Since mid-2020, the Namecheap New Product and Concept Lab Team have partnered with our Business Development Director to create an affordable suite of tools designed to power small businesses (SMBs) without the usual complications.
The umbrella name for this exciting range of products is RELATE. Bottom line — giving you more control to go next level with your business. Over the coming months, we’ll be rolling out a number of tools that simplify online marketing and create brand trust.
Our first product, now launched, is RelateSocial. This social media manager helps small businesses grow their reach. From one streamlined Dashboard, you can:
- Engage — post and reply to customers on the most popular social networks.
- Create — calendar schedule, access a library of existing content, edit templates, and auto-publish content.
- Improve — understand what works and what doesn’t with reports, so you don’t throw money or time away.
To explain why we’re so committed to the Relate suite of tools, let’s go straight to the source. We bring you an interview with our Business Development Director, Eva Alexandropoulos:
Where did the idea for Relate come from?
At Namecheap, we’re always looking for ways to help online businesses succeed, easily and affordably. Our research uncovered a gap in the tools available to help small businesses grow.
People talk about ‘entrepreneur mindset’ and how exciting it is to start a new business, how the Internet makes it easy to do that. But in reality, it’s complicated, there are so many things to learn, and so many choices of tools. It’s overwhelming.
Understanding and managing everything also takes too much time for a small business that’s already overworked. And to hire digital experts is too expensive for many startups, they don’t have the budget.
On top of this gap we were seeing, the pandemic hit. We saw lots of small businesses really struggling to stay open. Everything went online, and small businesses realized their survival now relied on this one sales channel. They suddenly found themselves scrambling to figure out how to be successful in a crowded, competitive digital marketplace.
So there were two trends. What’s happening out in the world, and our focus on helping small businesses. These two factors merged into the concept for Relate tools.
Looking at our brand and the customers we service, there was a gap in servicing small businesses with DIY marketing products that help them grow online. Our goal is to remove the complication, so they feel empowered to successfully grow their business.
Is there a need for Relate business tools?
This question highlights Namecheap’s mission to democratize the Internet — make online opportunities easily available to everyone, from every walk of life. To do that, we constantly look for ways to give people the right tools to meet their changing needs, without the barriers of complexity or expense.
Small businesses in particular struggle with this. There are too many tools, too many options. So I think empowering them by simplifying digital tools and making them affordable is really what this is all about.
If I’m a small business, struggling to survive in these challenging and fast-changing times, I need tangible, uncomplicated tools that don’t break my budget. And I need everything in one place. I don’t have time to research hundreds of tools, or log in to dozens of platforms, or mess around with dozens of Dashboards. I need one place with everything there to grow my business.
That’s what we mean by taking down the barriers. This Internet economy has created many new opportunities, but just trying to understand and use all the business apps or tools is a barrier in itself.
And in this day and age, the digital space is so crowded. It’s not like in the beginning where you could simply throw up a website or Facebook page. What’s the bare minimum now? You’ve really got to know what you’re doing to rise above your competitors and get noticed. Even just being found online is difficult. And if you manage that, you need to be able to leverage it as much as possible.
Unless this can be done more easily, many small businesses are not going to be able to keep up. And consumer behaviors are not going to go back to what they were. The pandemic has bridged a five-year Internet gap in less than a year. People have quickly acclimated to these new behaviors, like demanding reliable online delivery, curbside pickups, all that stuff.
Small businesses will need to continuously strengthen their online space to match the increasing competition and high expectations of consumers. They need easy but effective tools to adjust and thrive as quickly as possible.
What is the vision for Relate in 3 years?
We’re going to build out a suite of products that supports every phase of a small business’s life cycle. From when they first have the idea to create a website, then how to grow, and how to maintain their businesses over the long run. All those phases need uncomplicated support.
We need to be in lockstep with evolving small businesses. Right now it’s very disjointed for them, they have to go all over the place to figure out how to do this. There’s got to be a better way, and we’re going to provide it with the Relate suite of business tools.
Our strategy is we always start with an Early Access Program launch, to see if customers are interested in a product. One of our main guiding principles is co-creation — understanding what our customers need and want, then creating products around that.
After the social media manager, other Relate tools coming down the pipeline are:
- Review Manager — increase your popularity with high star ratings.
- Site Listing Manager — make sure you’re found locally.
The Relate suite is also designed to complement existing Namecheap products, so our customers can get what they need in a centralized place. For example, you get a Domain, then Hosting, then Site Maker, or Managed WordPress. Now you have your digital platform, Relate tools are there to make it easy for you to monetize and maintain it.
So there’s a lot of interconnectedness with everything we’re doing. Simplifying online success with seamless products that fit together to cover all the needs of a small business is the future of what we’re doing.
Social Media Manager Launch
RelateSocial fills the gap for something many small businesses struggle with because they don’t have the time: using social media networks to get the word out about their brand, and engaging customers to bring in sales.
Some of the top features of this social media management tool are:
- Multi-channel publishing
- Performance insights
- Response templates
- Media library
To learn more about how to get the best results using this tool, here are some useful guides:
Brush up on your strategic know-how
- Need-to-Know Social Media Management Tips
- How to Find Your Social Media Audience & Build Loyalty
- Easy Way to Create a Social Media Content Calendar
Go next level with your content
- How to Create Great Social Media Content
- Quick Social Media Content Ideas
Relate & Social Media Manager Launch .