agripreneurs to take advantage of the digital economy to reach consumers directly. Likewise, Grab has been an active supporter of the Department of Trade and Industries’ MSME Reboot Program which aims to provide digitalization support and solutions for MSMEs especially during the time of the pandemic.

“We have faced many new changes and challenges brought about by the pandemic, and we continue to find ways to leverage our platform towards supporting our kababayans in many new ways. As many Filipinos rely on digital-based services, our aim at Grab is to provide meaningful support most especially to small businesses, and bridge the gap on the ever-widening digital divide that these MSMEs have been facing,” says Grab Philippines President Brian Cu. “With small independent businesses being the backbone of our economy, Grab hopes that by supporting initiatives such as the Department of Agriculture’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, and the Department of Tourism’s Philippine Harvest Initiative - both aimed at supporting farmers and agripreneurs through market access and delivery services, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry’s MSME Reboot Program to aid and further develop our micro- and small businesses; and introducing programs such as the Madiskarteng Boss Club - geared at growing the vibrant social selling community through access to discounts, rebates, loans, placements, and learning opportunities, we get to help grow small businesses in the country to help rejuvenate our economy,” Cu adds.

Helping small businesses adapt to a COVID-19 new reality

Prolonged social distancing measures and changes in consumer behaviors have led to an elevated demand for digital services that are expected to be permanent even as movement restrictions ease. Consumers are likely to remain cautious about venturing out, and many companies are envisioning more of their workforce working from home permanently. Yet only 34% of small businesses in Southeast Asia have an online presence

The Small Business Booster Program aims to facilitate the digitalization of small businesses - either by giving them a digital shopfront on the Grab platform or through e-payments integration. Amongst small businesses that are already on the Grab platform, an internal survey found that 76% would like more support in increasing their online visibility, and 56% want tools to help them innovate and provide insights to grow their business. This is especially relevant now that over 78,000 new merchant-partners were onboarded in the Grab app across Southeast Asia - since the onset of the pandemic, as a way of sustaining livelihood through independent means. The program seeks to address their needs in these areas. 

Key components of the program include:

  1. GrabMerchant: An all-in-one, self-serve merchant platform for business owners to help grow their online customer base, optimize their operations, while keeping costs in check. Key features include:

    1. Insights: The enterprise-grade Insights tool gives merchants a view into their sales, their operations, their customer profile and purchasing habits, and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. It allows them to spot and respond quickly to new opportunities such as creating bundled meals based on what customers are ordering and equips them to address operational inefficiencies. 

    2. Ads: An ads creation tool that empowers merchant-partners to build their own food banner and food search ads, and tracks the ad performance. 

GrabMerchant will be available to existing Grab merchant-partners as an app and a web portal. The app will roll out progressively from June 2020, followed by the web portal by end-August 2020.

Interested merchants who wish to sign up as a merchant on the Grab platform may visit:

  1. Offline to Online (O2O) Merchant Support Program: Via a landing page on, offline businesses can connect with Grab’s store-builder partners to set up their online stores, integrated with GrabPay Checkout for e-payments.

This builds on an earlier program by Grab which empowers social selling for small businesses. During COVID-19, many merchants in the Philippines turned to social media and instant messaging platforms to sell their products but lacked an easy way to receive payments. Grab’s Remote GrabPay Link solution gives merchants a URL that they can send to customers to make a direct payment from their GrabPay Wallet, with the merchants receiving the payment instantly. To use the GrabPay Link service, merchants can visit:

  1. Grab commits to support over 1,000 Filipino homegrown merchants with advertising solutions to help improve their discoverability across Grab’s customer base: On average, merchant-partners who place an ad on GrabFood’s homepage see up to 300% return on ad spend. The “Homegrown Heroes” initiative will see Grab creating personalized ads for over 1,000 small GrabFood and GrabExpress merchant-partners in the Philippines, featuring them on the most prominent spaces within the app for a 5-week period starting in July. Grab will cover the cost and resources required to produce these marketing materials.

Across Southeast Asia, Grab is allocating US$3.5 million worth in advertising value for small businesses in the region, helping over 6,000 local businesses in 28 cities across 7 countries. 

Partnering with the  government to connect rural entrepreneurs to the digital economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalization, and Grab has been actively working with local governments across Southeast Asia to ensure that traditional ecosystems are not left behind. 

In partnership with the Department of Agriculture for the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program as well as the Department of Tourism’s Philippine Harvest Initiative, Grab opens up meaningful opportunities for Filipino farmers and agripreneurs to earn more from the Grab platform and have their fresh produce delivered to customers across Metro Manila through GrabExpress. By leveraging on Grab’s tech leadership, innovation, and expansive delivery network, supporting these government initiatives will not only help in securing food for those who are staying at home to flatten the curve but will also help in expanding livelihood opportunities to Filipino farmers across the country.

Grab for Good: At least 3.6M Filipinos have been protected and supported from the pandemic through GrabBayanihan

The second edition of the Grab for Good: Social Impact Report launched focuses on COVID-19’s impact and Grab’s response. 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the Philippines most especially its highly urbanized areas, Grab Philippines was able to quickly launch its GrabBayanihan COVID-19 Community Response Program, wherein it focused on these key priorities:

  • Protecting and Supporting the lives and livelihoods of Grab’s driver-partners;

  • Actively protecting those who are vulnerable and serving on the frontlines;

  • Supporting those who are helping flatten the curve by staying at home; and

  • Helping small businesses and entrepreneurs grow amidst an embattled economy

Between March and June 2020, the GrabBayanihan Program was able to protect and support at least 3.6 million Filipinos from the adverse effects of the pandemic. This includes customers who were able to use the innovations offered by the platform to help them cope with the pandemic, driver-partners who were able to earn a living by serving their communities, small businesses who were able to serve customers through the platform and in turn help provide for their staff, as well as frontliners, displaced families, and patients who were able to benefit from the platform’s fundraising initiatives either through GrabPay or GrabRewards. 

Between March and June 2020, almost 12,000 merchants were onboarded to the Grab platform in the Philippines. Small businesses saw at least 57% growth in online revenue through Grab during this period. 

Learn more about Grab’s Social Impact across Southeast Asia by visiting:

“As we all chart our paths in these unpredictable times, let us not lose hope in each other and the good that we can bring to each other and our communities. As we lean on each other for protection and support, Grab will remain to be an equitable partner to our communities, the government, and to the Filipino people, and we will continue to drive and deliver positive social impact through our platform. These are extraordinary times, and with everyone’s continued support and commitment, we are hopeful that we will come out of this stronger than ever,” Cu added.

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