How Google Shopping’s Stephanie Horton Aims To Help Black Small Businesses Grow Digitally

How Google Shopping’s Stephanie Horton Aims To Help Black Small Businesses Grow Digitally

Insufficient online exposure and brand presence are among pitfalls that can obstruct growth for small businesses, including ones owned by Black entrepreneurs.

Yet Stephanie Horton, director of marketing at Google Shopping, believes her firm has some solutions to help Black-owned firms overcome such obstacles.

Limited access to vital digital tools reportedly can put those in back of others when it comes to boosting their online presence.

To correct and change that, the Fifteen Percent Pledge and Google Shopping has united for a two-year partnership to help Black businesses. Founded by fashion designer Aurora James in June 2020, the Fifteen Percent Pledge urges major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.

Also committed to assisting Black businesses, the search engine giant is now supporting the organization in its Business Equity Community. That is an online, networking platform that will offer Black business owners access to digital tools, training and workshops.

The online database will connect over 1,200 Black-owned small businesses with retailers that have committed to the Pledge including Nordstrom, Sephora and Macy’s Inc., MSN reported.

To help get businesses on the shelves of major retailers. Horton explains an infrastructure is needed.  She said one of the main problems, particularly with a small business, is that your supply chain can get stunted.  She added you might not have the funds to really understand how to get to that place and you might not have the digital tools necessary to integrate with larger retailers.

“One of our key initiatives here at Google Shopping really is to commit to supporting Black-owned businesses and helping them, especially on the merchant side to make it easier for people to find their businesses,” she said. “For us, [the Fifteen Percent Pledge] just seemed like a perfect match and a great synergy of missions.”

Further, plans call for training to help Black business even after the two-partnership expired.

Horton says the first series of training is focused on helping businesses reach more customers. For instance, businesses will learn how Google search works, an important concept. She added sometimes it can seem easy, but it’s good to really understand.

Business also will be taught ways people might find their businesses online. Those firms will get a walk through on the latest tools and search engine optimization, strategies for building an online presence and engaging more customers in Google. More training will be on retention and business sustainability.