Elie Y. Katz is President and CEO of National Retail Solutions (NRS) which offers a Point-Of-Sales (POS) System that is now helping bodegas compete and fight back against the big chains to stay in business. Elie is passionate about protecting community heritage by keeping bodegas thriving in communities around New York and beyond. With thousands of POS throughout the country, he believes NRS has found a concrete way of achieving this goal.
Where did the idea for National Retail Solutions (NRS.) come from?
In multicultural communities, almost every other corner has a bodega or small grocery store featuring daily necessity items, hot foods, phone cards and everything in between. These Mom-and-Pop urban icons, often family owned, are struggling to compete with larger supermarkets. Small stores cannot easily compete with retail chains in negotiating deals with product companies, to keep costs down for their customers. As online shopping and delivery services increase in popularity, less consumers are visiting stores on foot. To add to bodega store owners’ angst, grab-and-go vending machines are entering the marketplace arena and replacing stores. The NRS POS platform helps convenience stores boost sales and gain new customers, Plus, our mobile app makes it easy for store owners to manage their operations, whether they are in the store, at home or on the road.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Never a dull moment! Each day, I sift through emails and manage phone calls to/from team members, customers, distributors and associates. My day includes team meetings and brainstorming to keep communication channels open and stay connected with all tiers and departments of the company. I believe in personal contact and maintaining relationships, so I try to touch base regularly with employees and customers. I often reach out to our sales teams and installers to hear about challenges they face - and of course, I welcome ideas and suggestions. We even sometimes give out gift cards to employees who come up with great ideas. Some of the world’s greatest inventions started out as a note sketched out on a paper napkin.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When we activate a new idea, many different departments are involved. The robust NRS point of sale system has backend coding within the user-friendly software (which is regularly updated), integrated with hardware that is both attractive and functional. When we develop a new concept, we aren’t just working on it within our software backend, but also sometimes updating our hardware so that we keep up with the technology and provide the best value to our customers. For example, we recently expanded the powerful tool configurations on our POS and updated our screens.
What are the advantages of SMS Marketing over Internet Marketing?
SMS enables us to market to customers on the go, wherever they are. In today’s era where everyone is glued to their mobile phone, SMS is one of the most effective methods of reaching our customers. Different than internet marketing with unlimited space within emails, SMS marketing is more limiting. This may seem like a deficit, but actually, it’s an advantage, because we crystalize our message to be very direct and to the point. Customers and potential customers who receive text messages from us appreciate being notified of specials, discounts and incentive programs. We limit our text marketing so they don’t get annoyed.
Why SMS marketing services are valuable and how SMS can solve marketing challenges faced by businesses today?
SMS marketing is valuable because it is “in your face” and to the point. Very often, texts appear on the front of phones, not requiring opening emails. Statistics indicate that the average person checks their cell phone over 100 times a day. (40 percent of people check their cell phone while in the bathroom!)... For 2017 the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.77 billion. The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. Cell phone addiction runs rampant. So, marketing via phones is a logical and effective way of reaching people.
How do you plan your business text messaging strategy for National Retail Solutions (NRS.) promotion?
We are excited about our products and services. We feel personally connected to our customers, so helping them grow and succeed brings us pride. When we use text marketing, we brainstorm what our customers would want and need, what they enjoy, and what they value most…. cash. So we try to offer incentives and promotions with discounts they can enjoy, when we send out messages, not just blast for publicity.
What is one SMS marketing strategy or campaign that has helped to grow your business?
- We send out friend referral SMS texts to remind our existing customers to refer their friends to purchase POS. They get $100 and the friend gets the POS at a discounted price.
- We integrate the BR Club loyalty program. Customers provide a phone number to join, and are given a key fob to scan for instacoupon discounts at checkout. We send out text messages each month informing BR Club members of special discounts and offerings.
- SMS marketing is valuable because it is “in your face” and to the point. So, marketing via phones is a logical and effective way of reaching reach people
- Rewards programs such as NRS’s BR Club loyalty program make customers feel valued, and increase customer loyalty
- SMS marketing enables us to market to customers on the go, wherever they are. In today’s era where everyone is glued to their mobile phone, SMS is one of the most effective methods of reaching our customer
NRS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalRetailSolutions/
NRS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nrsplus
NRS on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsBNRgTkE-3co5jNxskfW5g
NRS on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/national-retail-solutions-nrs-plus-