Everything You Buy Should Earn You a Reward: Meet ‘Reward Apps’


Eat a meal, buy groceries, fill a prescription at CVS, order a shirt online, get your car waxed, or fill up the tank… all of these expenditures come with receipts. Receipts provide a way to tabulate things you buy. If you’re willing to share the data on your receipts, everything and anything you purchase becomes ‘reward-worthy.’ Plenty of companies talk up their loyalty programs, but talk is cheap. It’s the same story with so many companies; customers usually find the hurdles and hassles you have to wade through to get rewarded aren’t worth the trouble. It’s hardly a surprise that most people don’t even bother signing up for these programs anymore.

Why should we have to jump through hoops? Can someone just make it quick, simple, and easy to earn rewards? Actually, yes. Reward apps, a new use of simple tech, are retiring the old models and bringing on a future where everything you buy – and we mean everything – is rewardable. Plus, as reward apps are digital, there’s no delay. Scan a receipt – or even just take a picture of it – and press ‘send.’ That’s all you have to do. Stuff bought online counts too. Just scan the receipt. The app then starts putting points into your digital wallet and very quickly, you’ll have earned enough points for something nice and simple, such as an Amazon gift card, a free coffee, or maybe a free ride from Uber. Or, you could save up your points a bit and then pick from a long list of reward options and choices. It’s pretty revolutionary: buy a bottle of shampoo – and instead of earning enough points from the shampoo company to get an eventual free bottle – that purchase simply counts as a purchase, and all of them count towards rewards of your choosing.

Nearly every company tries to get you to join their reward program. They try to jazz it up, but when you read the fine print the “conditions” start to pile up: “Join now for free! (Not including sales tax). Offer good while supplies last, batteries not included, allow six weeks for delivery, some items not available, some assembly required, some restrictions may apply. And if you act now, we’ll include an extra, added, free, complementary, bonus gift! -A classic, deluxe, custom, designer, luxury, prestige, high quality, premium select, gourmet combination key ring, magnifying glass, and garden hose, in a genuine, imitation, leather-style, carrying case with authentic vinyl trim!” Yes, that last bit is part of a classic George Carlin routine, but it fits well.

That’s another massive benefit of using the reward app, no more fine print. You’ve probably figured out by now why a company would be interested in getting scans or snaps of all your receipts. These are data goldmines. Corporations spend tens of millions of dollars on consumer research, trying to figure out what people want. This need for into is voracious but hard to come by. Let’s say you’re a major chewing gum manufacturer. You need to know if people like the new ‘Coffee + Mint’ flavor you’re rolling out, but it could take many months before sales info comes in. But, with people sending in receipts, the gum company can much more quickly determine a whole host of info: Perhaps people in one area love it, while the fact that people in another area are buying a competitor’s product tells you those folks aren’t loving it. What times of the day are sales happening? At what places is your product selling best? All of this data is manna from heaven for marketers.

But marketing companies know we won’t give up our shopping info for nothing. And the reward app knows that anything too complicated will soon be abandoned. So, they both bend over backward to make the reward choices as enticing and numerous as possible and make the process of sending in receipts as simple as possible. For example, there’s a two-week period for filing receipts. If you’re too busy to send in the receipt pics on shopping day, no worries. –Do it over the weekend. And unlike the old system that was an enclosed ecosystem (buy diapers to earn coupons for cheaper diapers) rewards apps open up the potential returns, from cashback options to savings from discount offers to immediately gratifying rewards like an Amazon gift card.

To be honest, America is a little late to the game. People in some Asian nations have been scanning and photographing receipts for years and reaping rewards. Reports from longtime users of reward apps say the learning curve is minor. A few days into it, scanning receipts becomes second nature and you barely think about it anymore. And, as you get into it, you start to understand how big a change this is – because every purchase counts! Pet food, a pair of socks, a downloaded song, a movie ticket… the list goes on. If it comes with a receipt, you can earn rewards for that expenditure. It’s an exciting development and definitely worth the few seconds it takes to scan and send. We finally have a reward program – via an app – that’s genuinely rewarding!  

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 just got discounted and it’s more affordable than ever

Previous article

How to sync Samsung Notes with Microsoft OneNote

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Misc