"Supported by years of collaborations with various MSMEs, we fully understand the challenges that are often experienced by business owners. Building on this insight, Zilingo is ready to equip MSMEs and its owners to adapt to the new normal through our one-stop business solution platform, Zilingo Trade. MSMEs can easily access holistic business solution services from online procurement, financial services, software services to marketing services - all under one convenient platform on zilingotrade.id," said Ade Yuanda Saragih, VP and Country Head of Zilingo.
Ade takes this opportunity to share three key pointers that MSMEs should be prepared for while entering the new normal phase:
Recognize the change in consumer consumption and transform proactively
The pandemic has drastically changed the way businesses are interacting with their customers
and it is essential for MSMEs to map the evolving consumer behavior, including the expectations, needs and wants of consumers in living and adjusting to the new normal. For example, consumers are expected to seek safe means and are likely to favor a contact less retail experience. Online shopping is predicted to be more aggressive as Nielsen's study of Indonesian consumer behavior found that 30% of respondents have increased online shopping activity and 40% wished to continue buying online even after the pandemic ends, in line with the concept of social distancing norms, a driving factor in the new normal.
Based on trend predictions, MSMEs should utilize the use of online-based procurement platforms not only as a place to sell but also to fulfill their business needs now. Zilingo’s online procurement platform, Zilingo Trade helps suppliers with orders fulfill the order requirements with a faster response over traditional methods. This method of procurement not only saves operational costs but also seeks to minimize direct contact in the process, including shipping to consumers to ensure a safe, healthy and sustainable operation for everyone.
Renew digital marketing strategies to stay connected with customers
In coping up with the global pandemic and the new normal, entrepreneurs and business owners should consistently find robust ways to stay connected with their target customers. Leverage your social media platform comprehensively, use the platform not only to showcase offers on latest products or services but also to create a network of loyal customers who also relate to your brand image and in the process come to trust the overall business. Ample customer interest in online shopping directs businesses and MSMEs to expand their digital footprint followed by increasing business growth and convenience. Hence it is imperative for MSMEs to develop appropriate marketing strategies to capitalize on the opportune position and time. Zilingo Marketing Services is ready to help craft effective yet suitable strategies to attract more customers in the midst of this new normal scenario. A host of services such as photo product catalogs, content production, online marketing, company and factory profile development, creative promotion design, digital media marketing and social media, event planning & management, website development & management are offered under Zilingo’s Marketing Service arm.
Stay optimistic and resolute
In addition to having a good strategy for business operations in place, the psychological readiness of MSME players is extremely important in such difficult and testing times, as now. McKinsey's research related to Indonesian consumer sentiment during the pandemic found that although three-quarters of respondents claimed to have decreased income and savings, the majority still showed higher consumption activity. This shows that there are customized opportunities still available for business players to help customers through their products and service offerings.
It is undeniable that the business needs of MSMEs, including operational costs, continue to soar due to unstable economic conditions in addition to other external factors. While this appears a likely obstacle for MSMEs to remain positive and function smoothly in the new conditions, so Zilingo Trade also offers Zilingo Financial Services, a crucial feature to aid MSMEs with required funds for their businesses. The service provides access to greater funding to increase the scale of your business with a unique and customizable credit model. MSMEs can have smoother cash flows, increase sales volume, and make payments easier for suppliers.
The directions given by Ade and the business solutions services by Zilingo Trade are expected to facilitate a smooth transition towards a new normal era for Indonesian MSMEs and help them recover from the economic crisis and remain optimistic in facing the ongoing business challenges. "We hope that by developing an effective and efficient business strategy, businesses especially MSMEs can adapt to the changes and continue to strengthen sales performance in this new situation," concluded Ade.
Zilingo is a technology platform powering the global supply chain. It was founded in 2015 by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor with a vision to use technology to put responsible and efficient business within everyone’s reach. The platform enables users to have a fair, connected and transparent supply chain for all and offers access to technology, financing and production solutions at the same time. Zilingo leverages cloud technology, data and AI to optimize production timelines and aggregate global demand.