Friday, September 29, 2023

Going Digital Helps Businesses Adapt to Covid, Promote Local Products

November 16, 2021 | 7:00 pm
"Maju Digital" conference held by GoTo on November 13, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Tokopedia)
"Maju Digital" conference held by GoTo on November 13, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Tokopedia)

Jakarta. Embracing digitalization has helped businesses to not only adapt to the new Covid-19 reality but also to promote Indonesian-made products, a recent discussion revealed.

Pandemic-related restrictions have prompted businesses to think of ways to reach home-bound customers. At the same time, local products still have to go up against their global counterparts. But according to Batik Nayara owner Andrina Effendi, going digital can help address these challenges.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Batik Nayara had already been selling in offline and online channels, although the brand put a much bigger emphasis on offline stores. It was only after the pandemic shock that Batik Nayara began to ramp up its digital efforts. This includes optimizing the use of online marketplaces, such as Tokopedia.

"As we go digital, we must be brave enough to try new things and actively partake in the available promos or campaigns. We do this to help out our employees, as well as the local batik craftsmen," Andrina told a virtual conference-themed "Maju Digital" ('Advance Digitally') over the weekend.

"As a Power Merchant store at Tokopedia, we are supported by a Relationship Manager. This Relationship Manager encourages us to challenge ourselves by joining campaigns and collaborating with KOLs," she said.

Locally-made products would become pivotal in driving the national economy. Local products are also now seeing more support than ever from multiple stakeholders, such as the government and banks, among others, according to Andrina.

"Tokopedia even recently held a campaign dedicated to supporting the local micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs] in West Java. So Tokopedia placed these [MSMEs'] products on banners [to make them more visible] and so on," she said.

Andry Susanto —the owner of Italian restaurant Oma Elly— shared his thoughts on digital adoption and locally made products. Andry said digitalization had become an inevitable move for businesses, considering how people are now likely to have high screen time.

"We have to go to where the customer is," Andry told the same conference.

But going digital does not only help him serve the customers at home. In Andry's experience, Tokopedia has made acquiring supplies and tools easier while helping out fellow local businesses.

"When we first started getting serious about [selling] pizzas, we bought the pizza oven from Italy. But now all our new restaurants have Bandung-made pizza ovens, which are of better quality and at a lower price. [...] And we found this pizza oven at Tokopedia," Andry said.

Holding the Konferensi Nasional Maju Digital was Indonesia's biggest technology group GoTo comprises three business arms, namely Gojek, Tokopedia, and GoTo Financial. The event was part of the #BangkitBersama ('Rise Together') campaign to promote MSME products as the premier choice for Indonesians. The Konferensi Nasional Maju Digital encompassed dozens of educational and inspirational sessions focused on MSME empowerment and digital transformation.

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