I just know I'm not the only one grateful for retail therapy that doesn't need me to leave my bed.
There's been an explosive increase in online retail, and with so many businesses transitioning away from physical to exclusively online operations to suit changing consumer spending habits, the retail space has heated up. Competition breeds innovation, and the new order is one that emphasizes a personal touch.
Customers like to be valued, appreciated, and even rewarded, for shopping with a particular company. Consumer loyalty programs have proven an effective strategy for word-of-mouth marketing, which can make or break purchasing decisions. A recent study shows that 69% of consumers say that where they choose to shop is heavily influenced by who offers customer loyalty rewards, with a whopping 83% saying they are more likely to continue buying from those that do.
See why it's more important than ever to invest in technology that can streamline and augment customer loyalty programs? Successful businesses know how to deftly balance both rewarding customers for their loyalty and gleaning analytical data...and TAGGUN's OCR API can help you do just that!
What Is TAGGUN?
TAGGUN is a cloud-based OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology - for scanning receipts, digitizing information within it, and structuring it into data that can be easily read by humans and machines alike. Instead of requiring complex SDKs and external libraries like tesseract, TAGGUN comes as a traditional cloud REST API that:
- Is powered by AI and Natural Language Processing
- Has an accuracy of 90+%
- Delivers accurate results in under 5 seconds.
- Has Real-time processing, no waiting in queues, and no humans in the loop.
- Uses an advanced image-to-text algorithm to extract data line by line, and actually understands context to intelligently classify each item (vendor name & location/item name/price/total etc.)
- Uses AI models that actually learn with each scan to get better. More accurate results, quicker turnaround times.
- Supports receipts from any country, any language, in any format.
- Has extensive documentation and personal support.
Why Loyalty Rewards Campaigns?
We've talked about how loyalty rewards programs boost word-of-mouth advertising and boost your analytics to improve your returns on investment. But how does all of that work? Why use TAGGUN to implement new digital measures that you don't know the ROI for? Shouldn't the tried and true method of discount coupons - and maybe digital codes, in the absence of physical retail - be enough?
Let's take a look at how TAGGUN can answer all that, on both sides pertinent to your business.
For The Customers
Very simply put, customers who feel like they are being rewarded for their loyalty are more likely to continue using a product or service than those who do not feel like they are being rewarded.
Brands that understand that customers want convenience, and thus focus on improving the customer experience as a whole, have better mindshares.
But no one wants to keep hold of old receipts for micro-discounts down the line, and for a long time now there's been a shift in consumer trend away from paper coupons on the back of magazines and newspapers - and yes, that includes discount codes you'd have to manually type in before every purchase.
Getting people to simply point their phones at their receipts to automatically gain mobile wallet rewards, online points towards future purchases (perhaps with boosted reward points for specific products), and perhaps exclusive rewards or early access to new product releases, is far more appealing.
Customers are not a monolith. By getting to know your customers' specific needs and personalities, you can better identify the kind of product or service that would serve them best.
Loyalty rewards programs, bolstered by TAGGUN's' receipt scanning OCR API, lets your business track customer behavior and preferences which can be used to improve the customer experience, and drive sales.
For The Business
TAGGUN helps businesses by reducing the amount of time it takes to process receipts. By using it to automate the process of extracting data from receipts, you speed up the accounting process. Also, you can keep track of expenses by auto-indexing scanned results with TAGGUN, and then internally storing detailed records of what was purchased and when.
With TAGGUN, your business also sees an overall improvement in accounting and fraud detection accuracy - because human beings are not infallible. Fatigue, eye strain, stress and anxiety, all contribute to errors, and improperly disposed of receipts/invoices are security risks.
Finally, let's talk about analytics. The scanned data is in industry-standard JSON, and can be easily analyzed to:
- See which products are doing well, which products are often purchased together, and which need help in terms of sales. This is known as the Market Basket Analysis, and using the data gathered using TAGGUN's receipt scanning API, your business can optimize product placement, offer special deals and create new product bundles to encourage further sales of these combinations.
- Gain insight into shopping trends for each customer, and then they can be sent discounts or product promos tailored to their buying habits, helping you serve them better with personalization.
- Cross-reference scanned customer-side data with business-side data (inventory, supply chains, forecasts etc.) to build indices that can then be presented to all stakeholders for transparency and strategizing going forward.
- Correlate buying behavior and prices with the geographical location of buyers, since TAGGUN's OCR API extracts prices as well as exact shopping locations. The company can determine where its advertising campaigns perform the best, and where it needs to be ramped up.
So How Do I Use TAGGUN To Automate My Loyalty Rewards Program?
Let's say your marketing team has come up with a great loyalty rewards campaign that you know your customers will love. Got it all set up and marketed - something like 10 points per $1 spent, with double or triple reward points for specific products, participating outlets, time periods, all that jazz? Great! Here's how things go from there :
Step 1: Setting Up
TAGGUN is a cloud based conventional REST API. You send it images of receipts - whether photographs or scanned copies, in JPEG, PDF, PNG8, PNG24, GIF, and HEIF formats, or just a URL - and get back properly structured, contextual data.
If you're reading this, you should already have some way to send your customers' unique ID and their proof of purchase to TAGGUN's servers via HTTP requests - through your mobile app, or a web portal hosted on your website.
Step 2: TAGGUN Works Its Magic
Upon receiving the image, TAGGUN's AI goes to work. This is real-time processing, and you get back data in seconds and the customer doesn't have to wait days in a queue for someone to get around to it.
You don't need to get caught up in pre-processing (editing image to get rid of noise, blurry image, crumpled paper, weird orientation) OR post-processing (editing output text to fix errors with techniques like OCR merging, error models, etc.) TAGGUN's state-of-the-art receipt parsing handles just about anything you can throw at it regardless of type of receipt, item, currency, or geographical location.
But TAGGUN isn't done after having just extracted text; a long block of text is not as useful as specific fields clearly marking date of purchase, vendor name and location, item ID, name, and cost - line by line as well as total. Creating structured data as JSON from unstructured receipts (which might even be handwritten) is non trivial - but TAGGUN does just that, and sends it back to your servers.
Step 3: Check Eligibility And Hand Out Rewards
You're in the home stretch! Now that TAGGUN has already done the hard part for you - extracting amounts, payment method, date of purchase, geolocation, vendor data, currency, number of items bought, taxes and other unique data - and delivering to you this data properly structured in JSON format, you can trivially check to internally confirm the conditions you'll need for the rewards program:
- Are the items/product SKUs in this receipt part of the rewards program?
- Was the date of purchase within the time period specified for the offer?
- Was the payment method one of the pre-approved ones?
- Was this purchase made in a qualifying country?
- Was this vendor part of the participating merchants list for the campaign?
Once that's done, you look at the JSON one last time for the total amount spent by the customer, look in your database to cross-reference the two ID's, and calculate and attribute the requisite number of rewards points, discounts, eligible offers, etc. to the customer's account - and they see it reflected in the app in real time.
That's it, you're done! The customer has the loyalty rewards they are owed, your business has detailed data required for analytics to further your business ventures, and everyone's happy.
Customer loyalty rewards programs are critical for businesses looking to increase customer loyalty and retention rates. Forming a connection with customers, better understanding them and their needs, and tailoring the experience to them is the way to go.
And TAGGUN's fast, scalable, easily integrable solution to automated data extraction and structured data generation from perishable paper receipts goes a long, long way towards helping you do just that.
With it, you can not only successfully automate your loyalty rewards programs, but also improve their speed and reliability by orders of magnitude, securely, without human error, or needing expensive BPO/back office costs.