Personal-Finance

Shopping app to save you money

2017-10-11 16:47

SNAPnSAVE is a cash-back shopping app that puts money back into your wallet when you buy certain products – irrespective of where you shop. You download the app and select the products you want. You then have 48 hours to go shopping and scan your till slip to qualify for the cashback.

It is a bit like e-commerce marketplace Groupon, in that suppliers who want to push certain products, such as their brand of tinfoil, toilet cleaner, or nappies, would run a campaign on SNAPnSAVE to promote their goods by offering customers a cash reward for buying them.

Essentially, it is a way to encourage consumers to switch from their usual shopping habits, but rather than offering a discounted price in the store, customers get money paid into their wallet.

Building up a critical customer base in South Africa, however, is not that easy, so SNAPnSAVE also self-funds cash-back rewards for certain daily staples such as bread, milk and vegetables, irrespective of brand, to encourage users to sign up.

As the app’s head of marketing, Roger Bezuidenhout, explained to City Press, offering staple products is part of their acquisition and retention strategy.

“This gets people onto the app and using it each week. This, in turn, will allow us to bring on more brands.”

One reader, Volante, has been a regular user of SNAPnSAVE for about a year. “I have to admit, I was quite sceptical that I could make money just by buying the ordinary day-to-day items I usually buy (bread, milk, veg, etc) but SNAPnSAVE hasn’t disappointed me,” she told City Press. She learnt to make sure that she gets the offers as soon as they come out, as the staples tend to get booked out quickly.

“In so doing, I get a rand or more back, say once a week, for a loaf of bread that I’d be buying anyway. So, it’s a win for me. I love this app and am looking forward to saving up enough cash back to use in place of an ordinary month-end grocery shopping visit.”

When I tested the app for this article, the staples were already booked, but I asked for notification of when they would be available again. As soon as I received it, I went onto the app and booked them and added a few branded items such as Sea Harvest fish and Toilet Duck cleaner, as these are items I would buy normally. I just had to make sure I bought them and snapped the till slip within 48 hours.

The big cash backs are on the branded goods while you get a rand or two on your staple goods. For example, I got R10 back on Sea Harvest hake, R4 on toilet cleaner, R2 on eggs, R1.75 on milk, R1.25 on bread and R1.25 on cheese. That is R20 saved with very little effort, which could add up over the month each time I go shopping. When I scanned my till slip I had the option of adding on any products featured on SNAPnSAVE that I had not already booked.

Another reader, Seala, has been using the app since February 2016 and has made R852 from the app so far.

“I have cashed out a few times, which has helped during tough months. It’s good because I did not have to do anything out of the ordinary but keep my till slip and snap it later to get a few rands back from the stuff I bought.”

The more effort you are prepared to put in, the more money you could make. You receive an extra R5 for every 10 till slips you scan.

So far, SNAPnSAVE has paid out over R4 million in cash back rewards since its launch in 2015. There have been over 200 000 app downloads. There is no cost to using the app and you can still use all your other reward programmes such as Pick n Pay smart shopper and eBucks, which means you are rewarded twice.

Bezuidenhout says the power behind SNAPnSAVE is the ability to read your till slip, but this comes with a proviso. Firstly, they can only read the till slips of major retailers like Checkers, Shoprite, Pick n Pay and Spar, so you may not be able to use the slips of your local corner shop.

Secondly, I did have a problem with submitting my slip – it turned out that the resolution on my camera was too high so I needed to adjust it as the maximum download size is 1.5MB.

It takes four days to process the cash back, which is then paid into your SNAPnSAVE wallet. Once you have a reasonable balance, you can have the money paid into your bank account. Alternatively, you can transfer it to your WeChat wallet which allows you to withdraw the cash from an ATM, buy airtime, prepaid electricity and pay in store using SnapScan.

The sustainability of SNAPnSAVE will depend on its ability to bring on more brands so that it makes up a larger percentage of your booked items. Currently, its self-funded deals are the main draw card.

You can download SNAPnSAVE on Google Play or Apple Store or go to snapnsave.co.za.

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personal finance

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December 10 2017