Feature: TikTok-Tokopedia helps Indonesian MSMEs improve business-Xinhua

Feature: TikTok-Tokopedia helps Indonesian MSMEs improve business

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-27 12:47:15

by Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

JAKARTA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Andri, a 40-year-old clothes seller at Tanah Abang shopping center in Central Jakarta, was busy packing the clothes that he would send to his buyers via expedition. Next to him was a pile of packages ready to go.

"460 packages for today," he said when Xinhua visited his merchant last Sunday. A funny fact was that no one came to his merchant on that day. Most of his customers, he said, were online buyers.

"You can see that not a single soul comes here, but hundreds of people check out my products on my online shop account every day, thanks to this technology called online shop."

Andri said the online shop application that he used the most, and attracted the most customers, was Tokopedia. Thousands of people have followed his shop account. He could earn as much as 30 million rupiahs (1,915 U.S. dollars) in a month, far higher compared to only 4 million rupiahs (255 dollars) he had earned before he went online.

Tokopedia is an Indonesian giant e-commerce company, a business entity of Indonesia's GoTo Group that is the country's largest internet technology company. The entity has merged with Chinese social media platform TikTok since mid-December 2023.

Tokopedia, whose majority stake is now controlled by TikTok, is reinforcing business strategy for local sellers in order to benefit micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia.

Andri said he started to gain more buyers since using the then TikTok e-commerce before the two companies' merger.

"Since online shops gain popularity, offline merchants are increasingly losing customers. But then I realized that technology does not defeat us, it is us who have to keep up with the technology development. At that time, TikTok e-commerce provided easy features for us sellers to sell our products online," Andri said.

Similar to Andri, 39-year-old Hana Maulida Rompas, who sells handmade female accessories, said she no longer needed to rent a shophouse since she went online on Tokopedia, TikTok Shop and a few other e-commerce applications in Indonesia.

"I can just sell my products at home. I can gain more buyers without needing to pay for a monthly shophouse rent," she told Xinhua recently.

Rompas said she learnt a lot about product marketing from the training provided by TikTok. The platform routinely provides free online classes and offline training every quarter of the year to help MSMEs understand the digital marketing ecosystem so that they can develop their marketing skills.

The latest offline training was held on Jan. 17 to 18 this year in Jakarta, in which Rompas was among 600 participants attending it.

"It was a very insightful training. We were taught how to create content, use digital platforms to grow our business, market our products and compete on digital platforms," she said.

The training for MSMEs held by TikTok is supported by the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, and the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises. The initiative has been running since 2021.

The digitalization of MSMEs has become a top priority of the Indonesian government as it has targeted 30 million MSMEs to join digital platforms by 2024. Based on data from Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, as of December 2023, there have been 27 million MSMEs going online.

"The training program aims to help the MSME players optimize their marketing, branding, and sustainable business practices, and provide a strong foundation for their business growth and sustainability. With support from the government and other related parties, we expect to help the MSMEs maximize their business potential on e-commerce and help accelerate Indonesia's digital transformation process," said Haryobimo Pramudito, Head of TikTok Indonesia's Small and Medium Business, in a recent statement.

Loto Srinaita Ginting, the expert staff for Finance and MSME Development from Indonesia's Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises, said the government would continue to support the programs that help MSMEs go fully digital.

"We will strive to continue facilitating and assisting local businesses to expand their business to the global market through digitalization," Ginting said.