John Lyons of Brandmovers provides some timely advice for those looking at using receipt validation in their promotions
Everyone’s talking about receipt validation for promotions, rebate and loyalty, but why and when should you use it?
In the past, activating a proof-of-purchase sales promotion or loyalty program required significant investment in product packaging, integration with a limited set of retailers – or just one retailer – or cost-prohibitive inflexible solutions, along with the blind hope that the model would deliver ROI.
With a number of technology-based receipt processing platforms coming to market, it’s now possible to use scalable and flexible automated purchase validation as part of your sales promotion, rebate incentive or rewards program.
It may sound complicated – but actually it’s simple.
Customers submit photographs of receipts via a wide range of electronic media – smartphone camera, email, SMS – and have them validated almost instantly. At the same time, any decent receipt validation solution should data capture all pertinent information from the customer’s receipt, including date/time, the store purchased from, and – if you want it – their entire shopping cart, to give added insight into purchase patterns.
A robust system will come complete with fraud prevention built in.
You can use it for:
- Proof of Purchase Promotion – gift with purchase, coupon claim, purchase necessary prize draw, instant win.
- Repeat Purchase Promotion – frequency of purchase, buy x products to unlock a gift, earn entry to prize draw, instant win.
- Rebate or Cash back.
- Loyalty Program – points-based rewards program, incentives and benefits program.
- Trade Incentives Program – reward B2B trade purchases, incentivise and reward B2B sales representatives.
But when is receipt validation best used, and why would you choose this mechanic over more traditional models?
Five Reasons to use Receipt Validation:
- As an alternative to unique code on pack
Quickly deployable and with no impact on printing or packing, purchases can be validated almost instantly. Run promotions or loyalty programs in a more cost-effective fashion without having to worry about the effect on production lines or packaging design.
- If retailer support isn’t available
Marketers should be looking for a truly retailer-agnostic digital and mobile solution that is not dependant on integration with POS systems or geography. Ideally, solutions should work with any retailer or with multiple retailers – so if the purchase can be identified, the receipt can be processed and rewards activated. This is especially relevant for products that can be purchased anywhere, such as a can of Pepsi.
- Gain extra market research
Data capture should be able to digitize not only the content needed to verify the relevant purchase, but also retailer, date, location, payment method of purchase and the entire purchase basket for deep dive data insights and pattern analysis.
- Connect directly with your brand consumers
Receipt validation should be deployed to create a direct communication loop with brand consumers, without negative impact on retailers. Often this helps strengthen brand-retailer partnerships, with insights leading to mutually rewarding activations.
- Build towards a loyalty solution
If you’re new to receipt validation, then start small – learn to crawl before you walk before you run. You should be looking to upscale and learn from localised test activities. Data from these should help you plan and implement bigger projects successfully, based around your business objectives and your customer data. The goal should be to design a well-planned multi-territory enterprise loyalty execution and deliver real return on investment.
John Lyons is Managing Director, Europe, of Brandmovers, a global leader in digital engagement promotions and loyalty that help brands connect with their consumers.