Andrew Volchek, CEO and Co-Founder at Arateg, an online marketplace development company, tells us about staying competitive during the pandemic and helping businesses achieve their purposes.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Andrew Volchek: Everyone is in good health. I was infected by COVID-19 a few times, but there were no severe symptoms, and soon I recovered. Now I feel really great, so I still keep a social distance and take other measures. I’m happy that no one in my family got seriously ill. To prevent the team at Arateg from catching an infection, we established a remote workflow during the coronavirus outbreak.
What is Arateg, and what services does it provide?
Andrew Volchek: Arateg provides online marketplace development services to industries like e-commerce, healthcare, e-learning, hospitality, and real estate. We also deliver NFT marketplace apps connecting digital artists with consumers. Furthermore, Arateg has experience in building AI, IoT, and big data solutions.
The mission of Arateg is to help startups and SMEs automate manual processes, attract investors, and maximize revenues by using software solutions.
The company is featured by over 25 B2B review and rating firms, including Clutch, GoodFirms, AppFutura, The Manifest, TechReviewer, DesignRush, ITFirms, and WADLINE.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Arateg.
Andrew Volchek: I have a Bachelor’s degree in international economic relations. Besides, I studied UI/UX design and software development. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in technological advancements and their impact on our life. Being passionate about digital transformation, I wanted to deliver top-notch software products that would really help businesses address their challenges.
Together with a team of skilled software experts, we started our own IT firm in 2014. Being among the Arateg’s founders, Sergey Glebko became a chief technology officer. A year later, we also established a programming school on the base of our company.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how did you get through it?
Andrew Volchek: Back to the beginning of March 2020, we completely switched to remote work to mitigate health risks. Our software experts tried to do their jobs distantly from all over the world: the US, Bali, Poland, and Lithuania. Arateg temporarily canceled all business trips and postponed participation in various events.
Due to our agility and team professionalism, this didn’t affect the quality of our products and services. We held regular video meetings to establish effective remote collaboration while using task management systems for time tracking and reporting. Our employees can now work from home or office while we have reopened business trips.
COVID-19 had a negative impact on the majority of verticals, and many enterprises recognized an opportunity to digitize workflows, implement new business models, and bring innovation. So, many companies approached Arateg to build superior software solutions for attracting the audience and earning profit.
During those hard times, we delivered over 30 projects that helped our clients across the eCommerce, healthcare, education, foodservice, and digital art sectors to accomplish their goals, generate sales, and raise funds.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Andrew Volchek: Our competitors are software engineering firms that build digital marketplaces for the same audience by domain, location, and company size. We deliver superior solutions that align with end-user needs and preferences to stay in the game.
For this purpose, our experts analyze software requirements and discuss every project aspect with our clients to get a clear understanding of how to reach their business objectives. We also offer assistance in activities such as competitor analysis and audience research.
Additionally, we keep pace with recent technology trends and apply some of them in our work. For instance, recently, we have started creating NFT marketplaces since the popularity of non-fungible tokens was growing by leaps and bounds while we had vast experience in blockchain software development. To date, we’ve already built two NFT marketplaces.
How does your company market its product/services online?
Andrew Volchek: We prepare insightful content in our blog, describing how software solutions can help businesses across different domains achieve their objectives. We also use SEO strategies to attract relevant traffic and increase the Google rankings of our website.
Furthermore, we provide a high level of personalization. First, we approach each client individually, digging into their business needs and tailoring solutions accordingly. For example, some businesses should make a marketplace app from scratch, while other brands will meet their goals and budget by using a white-label product.
Second, our software experts always keep in touch with customers, answering their questions and resolving issues on the fly. Besides, we focus on improving consumer-retailer relationships at every step of the user journey. We also use social media marketing to boost our online presence.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Andrew Volchek: Our team uses multiple apps to manage marketing activities. We want to recommend Semrush, Ahrefs, and Google Analytics tools. Employing these tools, we analyze numerous metrics, for example, domain rank, the number of visitors, bounce rate, keywords, landing pages, traffic channels — perhaps everything we need to know about our website.
Your final thoughts?
Andrew Volchek: The current landscape is still quite intense and uncertain. Most C-level executives are just not trained to tackle unexpected and evolving disruptions, like the coronavirus outbreak.
However, if companies reconsider their business models, employ bespoke technologies, and adapt promptly, they can not only survive during the crisis but boost consumer satisfaction and increase revenues. So, analyze existing workflows, research the audience’s pain points, think about what you can improve, and act.