The number of citizens in Indonesia whose access to the internet keeps rising. In this era, almost every aspect of human life needs internet intervention. According to the results of an Indonesian Poll study in collaboration with the Association of Internet Service Providers, internet users in Indonesia exploded up to 171.17 million in 2018 – aka the equivalent of 64.8 percent of the total population of Indonesia. However— unfortunately, this indication does not determine the size of the SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) who use the internet as a place to do business. The number of SMEs that utilize online platforms as a useful product marketing strategy is still deficient. In fact, according to Gati Wibawaningsih, as a Director-General of Small and Medium Industries (IKM) said, through selling online— the probability of SMEs business performance can increase up to 80 percent. Therefore, they would be comfortable in reaching a broader market without having to spend more costs.
Government Initiates in Increasing Online Sales of SMEs
In 2018, the government, in collaboration with some of the biggest marketplaces in Indonesia, released a movement called UMKM (SMEs) Go Online, which succeeded in attracting around 12 thousand new SMEs to be courageous to do business online. The reason why the Indonesia SMEs openness to the business online scheme is so important is because the various benefits they would have gained such as; 1) the opportunity to reach a broader market without being limited of geographical locations; 2) make it easier for consumers to see the products and purchase anytime and anywhere they want; 3) have opportunity to open an online store without having to pay rent— either through sell on a social media or register in various marketplaces; 4) there is also an opportunity to develop the business with not focus on the national scale only, but also globally, which provides potential in getting a higher turnover.
Like one of the Lombok women SMEs’s experience, Ibu Titin Indra— a Serabi cake seller who was signed up as a Pro-Women participant, confessed that her business called Lumbung Serabi Ghazia was increasingly in demand after using on an online platform— specifically in Instagram. After attending some workshop series and training provided by the Pro-Women program facilitators, she gained a fresh knowledge about the importance of using the online platform even though for a small business scale. Besides, since she obtained a lot of best tips on doing online branding, now she can build a new stall near her residence after her turnover has raised.
Another participant named Mrs. Nur Laela was also experiencing the same thing— a woman SMEs in East Lombok who sell handicraft products such as knitting bags and baby shoe covers. She has also implemented an online sales system through the marketplace platform and generated a higher turnover. Furthermore, by getting a series of Pro-Women workshops, Mrs. Nur Laela’s ability in taking product photos is progressively honed. With her confidence that her business would be developed by selling in the online platform, it motivates her to boost production quantity vigorously.
Pro-Women enthusiastically supports the women SMEs in Lombok to be aware of the importance of the online platform for business growth. The existence of social media and marketplace is a massive opportunity for anyone who wants to do business with no worrying about the small scale of the business they have. Besides, it can provide effectiveness, doing business on the online platform would lead to integrate the players of SMEs in Indonesia to be collaborated and create economic value that is resilient to the crisis.