Loyalty programs have become an essential part of any company’s strategy as it allows them to develop customer retention strategies, drive conversion, and amplify the brand’s value proposition.

To effectively elevate their business, loyalty programs are now making use of valuable receipt data to enhance their strategies and better engage with customers. This means, more companies need to process receipts automatically for loyalty programs to become more successful.

Some of the best examples of loyalty programs are those of grocery stores, supermarkets, and retailers. 

In the past, such programs only required information such as a name and phone number for customers to take advantage of promotional items.

With the evolution of technology, e-commerce, and social media, in order to gain rewards, customers need to share more information through receipt submissions.

Successful customer loyalty programs result in higher customer retention, brand evangelists, and loyal buyers.

Why Loyalty Programs Are Important 

Today, loyalty programs are asking for more personal information, but they also focus on delivering personalized experiences catered to consumers.

Analyzing collected data helps companies understand and streamline processes, expose variability and optimizing operations to achieve the best results while identifying new opportunities.

There are several metrics that companies can use to measure customer loyalty. One is the redemption rate, which is the percentage of rewards redeemed by customers.

Another metric is engagement, which is counted whenever a customer earns or spends points in the program. This helps companies analyze if the current loyalty program is effective or not. 

All of this data helps companies understand how loyal customers are. And with this information, companies can better optimize their programs to gain more loyalty. 

Loyalty programs should focus on ways to engage your customers more into interacting with the brand, earn and spend more points and to reward your existing customers into becoming your brand advocates.

Automation and Data 

It has become extremely valuable to tap on the insights that receipt data can provide to businesses.

According to Forrester Research, insights-driven companies will experience a 27% annual revenue growth from 2015 to 2020, reaching $1.2 trillion in total revenue — and software that helps extract data automatically with the help of machine learning is expected to become a $100 billion market by 2025.

According to HBR, machine learning helps to improve customer loyalty and retention.

“Companies can mine customer actions, transactions, and social sentiment data to identify customers who are at high risk of leaving.

Combined with profitability data, this allows organizations to optimize “next best action” strategies and personalize the end-to-end customer experience.” HBR

This is so compelling that research by MIT and Google found that 50% of businesses plan to use Machine Learning for greater customer insights, and 48% expect it to yield a competitive advantage.

This technology is here to open the doors to new opportunities and uncover customer insights and interactions.

As more retailers and grocery chains are facing considerable disruption across their operations, it comes as no surprise that technology will power loyalty programs, challenging the idea of traditional marketing and loyalty with a smarter use of digital tools, data processing, and analytics.

According to Gartner, “80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers.”

When working with companies to gain insights from their data as part of their customer loyalty programs, we have identified that a reliable and powerful data extraction process has immediate results such as:

1. Strengthening customer loyalty

2. Identifying new target markets

3. Detecting fraud

4. Spotting new trends

Turning Data into Business Insights

As data is providing an unprecedented amount of customer information to businesses, the need to leverage it is driving powerful forces in the market.

The obvious next step is for companies to work with solutions that incorporate machine learning, data analytics modules, and self-learning algorithms to process customer data into analytics that can pinpoint the customer journey and other insights.

With this type of data at their fingertips, companies can predict customer patterns and record actual behaviour to improve the buying process or identify new trends.

By collecting data, companies gain quality information to make informed decisions as well as stay on top of trends, provide answers to problems, and analyze new insights.

The Challenge Behind the Receipt Processing Framework

Scanning receipts lets shoppers who participate in a brand’s loyalty program submit receipts to get points for purchases.

Customers can typically participate by scanning receipts on-the-go with a camera phone and upload them via the loyalty program’s app to turn spending into rewards.

The process is seemingly easy on the consumer side but the challenging part stays with the company processing the information as they need to process it in 24 to 48 hours, during which they need to manually input all the fields.

For many companies, this means a backlog of unprocessed receipts that are not returning validated data to ensure the timeline is met.

The problem? This time window can quickly escalate to poor reviews and lower customer ratings on the app stores.

When loyalty reward providers partner up with receipt processing technology, both parties can retrieve the required data as well as detailed insights of shopping patterns without anyone from the team manually processing receipt data.

Why Not Choose OCR Solutions Instead?

The challenge of manually processing receipts has often prompted companies to use OCR solutions to speed up the process. 

When it comes to OCR solutions alone, companies may face issues when handling receipt data extraction. Such issues can range from slow turnaround times to inaccurate returned data.

If companies want to get real value from loyalty programs, they need to focus not just on the process, but also on the technology.

Collecting, verifying, and processing receipts is a time-consuming and complex process that needs to be thought through and implemented properly.

As such, receipt processing technology should partner up with brands to implement automated processes. 

By using the speed and accuracy of a machine learning-powered process, retailers can run specific campaigns that reward shoppers for purchases in a seamless way. 

For instance, the receipt data extraction application by Innovo API has been instrumental in powering this new trend of consumer information and engagement at a price point and quality that make the scheme worthwhile.

Driving Adoption Is Key 

Making receipt data insights a part of the standard operating procedures of those employees who haven’t traditionally focused on data is what yields real value.

Insights-driven actions are most valuable when widely adopted.

Data and analytics are already shaking up multiple industries, and the effects will only become more accentuated as adoption reaches critical mass — and as machines gain unprecedented capabilities to solve problems.


Companies that harness the receipt processing capabilities for loyalty programs effectively to create significant value and differentiate themselves from a crowded market.

With the advances in tech, now is the right time for brands to start capturing valuable data sitting on receipts.

This enables brands to run more comprehensive programs that create loyalty across all the customer touchpoints in the online and offline world. 

Ultimately, it is crucial to create seamless experiences for consumers to earn points for purchases.

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Posted by:Andreea Serb

Andreea Serb is a Content Marketing Lead at Innovo42. Follow her on Twitter @Andreea_Serb to discover stories and fresh perspectives from the industry.