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How Can Receipt Scanning Technology Benefit Business Owners?

Mar 2
lady scanning receipt with phone using app

How Can Receipt Scanning Technology Benefit Business Owners?

As you might already be aware, receipt scanning has emerged as a very useful innovation in many industries, and has already become an integral part of many business’s operations.

From easier expense tracking and tax-free shopping capabilities, to convenient hotel self check-ins, self utility meter readings and voucher code scanning, OCR (or “Optical Character Recognition”) has streamlined many age-old processes.

But what are the benefits of receipt scanning from the merchant’s point of view? And is it worth adopting receipt scanning methods for your business?

In this article, we’ll outline the three key benefits of integrating receipt scanning technology into your company’s operations. Then you will be well equiped to decide whether they are applicable to your specific business.

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs

 Learn how to create a successful loyalty program that retains customers and boosts sales.

1. A Powerful Tool for Collecting Invaluable Customer Data with Every Transaction

scanning QR code on receipt

From a “customer retention” angle, receipt scanning makes it very convenient for consumers to share their data with a brand. In turn this allows the brand to offer an increasingly personalised shopping experience with every new transaction (in conjunction with a digital loyalty program).

As an example, Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions’ award-winning loyalty technology converts customer receipts into data, in order to provide actionable insights and deliver enticing rewards. The receipt validation software analyses the data on customer receipts and automatically uploads it to the rewards platform database.

This solution doesn’t require any costly point-of-sale integration, which makes it incredibly easy to implement across numerous distribution channels and multiple locations.

The data collected from receipts is extremely valuable for gaining insights into:

  • how much consumers spend
  • where purchases are made
  • what other products are in the consumer’s basket
  • what other products the consumer viewed
  • times and dates of transactions
  • other crucial data points

This information is gold for marketers. 

Why? Because it offers an unprecedented glimpse into what your customers want, and how they want it. From there, you can segment your customers into categories such as:

  • VIP customers
  • frequent customers
  • infrequent customers
  • lapsed customers
  • seasonal customers

By dividing your loyalty program members into these categories, you can directly engage with your most important customers (the VIPs) while incentivising other customers to move up the value chain. For example, from infrequent to frequent, frequent to VIP and so on.

Case in Point: Sunrise Records’ Club Sunrise Program

screenshot of receipts showing sunrise records receipt scanning club program
Image Source: Club Sunrise
Canadian record store chain Sunrise Records uses Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions’ receipt scanning technology to operate its loyalty program.

Customers simply download the Club Sunrise app, sign up, and upload a photo of their receipt through the app every time they make a purchase of $20 or more. When the customer uploads a photo of their receipt into the Club Sunrise app, a stamp is automatically added to their tally.

Every time they fill their stamp card, they receive $5 off their next purchase. Members also gain access to special perks like double stamp days, $100 gift card draw every month, 5% off when you sign up, and exclusive rewards and gifts with purchases.

Not only has this program done wonders for Sunrise Record’s brand loyalty and customer retention, but it’s also allowed the record chain to gain invaluable insights into their most frequent customers, and tailor exclusive offers and rewards to accommodate each customer’s individual needs.

As a result, every Club Sunrise member enjoys a personalised shopping experience with Sunrise Records, which extends far beyond the shop walls. 

Speaking of “beyond the shop itself”, let’s explore the next reason why receipt scanning is so useful.

2. An Effective Solution for Bypassing Intermediaries

Spoilt pig receipt scanning rewards
Image Source: spoiltpig

Receipt scanning is an ideal solution for brands looking to create a direct relationship with their end-customers. 

For example, how do brands that sell their products through intermediaries (like a supermarket, pharmacy, wholesaler or online retailer) directly engage their customers, when no direct contact between the brand and the customer is ever made throughout the entire customer journey?

The intermediary is often distributing many brands, with no incentive to administer and promote one brand over its competitors.

The brand is at the start of the chain and the customer is at the end of it – so how do you bypass all the other links in the chain, to directly engage the end-consumer? With receipt scanning.

Let’s say a candy bar maker is holding a competition to create a bit of hype around the product and increase sales over other candy bars that are also sitting on the same shelf in the supermarket. 

chocolate bar with QR scanning code on packaging

If the brand simply prints unique QR codes on each candy bar’s packaging, what’s to stop people from entering the draw without purchasing the candy bar?

By using receipt scanning technology, the brand can ensure that only customers who purchase the product (regardless of where they bought it from) can enter the draw to win the prize. 

The candy bar maker can put instructions on the packaging which prompt customers to download the app and scan their receipts upon purchase. By opting for this method, the brand is achieving several things:

  • It’s simple and convenient for the consumer to enter the competition
  • The candy bar maker is able to monitor entrants on even a global scale
  • The possibility of fraud is drastically reduced
  • The brand earns itself a valuable piece of real estate among the list of apps on countless consumers’ smartphones

And speaking of apps that have earned themselves a permanent position on millions of smartphones worldwide, our third point demonstrates how receipt scanning can help maintain direct brand engagement in the restaurant industry.

3. A Useful Mechanism for Combatting Third Party Delivery Apps

third party food delivery app

In the last five years, online ordering and food delivery hasgrown 300 per cent faster than the rate of consumers dining in.

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There are some veterans of the fast food industry (like Dominos) that still manage to get customers to order home-delivered takeout directly through them. 

However, these days when those hunger pains strike, the vast majority of us jump straight into apps like UberEats, JustEat, DoorDash, Grubhub, Deliveroo… shall I go on? 

So how do restaurants (global fast food chains and small independent businesses alike) engage customers with promotions, exclusive offers and rewards programs when a growing majority of their clientele are ordering through third party food delivery apps?

Again, the solution to this dilemma comes in the form of receipt scanning! 

Regardless of how any given customer decides to order food from a restaurant – online, in-person, over the phone or through a delivery app – the receipt scanning strategy ensures that the restaurant can still engage them from their very own home.

Customers can scan their receipts in order to accrue loyalty points, redeem rewards or enter the draw to win exclusive prizes in various competitions, for example. 

QR code on coffee cup

This system is easily implemented across multiple outlets, and under various brand names and subsidiaries.

If you’re in the hospitality industry, read this guide for more ideas how you can get over the third party delivery app problem.

So there you have it!

customer receipt printing from machine

These are just three of the many benefits that companies of all shapes and sizes can enjoy by implementing receipt scanning technology into their business models. From retail and hospitality to delivery and transport, banking and e-commerce to health care services, the possibilities are endless!

Want to learn more about how our receipt scanning technology can benefit your business?Let’s chat.

Stamp Me provides loyalty solutions to businesses large and small, from our own Customer Loyalty App to fully customised loyalty and rewards programs for enterprises and brands. 

Contact us if you would like to discuss a loyalty or rewards solution for your business or brand.

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