Enhance efficiency with the best receipt OCR apps

While generic character recognition converts images to text, Microblink takes it a step further, translating confusing receipt abbreviations and internal codes into full products – regardless of retailer or receipt format.

Extract purchase data from physical and digital receipts to power loyalty rewards programs, deliver CPG promotions, drive market research, and more.

What is Receipt OCR?

For many consumers, receipts are an afterthought. Subsequent to paying for a purchase at a physical retail store, the receipt will either get crumbled into a wallet or purse for an undetermined period of time, or simply disposed of as trash.

Some consumers, however, inspect their receipt immediately to ensure that proper discounts or promotions (e.g., buy one, get one free) were applied, or to see if they qualified for any additional savings at checkout. These savvy shoppers understand the value of a receipt and how much information — and potential rewards — can be gleaned from it.  

Receipt OCR (optical character recognition, or optical character reader in some instances) involves taking digital images of receipts and transcribing the information into characters of text. In other words, receipt OCR goes character-by-character to take unstructured data (captured through the image) and turn it into structured data (i.e., the specific product information contained on the receipt). Organizations of all kinds seek these tools so they can extract valuable data around consumer preferences, spending habits, and more (e.g., how much someone paid for a box of cereal or what else was purchased alongside a specific item on promotion).
Perhaps the old adage about another person’s trash is true; the information contained on receipts can provide businesses with an in-depth look at their users, which can be used to inform product strategy, marketing, merchandising plans, promotions, and more. Even organizations that have taken steps toward more sustainable business operations in the form of paperless receipts can still glean invaluable insights from first-party purchase data by way of digital receipt scanning technology.

Finding the Right Receipt OCR App For Your Organization

Receipts provide customers with proof-of-purchase, but they provide brands, retailers and market research firms with much more. 

However, not all OCR solutions are created equal.

Receipts, whether physical or digital, are complex, diverse documents that vary in format and image quality. There is no global receipt standard across retailers or geographies that states what information must be included on a receipt, in what order, and in what format (i.e., product codes or abbreviations). 

When you think about the number of retailers around the globe, as well as the sheer number of products that stores contain, the ability to automatically and accurately know which exact items were purchased — and where — begins to feel overwhelming. Roughly half of the receipts in the US have product numbers on them, which are generally derivations of a UPC or “Universal Product Code.” (For more on product codes, check out this blog.)

Microblink goes beyond receipt OCR and character recognition, utilizing what we call “product intelligence” to deliver UPC-level purchase data at scale. While OCR converts images to text, Microblink takes it a step further, translating confusing descriptions and codes into fully descriptive products.

Our clients own the receipts and the end-user data they collect through them. Our tech is embedded in these apps in the form of mobile SDKs for iOS & Android.

For organizations looking to unlock first-party purchase data at scale — whether it’s to validate purchases and promotions, support market research, or inform media & advertising strategies — Microblink utilizes a variety of technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), to automate this process.

Market research firms and large retailers with their own shopper panels, who have mobile apps offering incentives for consumers uploading their receipts, also use our technology to power their applications. In this instance, data collection processes that used to be manual (and extremely cumbersome and error-prone as a result) are streamlined, with more complete, accurate data — at a lower cost and in a more efficient manner. Sophisticated software, like that offered by Microblink, can enable better-than-human levels of accuracy while processing both in-store retail receipts and online (i.e., e-Commerce) transactions.

Finding the Right Receipt OCR App For Your Organization

Microblink is the leading solution for grocery receipt scanning, with an unparalleled catalog of more than 15 million consumer products and counting. Our product intelligence takes the information found on a receipt (e.g., an SKU code) and attempts to translate it into a specific product, thus providing its full name, UPC, and category. This is essential for clients who need to know exactly which products consumers are buying, in order to issue rewards. For example, our technology will map “GV SLIDERS” to the product name “Great Value Sliders” and brand name “Great Value.”
We utilize various mechanisms to analyze the diverse text descriptions contained in receipts, including what we call “brand expansion” — for example, learning that “GV” often means “Great Value.” It then queries our product catalog to match relevant products. Our catalog is currently around 15 million products and constantly growing. As part of the ingestion process, we map the brand name and category to align with our proprietary taxonomy of: sector, department, major category.
0 B+
Microblink commerce parses more than one billion individual purchases every year.
0 M
Our product catalog is the largest in the world with over fifteen million unique products, and more added every day.
$ 0 B+
Over two hundred billion dollars of purchase data parsed

Unleash the Magic of Receipts

Whether you’re dealing primarily in paper receipts or if your customers are opting for e-receipts, sophisticated receipt data extraction technology like Microblink can provide a continuous stream of accurate first-party purchase data across retailers and brands.

For any company looking to get closer to their consumers, sophisticated, AI-powered receipt OCR technology can serve as the alchemy — turning receipts into a wealth of opportunities to deliver CPG promotions, power loyalty rewards, drive consumer insights, and beyond.

Ready to get started with receipt scanning technology?

visual 01 2

A World of Difference

Here’s how our AI expertise translates into real-world consumer impact:

Capturing first-party data →

Automatically read and extract first-party purchase data from paper receipts, email receipts, or online shopper accounts.

Rewarding customer loyalty →

Validate purchases and promotions to delight your customers with real-time rewards and seamless user experiences.

Digitizing the shelf →

Capture grocery shelves and detect products in real-time to drive the next wave of innovation across store execution, market research, and more.