What’s tobacco scan data? And how can convenience store owners and retailers choose the best scan data incentive program?
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.
By sharing data with tobacco companies, convenience store owners can save big with rebates and sales incentives. Here’s how scan data incentive programs work:
- Retailers that sell tobacco pass along sales data to tobacco companies
- Retailers then qualify for incentives, e.g. buydowns (special sales pricing), discounts, and loyalty programs
- Merchants can pass these incentives onto customers, which helps drive loyalty with lower prices and increase order values
Sounds like a great opportunity to drive revenue? Ultimately, getting started with a tobacco incentive program requires your store to have strong data collection capabilities (which is generally made possible via POS scan data automation). This guide will show you everything you need to know about tobacco scan data incentive programs, provide guidelines for getting started, and show how a rebate program can help you grow revenue.
Scan Data Reporting: A Key Requirement to Participate
To qualify for discounts, retailers must send weekly reports to tobacco companies, called scan data reports. This data is difficult to compile manually, and in many cases, tobacco companies now require it to be submitted digitally. That’s why automated scan data reporting is a must-have feature in a tobacco store POS.
With scan data automation, these POS reports are prepared and automatically submitted on your store’s behalf to a tobacco company like Altria.
Sharing this data then qualifies you for the buydowns and discounts that big tobacco chains receive. This can be a game-changer for independent tobacco retailers, corner stores and minimarts, as they can compete on price with larger retailers.
Other Tools to Consider
However, in addition to scan data reports, many programs also provide greater incentives for more in-depth data. Therefore, to reach higher tiers, generally you’ll need:
- Age verification – Some programs offer a one-time incentive for using a advanced age verification platform. This would include ID scanners or verification software that meet EAIV standards.
- Loyalty programs – Retailers can earn greater incentives for including loyalty IDs in their scan data reports. This will qualify for larger buydowns, and therefore, an integrated loyalty program is a must for tobacco retailers.
Generally, these programs vary in their requirements, and the more data you share, the more savings you can earn. Email marketing and digital data submission may also qualify for further incentives, among others.
How Does a Tobacco Incentive Program Help You Grow Revenue?
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.
Ultimately, these programs can help businesses increase revenue in four ways:
- Price Competitiveness: Passing along scan data incentives to your customers will result in increased customer loyalty and revenue growth. More competitive pricing helps cigarette sellers earn more repeat business, more walk-ins, and it helps increase word-of-mouth mentions.
- Larger Average Orders: Customers tend to buy more products when the price point is lower than they expect it to be. In addition, many scan data programs provide multi-item incentives at checkout, which allows customers to reap more savings by buying in volume. These factors can help businesses grow average order values and maximize per-customer revenue each day.
- Higher Customer Satisfaction: The tobacco industry is highly competitive, with merchants vying for consumer attention and loyalty. Therefore, reduced prices from scan data savings can help businesses attract new business, please their customer base, and foster customer loyalty.
- Inventory Management: These programs also provide businesses with insightful sales data. Smoke shops can use this data to analyze customer behavior and buying patterns. This helps to reduce out-of-stocks and allows businesses to understand when to expect sales spikes or dips. This results in better tobacco and cigar inventory management.
In any case, regardless of its usage, the best way to capture customer data is to have an integrated scan-data reporting feature in your business’s tobacco POS. The proper recording and reporting software helps you capture and send scan data without hassle.
>>> Learn how Scan Data can transform your business: Case Study – How Smokers Choice Grew by 400% with Scan Data.
How to Choose the Right Scan Data Provider
When considering the pros and cons of any POS system with scan data, be sure to keep the following question in mind and think about your business’s day-to-day operations:
- Does the program offer automation?
- Is the program secure?
- How will the provider charge you to use the service?
- What is the provider’s experience with scan data reporting?
- How long will setup take?
- Is the program flexible enough to adjust to the compliance requirements of each state?
Generally, some of the key features to look for in a tobacco incentive program include:
These programs should drive revenue. Therefore, start by looking at the cost of implementing a scan data reporting program. Many POS systems offer scan data and manufacturer loyalty out-of-box, and therefore, you pay a monthly fee to access the entire POS platform. Third-party providers charge monthly fees and may take a percentage of the incentives you earn. Be sure you’re aware of the costs.
Compatibility with Existing Systems
Ensure that the scan data program is compatible with your Point of Sale (POS) system and other software tools they use. If you’re using a loyalty program, the scan data system should integrate seamlessly with it, allowing for targeted promotions and offers based on purchase history. Finally, the program should be flexible enough to adapt and scale to accommodate business growth.
Regulators keep a close eye on tobacco sales. The scan data program should help you comply with local, state, and federal regulations, including age verification and tax calculations. Also, given the sensitive nature of sales data, the program should have robust security features to protect against data breaches and unauthorized access.
Tech and Support
Ensure the program has a reliable backup and recovery system in case of data loss. Also, you should choose a POS or scan data provider that offers excellent customer support, including training, troubleshooting, and regular software updates.
Be sure you to ask about data quality. The program should provide correct data capture and reporting. This is crucial for inventory management, sales tracking, and regulatory compliance. In addition, the program should offer real-time data access, enabling store owners to make quick decisions based on current sales trends.
Start Earning Scan Data Incentives with FTx POS
FTx POS was built by tobacco sellers. Our software makes it easy for retail stores to earn Tier 2 and Tier 3 Altria incentives, thanks to our POS with integrated age verification and Loyal-n-Save loyalty solution. Let us help you launch and capture bigger rewards to help you grow revenue. Contact our team today to learn more or to request a demo.