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Here to help more small businesses succeed

Sashee Chandran, founder of tea company Tea Drops, noticed in 2020 that there were spikes on Google Search for terms like “boba” and “boba shop.” So she created a boba kit, and grew her revenue by 350%. Fat Witch Bakery, founded in 1991 with only one brownie recipe, relied on their storefront for 50% of their…

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Sashee Chandran, founder of tea company Tea Drops, noticed in 2020 that there were spikes on Google Search for terms like “boba” and “boba shop.” So she created a boba kit, and grew her revenue by 350%. Fat Witch Bakery, founded in 1991 with only one brownie recipe, relied on their storefront for 50% of their revenue. After their store closed due to the pandemic, they doubled down on Google Ads to sell more than 30 types of brownies, and over the last few months their online orders have doubled. They aren’t only surviving — they’re thriving. 

As more businesses and communities reopen and recover, I’m inspired by the countless number of stories like these. We know using digital tools makes a meaningful difference — during the pandemic, revenue performance was 50% better for digitally advanced small businesses versus those that are less savvy. We also know that consumers want to support small businesses — Google searches for “support local businesses” grew by over 20,000% since last year.

Ahead of the United Nations’ Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day, Google is dedicating a full week to celebrating and supporting small businesses during our second annual International Small Business Week. As part of the week’s celebrations, consumers who shop at a small business through July 4 will receive $10 cashback when they pay with Google Pay on their Pixel phones. We’re also looking forward to sharing our very first YouTube Small Biz Day on Thursday, June 24: Tune in for Grow with Google workshops, panels and a live shopping event. All across Google we’ve been working on a variety of new initiatives to make it even simpler for small businesses to use digital tools to succeed. Here are some recent updates that can help as you transition your business to a post pandemic world.  

Show customers what you offer

You’ve asked for easier ways to manage your business presence on Google. Over the past year, we’ve been rolling out new ways for businesses to edit details on their Business Profile directly from Google Search and Maps — including how to update basic business information, message customers and see detailed performance insights. Now, we’re adding more features to Search and Maps that enable retailers, food and local services businesses, like personal care, to adjust how they show up and connect with customers on Google — from adding specific  services, such as beard trimming, to sharing menu and accepting food orders. 

Get discovered across Google 

We’re also making it easier for e-commerce businesses to be discovered and connect directly with customers. Businesses on Shopify, WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square will now be able to show their products across Google for free. This means businesses will have even more ways to get discovered across Google, and shoppers will have more choices.  

Add products to your Business Profile 

Shoppers are increasingly looking for products online before they head to the store. In fact, Google Searches for “who has” + “in stock” have grown by more than 8,000% year over year. If you’re a retailer, manually adding your product information can be a hassle. Pointy from Google creates a connection between your physical store and your Business Profile on Search and Maps so you can drive more traffic to your store. As you scan barcodes on the items to be sold, Pointy automatically adds the product to your profile so that customers can see what’s in stock. Eligible retailers can now get Pointy for free through September 30, 2021. Pointy box supplies are limited and shipping may be delayed; the offer excludes ads.

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Google

Seniors search what they see, using a new Lens

“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”Seniors in a…

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“Often, when I go for a walk, I stumble upon an unknown flower or a tree. Now I can just take a picture to discover what kind of plant I am standing before,” Verner Madsen, one of the participants, remarked. “I don’t need to bring my encyclopedia. It is really smart and helpful.”

Seniors in a country like Denmark are generally very tech savvy, but with digitization constantly advancing — accelerating even faster during two years of COVID-19 — some seniors risk being left behind, creating gaps between generations. During worldwide lockdowns, technological tools have helped seniors stay connected with their family and friends, and smartphone features have helped improve everyday life. One key element of that is delivering accurate and useful information when needed. And for that, typed words on a smartphone keyboard can often be substituted with a visual search, using a single tap on the screen.

Being able to “search what you see” in this way was an eye-opener to many. As the day ended, another avid participant, Henrik Rasmussen, declared he was heading straight home to continue his practice.

“I thought I was up to speed on digital developments, but after today I realize that I still have a lot to learn and discover,” he said.

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Meet the entrepreneur connecting Kenyans to healthy food

When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.Worried that…

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When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.

Worried that her gender would affect Hasanat Ventures’ reputation, Binti considered hiring a man as the face of the business. But she eventually decided against it, standing firm in her pride as a solo founder and committed to tearing down the perception that women-run businesses in Africa aren’t as successful as those run by men.

“I think we should be challenging the outdated narrative that businesses run by men are guaranteed to be more successful,” Binti says. “Based on research, we’ve seen that businesses run by women actually perform better. We should use this as an opportunity to prove that as a woman, you do stand a chance to succeed in everything that you do.”

Just as important to Binti as breaking this bias was giving Kenyans more access to affordable nutrition. “I realized that many people couldn’t afford premium yogurt. So we entered the market with a high-quality product that’s affordable for lower and middle-income earners who have become more health-conscious,” she says.

Binti knew she had to drive awareness for her brand, particularly to reach Kenyans who needed convincing about yogurt’s health benefits. So she turned to Google Digital Skills for Africa, which offers virtual classes to help entrepreneurs grow their skills and businesses, and completed a digital marketing course to help her get Hasanat Ventures online.

“After participating in the course, we knew our online presence had to be bigger than just social media,” Binti says. “Now that we have a fully functional website, we are actually getting leads from outside Kenya.”

As part of the course, Binti learned how to use Google Analytics to measure her website’s performance. She could now monitor traffic insights, analyze pageviews and better understand who was visiting her site.

Binti’s determination and passion for her business are showing up in the results. In its first year, Hasanat Ventures supplied over 300 retailers with affordable dairy products. Three years later, it’s grown to support more than 50 farmers and even built its own production facility to keep up with demand.

“I really want to make sure that I am visible and speaking up in spaces women don’t usually have access to,” Binti says. “As Hasanat Ventures continues to grow, I am confident I can help change the perception of African women in business.”

58% of Africa’s entrepreneurs are women. That’s why we’re empowering them with the platform and tools to grow their businesses. Learn more about our #LookMeUp campaign, highlighting Africa’s women entrepreneurs like Binti who are working to break the bias.

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100 things we announced at I/O

35. The Google Home and Google Home Mobile software developer kit (SDK) for Matter will be launching in June as developer previews.36. The Google Home SDK introduces Intelligence Clusters, which make intelligence features like Home and Away, available to developers.37. Developers can even create QR codes for Google Wallet to create their own passes for…

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35. The Google Home and Google Home Mobile software developer kit (SDK) for Matter will be launching in June as developer previews.

36. The Google Home SDK introduces Intelligence Clusters, which make intelligence features like Home and Away, available to developers.

37. Developers can even create QR codes for Google Wallet to create their own passes for any use case they’d like.

38. Matter support is coming to the Nest Thermostat.

39. The Google Home Developer Center has lots of updates to check out.

40. There’s now built-in support for Matter on Android, so you can use Fast Pair to quickly connect Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network, Google Home and other accompanying apps in just a few taps.

41. The ARCore Geospatial API makes Google Maps’ Live View technology available to developers for free. Companies like Lime are using it to help people find parking spots for their scooters and save time.

42. DOCOMO and Curiosity are using the ARCore Geospatial API to build a new game that lets you fend off virtual dragons with robot companions in front of iconic Tokyo landmarks, like the Tokyo Tower.

43. AlloyDB is a new, fully-managed PostgreSQL-compatible database service designed to help developers manage enterprise database workloads — in our performance tests, it’s more than four times faster for transactional workloads and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL.

44. AlloyDB uses the same infrastructure building blocks that power large-scale products like YouTube, Search, Maps and Gmail.

45. Google Cloud’s machine learning cluster powered by Cloud TPU v4 Pods is super powerful — in fact, we believe it’s the world’s largest publicly available machine learning hub in terms of compute power…

46. …and it operates at 90% carbon-free energy.

47. We also announced a preview of Cloud Run jobs, which reduces the time developers spend running administrative tasks like database migration or batch data transformation.

48. We announced Flutter 3.0, which will enable developers to publish production-ready apps to six platforms at once, from one code base (Android, iOS, Desktop Web, Linux, Desktop Windows and MacOS).

49. To help developers build beautiful Wear apps, we announced the beta of Jetpack Compose for Wear OS.

50. We’re making it faster and easier for developers to build modern, high-quality apps with new Live edit features in Android Studio.

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