SA digital receipting startup Snapslip wants to prompt a retail revolution

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South African startup Snapslip is looking to digitally transform the retail sector through a digital receipting tool that feeds into a far bigger data analytics platform.

On the face of it, Snapslip is very simple indeed. A digital receipting application available on iOS and Android, it removes the need for paper receipts by sending proof of purchase from a till point to a customer’s profile within the application. Customers can use these digital receipts for exchanges, refunds, warranties, guaranties, insurance, tax and expenses claims. 

“Snapslip came about when I was trying to return an item of clothing and unfortunately misplaced the paper receipt. After a heated argument with the store manager and to no success, I left the store with the item of clothing and very frustrated,” founder Lynton Naicker told Disrupt Africa.

“I then realised that everything around us was advancing yet paper receipting was very archaic, and hence this needed a digital transformation.”

Snapslip, launched last year, does just this, but Naicker has gone much further.

“We realised that the data pulled from each receipt is very valuable and can depict customer spend behaviours. These analytics can really help struggling retailers to offer their customers the right product at the right time,” he said.

Snapslip, then, sends the data from each receipt through its analytics engine to produce spend, trend and predictive analytics, which it makes available to retailers in order to better understand their customers and manage their stock. It also gives the retailer the facility to engage with customers based on particular spend behaviours, thus ensuring that the right customer receives the right product or services. 

“Snapslip also serves as a cardless loyalty programme alongside the digital receipting mechanism, allowing customers to forgo the tedious act of carrying several different loyalty cards,” Naicker said.

Snapslip is unique in South Africa, Naicker said, as the country is yet to really explore the real value add of big data analytics in the retail space. 

“Customers these days want two things – products that appeal to them and organisations to treat them as an individual rather than a number by tailor-making service offerings specifically to them. This was the basis for Snapslip to pursue these opportunities,” he said.

In pursuing them, it has seen some early success but also faced some challenges. The startup ran a proof of concept in a boutique crockery and baking aid store in Sandton City, where it gained over 300 active users and generated over 600 digital receipts. Using analytics to cross sell and up sell products to customers based on their spend behaviours, it increased revenue streams for the stores.

Now, Naicker wants to work with bigger retailers. Snapslip’s digital receipting tool is free for businesses and customers, and retailers only pay once they start using the analytics and loyalty functions.

“Our aim is to try and sign on the larger retailers. Snapslip will definitely fit well with these larger retailers as they are looking for ways to cut down on costs but also reduce their environmental impact,” said Naicker.

Getting these companies on board, however, has proven challenging.

“Currently the difficulty we are having is getting into these larger retailers, mainly due to not having the right contact person. We believe that by running a trial proof of concept in these larger retailers we will prove the benefits of Snapslip from an analytics point of view, as well as the cost-saving benefits by eliminating paper receipts and the associated costs and complexities,” said Naicker.

To help it scale, the bootstrapped startup is in the process of searching for funding, with Naicker targeting ZAR3 million (US$210,000).

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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