Viber, one of the world’s leading free messaging apps, has been a champion for small independent online entrepreneurs, committed to support them not only to survive but to thrive. Driving this commitment is the successful NegosyoSerye series and recently, Viber kicked off 2022 with an exciting, informative new episode. Raket@Home, made possible in partnership with the leading mobile payment app in the country GCash and reliable home prepaid wifi Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi, turns the spotlight on independent online sellers or “raketera” and “raketero” as we know them, and how they are maintaining the success of their businesses amid fierce competition and challenges.

Hosted by certified Raketera, Wais na Misis, and Mompreneur, Neri Miranda, the discussion emphasized how digital sellers have made the most out of the pandemic by pivoting to adapt to the fast-changing customer behaviors with the help of tools like Viber. As a Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi Ambassador, this is something Neri is very familiar with, sharing how having an affordable and reliable home prepaid wifi has really helped her grow her business. 

Viber Community, for instance, has provided these small online businesses some advantages by harnessing the power of two-way, personal conversations with their customers, while the app’s Channel feature has allowed them to open discussions with users to hear their thoughts and engage with them by enabling the comment section for each post.

Viber Business Development Manager Veronica Feleo opened the session by reiterating Viber’s commitment to supporting the small online entrepreneurs and shared how Viber will continue to come up with innovations that’ll help them with their day-to-day business operations.

“We aim to be your all-in-one app. Viber is evolving as an app that not only allows users to connect with loved ones but also supports their growth as entrepreneurs through the community, channel, and through the app’s other  features,” she pointed out.

One of the highlights of the session was the segment featuring entrepreneurs James and Juliet Gan of Coocoo House that offers Taiwanese milk tea and snacks. They shared how they started their food business as well as best practices that they picked up from being part and having their own Viber community. James shared that at the start of the pandemic, Coocoo House joined a lot of village and food groups on Viber to push their products before creating their own Viber Community and being part of FoodPH, a directory of food businesses on Viber. 

How Viber helps small online entrepreneurs maintain business success

This episode was hosted by certified raketera, Neri Miranda and featured guests Veronica Feleo of Rakuten Viber, James and Juliet Gan of Coocoo House, John White of Upskillist, and Megan Chan of GCash.

James said that the Coocoo House team loves being on FoodPH since it’s a supportive community where their fellow entrepreneurs share best practices with each other and where followers are open to experiments. He added that joining the Community made them more visible to more people who engaged with their brand, inquired about their products, and of course, purchased them eventually—which has been made more convenient with GCash. It also helped them maintain loyal customers. 

He added that being on Viber has allowed them to receive feedback from customers and have a conversation with them, which he pointed out is an important aspect of business nowadays. Yet, he emphasized that conversational commerce will be a true key to success if entrepreneurs genuinely listen to their customers and act immediately on their feedback, inquiries, and preferences. 

“Conversational commerce is connecting buyers and sellers rapidly, if we don’t take action now, when? Nothing will happen if you don’t take action on things you learned about your customers,” James underlined during the NegosyoSerye session.  

Also discussed during Raket@Home is how upskilling can take one’s business from good to great. This was explained by John White, the Chief Development Officer at Upskillist, an online education platform that offers short-term online courses on marketing, advertising, bookkeeping, and accountancy. These courses can help entrepreneurs develop their professional skills through practical knowledge and relevant learning kits that support the backend of a business.  

To round out the session, GCash MSME Product Head Megan Chan introduced the new GCash Pro, a solution kit geared towards business owners that offers additional features for owners to achieve their business goals. It includes business solutions such as an increased wallet limit, QR and payment links, personal and business insurance, cash back on bank transfer fees, and pre-approved loans. 

Keeping a small independent online business thriving despite the current situation and the tough competition can be quite a challenge. But with tech leaders like Viber, GCash, and Globe At Home that champion small online entrepreneurs to grow their business, being a raketera or raketero even amid a pandemic can be something that’s more than just a side hustle. It can be a direction any Filipino with an enterprising spirit can pursue full time and succeed in, as a result.

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