For convenience store owners, tobacco is easily one of the most profitable and in-demand products on the shelf, and while there’s a profit to be made from tobacco sales alone, there is also profit to be found in another field: customer data acquisition. In recent years, data acquisition has become increasingly more important for improving targeted marketing, and tobacco companies are now willing to pay store owners to acquire customer data for them. The purpose of this article will be to help store owners learn how to choose the right incentive programs that can help them to pair with manufacturers and file scan-data reports.

What is a Scan-data Report?

In the tobacco market, customer data tracking is important for understanding what types of people are actively purchasing certain types of products and brands. To gain accurate information about who their actual customers are, tobacco manufacturers offer rebates through incentive programs to retailers in exchange for customer information. The data that the retailer sends to the manufacturer is what is known as a “scan-data report.”

What is a Scan-data Incentive Program?

A scan-data incentive program is a loyalty program wherein retailers agree to continuously send customer information in the form of scan-data reports to manufacturers in exchange for monetary compensation. The way these programs work is simple: all store owners have to do is scan customer IDs whenever they purchase tobacco products and send the information to the brand’s manufacturer once the data has been collected; in return, the manufacturer then reimburses the store owners for their participation.

What are the Benefits of Scan-data Incentive Programs?

Scan-data incentive programs are designed to reward retailers for assisting manufacturers with customer data acquisition. Mostly, these rewards tend to take the form of rebates that are awarded for selling specific brands of tobacco; however, there are also a host of other benefits that can come from having the added capital awarded through these programs.

For instance, another benefit that retailers can expect from scan-data incentive programs are buydowns offered by the manufacturer. These buydowns allow retailers to buy products at severely reduced prices, which then allow them to offer competitive pricing that lets them compete against national chains. For retailers, the benefit of offering reduced prices is that they can drive up traffic and generate more sales, which, of course, then get rebated by the manufacturer: giving the retailer more net profit to reinvest in more products. In this way, through using scan-data incentive programs, retailers can both save money and generate more sales while also being reimbursed for the sales they make.

Further benefits that can also be gained from participating in these programs include better analytics and data tracking for the actual store itself. In addition to capturing customer data to send to manufacturers, store owners will also have access to the information that they collected, which can then be used to improve things like marketing, inventory management, and other big financial decisions.

In any case, regardless of its usage, the best way to capture customer data is to have an integrated scan-data reporting system built into your business’s POS. With the proper recording and reporting software, scan data can be easily captured and reported without any additional hassle to the retailer; plus, this information can then be sent directly to the manufacturer with just the click of a button. Reporting software can simplify the processes of collection, organizing, and delivery of scan-data information, which is why having a good program that can fit with your business’s needs is so important.  


What to Look for in a Scan-data Incentive Program

When considering the pros and cons of any scan-data incentive program, be sure to keep the following question in mind and think about your business’s day-to-day operations: firstly, does the program offer automation? Second, is the program guaranteed to be secure? After all, nothing says lawsuit like a retailer whose poor security system allowed hackers to steal all of their customer’s information. Third, how will the provider charge you to use the service? For instance, will it be in installment fees, or will it be one flat rate that covers the whole month? Fourth, how long will setup take, and will that mean having to take the store’s POS system out of commission until the proper software is installed? And last but not least, is the program flexible enough to adjust to the compliance requirements of each state?

Remember, before committing to any scan-data incentive program, be sure to always consider the following questions:  

  • • Does the program offer automation?
  • • Is the program guaranteed to be secure?
  • • How will the provider charge you to use the service?
  • • How long will setup take?
  • • Is the program flexible enough to adjust to the compliance requirements of each state?
  • Looking at the potential risk and reward factors of each program is an excellent way to start thinking about which scan-data incentive program might be right for you. Other considerations to make should also include looking at the long-term and short-term benefits of each program. For instance, does the provider offer a sign-on bonus only to provide an inferior service? Or, will the provider force you to sign a contract that locks you into a service for a certain amount of time? These are all important factors to consider when evaluating the potential benefits of each program before making you final decision about a service. 

    Looking for a Scan-data Incentive Program?

    In this article, we explained some of the benefits that can be gained from scan-data reporting and from finding the right scan-data incentive program for your business. We also discussed some of the considerations that should be made when attempting to select a scan-data incentive program to work with your system. Of those considerations, we mentioned that some of the most important criteria include matters of cost, automation, security, setup time, and compatibility with each state’s compliance regulations. Fortunately, for FTx POS users, these concerns need not be an issue, since FTx POS runs on a cloud-based system: allowing for instant setup time, secure data collection, and tailored programs that are made to comply with state regulations.

    Other features of FTx POS include automated report filing and processing: allowing retailers to get whole reports made for them by the end of the week, which they can then send instantly to manufacturers simply by pressing “send.” These reports can also be scheduled to send automatically at the end of each work week, so store owners won’t have to keep worrying about filing reports. Instead, with automatic reporting, store owners can receive a receipt from the manufacturer for each report that gets accepted, which can help to keep track of filing and save store owners both time and energy.

    With FTx scan-data reporting, users can rest easy knowing that their system is safe, efficient, and state-compliant, so that legal issues regarding user data will be of no concern. They can also enjoy the benefits of receiving their entire rebate for each deal that they make—meaning, more profit coming in and less out-of-pocket cost. Plus, unlike other incentive programs that take a percentage of the retailer’s rebate, FTx POS offers a one-time installment charge while leaving retailers to enjoy receiving their entire rebate!

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