Snapcart turns receipts into cash

  • Uses optical character recognition, machine learning algorithms to mine data
  • Aims to broaden market to Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam

IF YOU are a brand trying to gain insights into the Southeast Asian market, you will be met with a lot of challenges due to the scattered retail landscape that is also often offline and hard to track.

Snapcart, an Indonesian startup has bold ambitions to change the way brands collect data on consumers and produce valuable insights in a timely manner. Its founder and chief executive officer Reynazran Royono spoke during Wild Digital 2018 in Kuala Lumpur on how the company is turning receipts into cash.

According to Royono, the majority of transactions happening now in Southeast Asia, as much as 99%, take place on offline channels. Often times, brands do not have visibility on the specific products that are sold or identify the user that made the purchase.

“The market is largely driven by lack of understanding from offline channels and it does not bode well for top brands like Unilever and Samsung that need to understand which Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are performing well and how it is attributed to their marketing media spend,” he said.

Royono boldly claimed that traditional market research agencies are using outdated methods like interviewing customers and physically visiting stores to record information. This creates a delay in delivering data and it then is not actionable.

Snapcart’s solution capitalises on pieces of paper that we typically throw in the trash soon after we complete a purchase – receipts.

“We are riding the wave of digital growth currently happening in the region, as more users have access to smartphones. Using our Snapcart app, we aim to extract offline data with the help of customers by incentivising them to snap pictures of their receipts in exchange for rewards,” he said.

Through the use of optical character recognition and machine learning algorithms, Snapcart claims to be able to derive information on demographics, location, price, volume, discount and payment method.

With this information, brands are able to get an accurate representation of their audience and the performance of their products in a timely fashion as purchase data is delivered every week.

But what if a merchant does not have a cash register or POS to generate receipts? This is exactly the case in small shops, warungs in Indonesia and sari-sari stores in the Philippines, where 50% of transactions happen offline.

Snapcart gets around this dilemma by providing POS systems to these stores and helps remove the tedious administrative work of managing the store’s database of multiple SKUs. It is a win-win solution that benefits the store owner and nets Snapcart the data of the customers.

To date, Snapcart claims to have processed over half a billion receipts from over 6,000 store chains. The app was initially launched in 2015 in Indonesia before expanding to the Philippines, Brazil and Singapore.

The company has successfully raised US$14.7 million in funding to date with the last round being a Series A of US$10 million led by Vickers Venture Partners.

Towards the end of his presentation, Royono said that Snapcart aims to enter Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam in the near future.



Originally written by Chong Jinn Xiung published in Digital News Asia on 11 July 2018.

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