New Google country head to bring million SMEs online

Corporate March 08, 2016 01:00

By JIRAPAN BOONNOON
THE NATION

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GOOGLE THAILAND’S new head has set a business direction for this year to bring a million small and medium-sized enterprises online.



Ben King, who was appointed country head in January, said yesterday that about 250,000-300,000 SMEs had begun doing business online. 
The company offers Google My Business, a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists as well as organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps, to support SMEs. 
SMEs contribute about 40 per cent of Thailand’s gross domestic product. 
One of the areas is online experiences such as “search lite”, which will provide faster searches, and YouTube offline.
Another is video data plans for the growing number of Internet users in the country and local content. 
The company now provides 45 localised products out of the 55 products available in Thailand.
The third focus area is education. Google targets training 100,000 students through a series of online videos and self-learning courses. 
Last, it will help SMEs go online. That would help SMEs to grow with an effective online presence.
With business leverage for business, the company will help SME advertisers reach consumers through the mobile platform as they search, watch videos, browse sites and use apps. 
Google will also help measure and optimise every moment on both the Web and apps and deliver on consumer needs at the right moment. 
Consumer Barometer has reported that at 57 per cent, mobile is the country’s primary computing platform. 
Thailand is one of 21 markets in the world where smartphone adoption is greater than personal-computer adoption. 
About 31 per cent of Thai smartphone owners shop on their phones, which is remarkably higher than the United States at 10 per cent or Britain at 7 per cent. 
Mobile has raised expectations for immediacy and consumers are attracted to brands that address their needs at the moment. 
Asia’s embrace of the smartphone has made micro moments more important than in any other region.
Asia has five of the top 10 markets when it comes to smartphone adoption and while not in the top 10, Thailand has great momentum on mobile. 
In 2014, Thailand was at 40-per-cent smartphone adoption and in 2015, it was at 64 per cent, ahead of the US. 
Some 40 per cent of Thai mobile users watch online videos to learn something new compared with 22 per cent in the US.