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What is a Scan Data App and What Does it Do?
Scan data apps are designed to collect sales and, at times, promotion data and then report that data back to manufacturers and other third-parties, such as analysts, based on the programs that c-store, gas stations and other retailers have opted into. The reports’ frequency can be as frequent as weekly and people are asking for even more frequent reporting. How does reporting work?
- First, the apps poll the point-of-sale (POS) systems for sales and promotional data and this requires a connector (aka out-of-the-box integration)
- Second, a report needs to be built using predefined and changing requirements from manufacturers and authorized third-parties
- Third, the templatized report is scheduled and transmitted back to the manufacturer or third party through our secured server
- Fourth, we store (backup) the data and retransmit the data as needed
Who Offers Scan Data Apps?
Most scan data apps on the market are either stand-alone or a feature of small operator or enterprise back-office apps. While some of these apps focus on collecting and reporting promotional sales data back to manufacturers and authorized third parties, others also automate the setup, such as tobacco promotions, through integration with manufacturers, such as Altria and their APIs (tech interfaces). These apps are of particular value to c-stores, gas stations, tobacco retailers and liquor stores.
If the adage it takes time to save time eludes you, we hope the following illustrates this benefit. When you subscribe to a scan data app, your most significant benefit is time savings and not having to deal with mundane (tedious) tasks. You no longer have to understand or train someone while complying with their programs.
A scan data app provider takes care of much of the boring administrative work to set up and collect the correct data and deliver it at the right time to stay in compliance, often weekly. There is even pressure to increase that frequency. As you subscribe to these scan data apps, your benefit includes the app company’s:
- Development and ongoing maintenance of the data feeds (connectors aka integrations)
- Updated and maintenance of reporting templates
- Data transfers, storage and backup
Bad data in equals bad data out. While pulling and recording sales and promotions data directly from POS systems into templatized reports solves for time savings and data entry errors, some scan data apps take it one step further.
A select group of tech companies are taking the time and R&D investment to automate the setup of those promotions, including product information and pricing. This includes Petrosoft’s integration with Altria’s API, which allows us, based on your consent, to pull in a complete set of promotions for your acceptance or rejection. We hope many more manufacturers will offer our customers this benefit.
More Promotional Opportunities
One key takeaway from our integration with Altria’s API is that, for the first time, a complete set of product promotions were available to tobacco retailers. This is partly due to tobacco retailers receiving information through portals and sales reps who themselves have to keep up with all the changes and requirements, not their core.
Greater Peace of Mind
Using scan data apps can provide peace of mind. The more data moves without manual data entry, the more confidence you can have in the data and reports. The better you sleep at night.
With the addition of APIs that enable tech companies like Petrosoft to pull promotions, products and pricing into the scan data apps automatically, the more you can rely on pricing and product information and the associated reporting. This applies not only to scan data apps but the connectors that push data out to your POS and pulls data into your back-office.