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Why Business Catalyst for Small Business

Adobe Business Catalyst (BC) gained a lot of positive attention shortly after it was released back in 2004 that a mere four years later, the company was able to open its first international office in San Francisco, California. Also known as Silicon Valley is home to several of the largest tech corporations in the world, including Google, Apple Inc., and Facebook.

In 2013 Business Catalyst won the People’s Choice Award for Best Website Builder. Now in 2015 it’s even better, having greatly expanded the suite of features, making it even more valuable for small businesses.

How valuable? For starters, with very little coding experience you can use BC to build your very own website yourself. It features all the tools you’d need to do so:

  • Flexible content management system (CMS)
  • Powerful e-Commerce capacity
  • Your very own customer database
  • Customer behaviour reporting and analytics suite
  • Targeted email marketing functions
  • Blogs and varied Web apps

Building a business online

With business to consumer (B2C) sales worldwide expected to increase by more $1.5 trillion this year alone, If you want a piece of the action, you need a quality online system or website. Intended to be the “all-in-one solution” for building and managing business websites, there’s no overall better online tool you could use than BC.

The 10 reasons business catalyst is the online platform of choice for startups and small businesses:

Content Management System

With every platform the CMS is important. Having the ability to edit content, change out images and customise your content without having to call in a developer every time, saves you both time and money. Small business owners need changes made on the spot and waiting for a developer to schedule time just doesn't work as efficiently as a business owner would like or needs. The CMS built into BC offers you several ways of editing content, via the Edit feature which takes you directly to a web page live allowing you to edit content on page as if you were browsing the site. Alternatively through the administrative panel where pages are listed for more complex editing including easy to manage pop up boxes for page descriptions and meta tag SEO content editing. Its simple fast and can be done on a mobile phone.

Adobe Support

Where would any small business owner be with out support for their website. Likely one of the most valuable resources when you choose business catalyst is the world class Adobe Support features. If you’ve ever had contact with Adobe before you’d know they offer quality support 24 / 7. Additionally the help desk and online communities offer more resources that you can use when troubleshooting any issue. Support tickets are generated on each LiveChat enquiry so if your issue can’t be addressed in real time it will be escalated through to a support ticket where a response will be received via email within 24 hrs. Its hard to put an overall value on this support service. Though if you consider when you’re first starting out, having your very own web support team to help you with the platform is really extremely valuable.

eCommerce

Another clear advantage for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs looking to build an online business system (not just a website) is the eCommerce features built right in to business catalyst platform. No plugins, no third party shopping carts, and with payment gateways, discount vouchers, shipping options and a built in CRM to help you log and track customer orders, you can be up and running selling products in next to no time, with no coding skills.

Payment gateways

A payment gateway is the mechanism which enables you to take payments online and with more than 30 payment gateway options built right into the system to choose from accepting credit cards is made easy for when you’re building an eCommerce business. Whether its paypal, eWay or other locally structured banking products specific for country locations like NAB in Australia, you’ll be able to connect the system to the payment gateway of choice for your business and start collecting payments online.

CRM and Email Marketing

Another clear advantage over any competing system, if there actually is one, is the email marketing and CRM or Customer Relationship Manager. This really is a big advantage that is often overlooked and with email marketing topping the list on ROI for marketing efforts it makes sense to have the ability to email subscribers via the email campaign manager. Email marketing in BC again is relatively simple with a series of pre-built mobile friendly email templates built right in that can be customised with your brand messages and scheduled as a string of emails. With the included value of 10,000 emails per month, where competing email marketing providers are charging $50-$100 + per month, it's included in your monthly hosting package.

Forms, notifications and subscriptions

Where would an online business be without the ability to capture an email from a viewer and with pre-built forms, automated notifications and system messages converting readers to subscribers is made easy with the business catalyst system. Whether its newsletter subscriber forms, contact forms or other enquiry forms with opt in options for newsletters the BC system comes with the right methods for your audience to connect with your business.

Reporting and Analytics

The business catalyst dashboard is designed to show you visitors, subscribers and purchasers of new products. When you arrive on the dashboard by first logging into your administrative panel you’ll quickly see how many statistics and activity of user on the site. The added benefit is with the reporting capabilities allowing you to analyse, website traffic sources, page entry and exit, form engagement, email marketing statistics and geo locational information to offer you insights into your sites performance. There are no technical skills required at all to set this area up, its already pre-built with the features you need to track performance.

Modules - Blogs, Events, News, Galleries, Ad Rotators

A module in BC is a feature designed to offer the administrative users the capability of managing blogs, events, news, galleries and multimedia in a framework that can be enabled or disabled at the click of a button. When you’re building an online business having the ability to manage new content for your website is key. With each module you have the ability to easily update content that can be populated across the site via the Modules section. Enabling or disabling a module gives you flexibility in switching on a new section of the website when your content is available and ready to go. One of the other added features of modules is the AdRotator option to allow you to manage Ads running on your site that rotate with the refresh of the browser. Track click thrus and create new ways for customers to engage with your products or services.

Web Apps

A Web App in BC is designed with the non-coder in mind so if you have more complex needs like multi location searches or destination booking requirements, Web Apps allow the user to update content adding new locations, destinations or products to the system without having to code anything. This creates powerful alternatives to having to add new pages every time a new locations, venue for an event, travel destination or content update is required you’ll be able to simply add those features without having to build new pages every time.

Secure Zones and Media Downloads

The benefits or business catalyst don’t stop there and with secure zones you have the ability to setup permission based areas within the site for either paid or non paid subscribers that you offer access to a secure zone or media download options. Secure zones is designed for users to be able to edit and manage online profiles and view protected or paid access data and media. The secure zones and media download options offer the small business owner even greater choices when building an online business and offering customers a more intimate engagement experience.

Why business catalyst for small business

With Adobe Business Catalyst a small business will have every tool at their disposal to build a great customer experience and have the ability to best service those clients online customer service needs. If your business hasn't considered BC, then we highly recommend you take a live demo and see for yourself how this platform is more than just a website.

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About the Author

 

Adam-Mole

About Adam Mole

Adam is the proprietor of start up BPO company Transeo and has been working with offshore and outsourcing services for more than 20 years. Adam is passionate about small business. He likes to write about his experiences in sales and startup business ventures. In his spare time you'll find him on one of Sydney's south coast beaches surfing and smiling. Email Adam at adam.mole@transeo.com.au and follow Adam on Twitter @adam_transeo.

 


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