SNAPnSAVE: the shopping app that saves you money

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

It is a bit like 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 their brand. Essentially it is a way to encourage consumers to switch from their usual shopping habits, but rather than offering a discounted price in-store, customers get actual cash back which is paid into their wallet.

Building up critical customer base in South Africa, however, is not that easy so SNAPnSAVE also self-funds cashback rewards for certain daily staples such as bread, milk and vegetables, irrespective of brand, to encourage users to sign up. As Roger Bezuidenhout explained, offering staple products is part of the SNAPnSAVE 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.”

Saving on day-to-day items

Volante has been a regular user of SNAPnSAVE for about a year. “I have to admit, I was quite skeptical 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 said, and added that she had to learn to make sure that she books the offers as soon as they come out as there are a limited number of cashback coupons available per product, and 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 cashback to use in place of an ordinary month-end grocery shopping visit.”

When I tested out the app for this article, the staples were already booked but you can ask to be notified when a cashback coupon becomes available. TSNAPnSAVE screenshothe app will automatically book any coupons that you marked for notification as soon as they become available.

The big cashback amounts 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 came to scan my till slip I also had the option of adding on any products featured on SNAPnSAVE that I had not already booked.

Seala, has been using the app since February 2016 and has made a total of R852 in savings 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 also receive an extra R5 bonus for every 10 till slips you scan.

So far SNAPnSAVE has paid out over R4 million in cashback rewards since its launch in 2015, with over 200 000 app downloads. There is no cost to use the app and you can still use all your other reward programmes such as PicknPay Smart Shopper and eBucks which means you are rewarded twice.

Bezuidenhout says the power behind SNAPnSAVE is the ability to read your till slip, though at the moment they can only read the till slips of major retailers like Checkers, Shoprite, PicknPay and Spar, so you may not be able to use the slips of your local corner shop.

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 upload size is 1.5MB. You can, however, submit till slips on your computer via your web browser as well, so if you’re having difficulty submitting via the app, you can copy your till slip photos onto your PC and use a simple photo editing tool to reduce the filesize of the photos.

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

The sustainability of SNAPnSAVE will depend on their ability to bring on more brands so that they make up a larger percentage of your booked items as currently it is their self-funded deals that are the main drawcard.

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

This article first appeared in City Press.

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