Shoppers’ habits tracked with new receipt-scanning technology

SURREY – Scanning a receipt used to mean taking a closer look at a shopping bill to see if there was a mistake.


But new receipt-scanning technology, which debuted this month at Guildford Town Centre (GTC) mall, is changing that definition by allowing shoppers to take photos of their bills with a smartphone to earn rewards.


As part of a recent promotion, GTC shoppers registered receipts using a free software platform developed in Vancouver to earn up to 2,500 loyalty points and the chance to win a $2,500 gift card from the mall.


Meanwhile, the receiptscanning technology gives the mall the ability to monitor foot traffic and spending habits in real time – something GTC previously couldn’t do without access to retailers’ computer systems. "What we’re looking for is being able to track data and find out what the behaviours are," said Rosavel Scott, GTC’s marketing director.


"It helps us to customize our programs better, to gear it towards what they’re truly interested in, and it allows us the opportunity to reach out to them. For example, from time to time, we’ll surprise and delight some of our members with a free $20 gift card just for being a member."


The scanners are part of a second phase of a loyalty rewards program GTC launched in August of 2013, when the mall had a grand re-opening following extensive renovations. Both the initial phase and the receipt scanners use a platform developed by Vancouver-based 3 Tier Logic.


Users earn rewards when using the platform to access Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to share their experiences about the mall. "What we wanted this platform to do is enable brands to engage through all three channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) all on one dashboard," said Rob Craig, CEO of 3 Tier Logic.


The platform also provides businesses with extensive information about customers that’s culled from social media accounts, he added.


"It’s a really good opportunity to provide shopping centres, in this case, with a very powerful platform that identifies who the fashionistas are, how many friends, how many followers they have, how many times they’ve posted about the shopping centre, how many times they’ve tweeted."


The receipt-scanning promo ended Saturday (Dec. 13), but Rosavel said GTC would evaluate the program in the coming weeks to determine whether the mall should use the new technology for future promotions.

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