Google boosts Tools Of The Trade's e-commerce
Local kitchenware retailer improves web traffic with Google's help
Dissatisfied with its e-commerce returns, local kitchenware retailer ToTT turned to Internet giant Google for help.
Just three months after revamping its website and digital marketing strategies, ToTT saw a 90 per cent increase in the traffic to its website.
Plus, the amount earned from new visitors soared by 80 per cent, and mobile revenue increased by 2½ times, said ToTT store director Grace Tan.
"Customers now want greater convenience and immediate satisfaction from shopping, and traditional retail shops have to move towards tapping on digital technologies and providing experiential shopping," she told The New Paper.
"We recognised this, and we knew we had to do something to improve our online presence."
ToTT's move is in line with the Government's push for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to embrace digital technologies and help transform Singapore's economy.
ToTT, which stands for Tools of the Trade, opened its first outlet in 2010.
It branched into e-commerce in 2013, but traffic to its website remained low until last year.
"We were getting a lot of bounces from our page, and we also realised our website was not mobile responsive," said Ms Tan.
This prompted ToTT to join the Partnerships for Capability Transformation (Pact) programme, which was introduced in Budget 2010 and aims to get large organisations such as Google to help teach SMEs.
The programme linked ToTT with Google executives, and they worked on a three-month campaign to improve ToTT's website and digital marketing. It ended in April last year.
Ms Tan said: "Google helped us better understand how its AdWords (advertisement booking and management system) worked and how we could craft better and more effective digital marketing collateral.
"We learnt how to use videos and Google's tools to enhance our website and how to check how mobile responsive it is."
Mr Ghislain Le Chatelier, Google's South-east Asia regional director of global marketing solutions, told TNP that such collaborations between large companies and SMEs can boost the economy.
"SMEs represent 70 per cent of the workforce here and half of the country's gross domestic product. They are the engine of growth," he said.
"The part we like to play is sharing knowledge to help them grow. We can leverage assets and share the knowledge."
Other than the Pact programme, Google also has its Squared Online for SMEs digital leadership and marketing programme.
It costs $3,300, of which up to 70 per cent can be subsidised by the Government.
Mr Le Chatelier said: "If we can help bring (SMEs) online faster, it will allow businesses here to thrive. More will then come in to expand and open up the market here."
Mr Adrian Lee, research director of personal technologies at research firm Gartner, said it is critical for traditional retailers to go digital.
He said: "It is no longer a question of 'if retailers go digital'. It is now, 'Why haven't they already done so,' especially in Singapore, which is mobile-dominant."
Gartner estimated that by 2020, mobile commerce revenue will exceed half of global digital commerce revenue.
Ms Tan said ToTT plans to move all its e-commerce offerings onto online retailer Lazada's website by August, allowing it to consolidate all its resources on one platform.
"Lazada has a wide network across international borders that we may take advantage of in the future, and we can leverage on their marketing and logistics operations," she said.