COVID-19 has altered the lives of both companies and consumers. As stores across the globe shut down indefinitely, both parties were left searching for new ways to shop. Consumers were quick to adapt to this change, purchasing goods solely online rather than in store. Companies have adapted to the best of their ability, but finding ways to connect with an entirely digital audience can prove difficult.

As a result, digital engagement and marketing are more important than ever in the wake of COVID-19. Although the shift to a digital landscape seemingly happened overnight, the increased online consumption is not slowing down anytime soon. As consumers make this shift to shopping entirely online, brands are tasked with finding new ways to engage their customers and retain hard earned consumer loyalty.

Plenty of smaller, lesser known brands have received a boost in sales due to the pandemic. Jim Hertel from Inmar Analytics explains that “those lesser-known brands that have recently enjoyed additional sales due to the absence (on-shelf) of category leaders must now actively engage new customers in order to keep their last purchase from being their last purchase.” It is critical for these brands to find a way to engage new customers and ensure their return. 

On the other hand, larger brands need to protect current customer loyalty as shoppers look elsewhere online. Brands must discover new ways to provide their consumers with an engaging shopping experience, and this starts with shopper marketing.

The practice of shopper marketing generally focuses on targeting shoppers with messages that encourage last minute, impulse purchases. As the consumer experience shifts to digital platforms, shopper marketing tactics are following. These tactics play an essential role in developing and maintaining brand loyalty and ensuring consumers will return for another purchase. This is especially important when brands only have the opportunity to reach consumers digitally. 

Not only does shopper marketing facilitate consumer loyalty, but it also allows brands to collect valuable consumer information, like phone numbers, email, and shopping habits. Utilizing this consumer data enables brands to create personalized shopping experiences, furthering the consumer relationship.

By combining shopper marketing tactics and incentive-backed promotions, brands can create a loyal and engaged customer base. At Realtime Media, we offer three different shopper marketing solutions to engage the consumer post purchase:

  • Receipt Validation
  • On-Pack Promotions
  • SMS/Text-to-Enter

These shopper marketing solutions, designed responsively for mobile and desktop, leverage product interaction to drive sales. This creates an easy way for consumers to discover new incentives after their purchase. Extending the customer experience beyond checkout allows brands to reach consumers who have already expressed interest in their product and maintain their shopper loyalty through digital promotions.

Using Receipt Validation to Drive Repeat Purchases

Receipt validation is a unique way to ensure consumer loyalty and drive repeat purchases. This shopper marketing solution encourages consumers to engage with the brand by offering an incentive behind each purchase. This tactic brings previous customers back to the brand, effectively retaining the consumers’ loyalty. According to Forbes, 75% of consumers say they are likely to make another purchase after receiving an incentive. Offering rewards through receipt validation provides this incentive to the consumers.

Consumers are able to submit an image of their receipt through an SMS text message or upload to validate their purchase. By validating their receipt, consumers are able to receive access to promotions or exclusive deals, such as coupons or entries to a sweepstakes promotion. Receipt validation encourages consumers to make another purchase to gain more rewards, therefore returning to the brand and maintaining consumer loyalty. 

At Realtime Media, we understand how important it is to engage with consumers and drive brand loyalty. By reaching our consumers through their mobile devices, we are able to open up a new channel and make brand interaction more accessible to consumers. Realtime Media offers our integrated validation engine that can capture and process receipts from any retailer. We ensure your receipt validation sweepstakes is handled from start to finish with a registration microsite, strategic concept development, winner drawing, and daily reporting on key metrics.

Our simple, three step receipt validation process makes it easy to integrate this solution and engage consumers digitally:


This process is convenient for the consumer, allowing them to use their most accessible device and an already purchased item to gain rewards. Realtime Media has helped dozens of brands implement receipt validation promotions. Notably, we worked with Garnier on their Earth Day Campaign, where customers were encouraged to upload an image of their receipt for the chance to earn a coupon applicable towards their net purchase. This campaign resulted in over 2,500 receipts scanned from 29 unique retailers.

Learn more about receipt validation and how it can help bridge the gap between digital and physical purchase engagement. 


Although the return of in-store shopping is inevitable, the pandemic will have lasting effects on the way consumers shop. It is certain that online shopping is, and will be, more prevalent than ever. By focusing on digital consumer engagement, brands will be able to retain consumer loyalty and increase data acquisition at the same time. The use of shopper marketing tactics and receipt validation will provide long-term value that extends beyond the end of COVID-19. With flexible support options and in-house teams for development, project management, consumer support, and fulfillment, Realtime Media is a one-stop-shop for receipt validation promotions.