DeKalb company launches new app
March 19, 2016
Southern Torch (3425 articles)
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DeKalb company launches new app

By Joseph M. Morgan

joseph@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala.—After weeks of anticipation, a locally owned marketing and software development company launched the Native Rewards app Tuesday. The app was designed to help small businesses in DeKalb and Jackson Counties engage with their consumers, and at the same time, help encourage  those consumers to find and purchase the goods and services they need through buying local.

Native is not the first app to utilize data to create mutually beneficial relationships between merchants and consumers.

What sets the Rainsville company apart, however, is that Native did not design and market their app with the usual suspects in mind—the national chains, “big box” stores, or multimillion dollar corporations that invest billions each year in tech. Instead of going after a single “big fish” corporation and cashing in with one client, Native’s business model is aimed at engaging as many of the small businesses in a given area as possible and then helping them to pool their resources and work together to better compete with larger chains.

Native co-founder Ryan Tramel said the app will level the playing field for national chains and small local businesses. Tramel said Native utilizes technology that allows local merchants to connect directly with their consumers.

“Crowdsourcing provides the network with pooled funding that makes it possible for small business owners to thrive in the global marketplace,” Tramel said.

At press time, roughly 50 of the 104 merchants who had been approached signed on to be a part the Native Network—a. The company expects to reach at least 500 merchants by Christmas 2016.

According to Native, the app will allow shoppers to save and win money, just by shopping at local businesses. “All you have to do is show the app on your phone at the register to be entered in one of Native’s $100 a week Fortune drawings,” Tramel said. “Native is giving away $100 in both Jackson and DeKalb Counties each week, and Fortune winnings can be spent at businesses that use Native in either county. Shoppers will also gain access to personalized deals from local businesses, just by having the app.”

Native Director of Marketing Jordan Doufexis used a story from his childhood to illustrate a final point to a group of business owners he was addressing on Tuesday night.

“My family was in the sock business when I was young. I remember as a kid our entire family, all of us, would work every day, folding and packing socks, working as we could to get ahead Doufexis said. “And you always get to that point where you feel like you’re just about to break through, you’re just about to turn the corner and finally spread your wings and soar, ready to thrive as a business.

“For us there was always that light at end of the tunnel, we would see it and my grandfather would always say, ‘You know that light at end of tunnel is? That’s a train coming.’ And he was right. A few months later the sock industry collapsed. I remember him talking to me as we were shutting things down and getting ready to close our doors for good. He said, ‘If you’re going to start a local business—if you’re going to work for yourself, there’s something I want you to remember—as a small business owner you’ve got your family and your family alone. Other than that you’re on your own.’

”That’s a problem that we see here—a problem that local merchants have almost everywhere. You’re own your own. Nobody is helping you. Walmart spends $10.4 billion on tech each year. Walgreens? Much smaller but they spend $2.5 billion. That’s what you’re competing against as a local merchant. You can’t do that. And you don’t have to do that. I’m proud to tell you today that with Native, that’s no longer the case. You are no longer alone.”

The Native Rewards app is free to download on the App Store for iPhones and the Google Play store for Android phones.  For more information about Native, visit: www.choosenative.com.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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