OCR Helps to Reduce Risks of COVID-19 Exposure in Retail Business

The optical character recognition (OCR) technology is set to bring a significant change in food delivery and retail business due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Analysts of Transparency Market Research (TMR) opine that OCR is likely to become an indivisible part of the receipt recognition technology for retail and food deliveries. Since the coronavirus survives for up to 24 hrs on paper, companies in the optical character recognition market are capitalizing on this trend to improve their software, which deploys email receipts and uses receipt recognition API (Application Programming Interface).

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Customers are still hesitant to buy products as they used to before the pandemic. Gradual increase in employment opportunities and heavy discounts and offers on products are likely to revive the world economy. Email receipts and receipt recognition APIs are reducing the risks of COVID-19 exposure in the retail business.

These factors are likely to drive the optical character recognition market during the forecast period.

Latest OCR Software Apps Eliminate Need for Installation

The heavy smartphone usage has triggered the demand for OCR apps. The Microsoft OneNote is being highly publicized for its advanced OCR functionality. Companies in the optical character recognition market are developing apps that work on both handwritten notes as well as images. However, the scanning accuracy is substantially dependent on the quality of the image. As such, greater control over conversion and added features such as text-to-speech features are offsetting the disadvantages of OCR apps.

Apart from some big names, OCR software apps are being designed for laptops and desktops. For instance, Capture2Text is a free OCR software for Windows 10 and offers keyboard shortcuts that quickly recognizes anything on the screen. Companies in the optical character recognition market are increasing the availability of software, which eliminates the need for installation.

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Inaccuracy in Scanning Handwritten Documents to Hurt Sales

The optical character recognition market is expected to advance at a striking CAGR of ~15% during the forecast period. However, several shortcomings of OCR, such as inaccuracy in scanning handwritten documents and difficulty in differentiating between characters, are likely to hurt sales. Hence, software companies are introducing special OCR fonts to efficiently differentiate between a zero and the alphabet O. They are increasing their R&D capabilities to make improvements in scanners that can read handwritten documents.

On the other hand, companies in the optical character recognition market are innovating in scanners that can recognize multiple languages. For instance, the Zoho Doc Scanner has been launched to recognize text in 12 different Indian languages including Marathi, Telugu, Assamese, and Punjabi. Features such as free versions of scanners with unlimited scans and secure document scanning are being highly preferred by users.

Online Free Services Emerging as Lucrative Business Model for Emerging Companies

Online reviews about OCR software apps are building the credibility of companies in the optical character recognition market. However, emerging market players are facing stiff competition from established companies such as Microsoft and Google. In order to gain market dominance, emerging software companies can either list their apps under the Microsoft Store or increase their marketing capabilities via Google Play and digital advertising.

Several websites have enabled direct online OCR services to meet convenience needs of individuals. Free online services are being highly preferred by users. Another big player in the competition is the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Thus, emerging players in the optical character recognition market can experiment business models with direct online free services.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

In order to avoid community fallout, local, national, and international retailers are investing in the OCR software that deploy receipt scanning and e-receipts. Companies in the optical character recognition market are abiding with strong privacy policies to win the faith of users. This explains why the market is projected to reach a revenue of US$ 70 Bn by the end of 2030. However, inaccuracy in handwriting recognition and outdated features in software apps are inhibiting market growth. Hence, companies should make improvements in scanning technologies to generate desirable outcomes via apps. Emerging companies should explore online free service business models to compete with established companies.

Optical Character Recognition Market: Overview

  • Optical character recognition (OCR) is a technology that allows conversion of different types of documents such as images captured by a digital camera, scanned paper documents, or PDF files into searchable and editable data. This involves scanning the photo of each character of the text one by one, analysis of the scanned image, and transformation of the character image into codes, such as ASCII character code, which is generally used in processing data. Thus, OCR software converts a scanned image to text. When a page is scanned, it is commonly stored as a bit-mapped file in TIF (Tag Image File) format.
  • The image displayed on the screen by OCR software can be easily read by the user. This saves hours of time spent in manual typing, and correcting misprints before converting a document, magazine article, or a printed contract.
  • The global optical character recognition market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~15% during the forecast period 2020 to 2030, and was valued at ~US$ 70 Mn in 2019 with volume of 15,457 thousand units in 2019
  • Enterprises are seeing rising adoption of advanced mobility solutions to enhance the productivity of employees. Different industries are increasingly demanding mobile OCR technology to enhance the mobility of employees to capture bills, invoices, and other informational documents at any location at any time.
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) software helps to extract unstructured data from different documents and store them in structured data formats for future use
  • Mobile OCR is majorly adopted by transportation and logistics for scanning bills and invoices for the delivery of goods at various locations
  • Companies are investing in advanced technologies to reduce the expenses on data management and for data extraction of important information. The latest OCR software comes with advanced features that overcome typical problems related to typographical (misprints, spelling mistakes) and formatting complexities. This advancement has lowered the cost of data capturing and increased the demand for OCR technology.

Optical Character Recognition: Market Segmentation

  • The global optical character recognition market has been segmented based on component, enterprise size, mode of operation, industry, and region
  • In terms of component, the optical character recognition market has been divided into hardware, software, and services. Software includes desktop-based, mobile-based, cloud-based (multi-tenant cloud [public] and private cloud), and others (batch OCR and server-based OCR). The services segment is cross-segmented into consulting services, outsourcing, and implementation & integration.
  • Based on enterprise size, the global optical character recognition market segment has been categorized into small & medium enterprises and large enterprises
  • Based on mode of operation, the global optical character recognition market segment has been bifurcated into Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
  • In terms of industry, the global optical character recognition market has been categorized into retail, government, BFSI, transport & logistics, healthcare, media & entertainment, IT & telecom, manufacturing, and others

Optical Character Recognition Market: Regional Outlook

  • In terms of region, the global optical character recognition market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and South America
  • North America is estimated to dominate the global optical character recognition market and account for 41% share by the end of 2020. It is projected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period.
  • The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 17.9% during the forecast period, due to increased penetration of smart solutions and commercial OCR solutions in the region
  • In APAC, increasing investment on advanced commercial business solutions and devices is expected to propel the optical character recognition market during the forecast period
  • The report provides in-depth segment analysis of the global optical character recognition market, thereby providing valuable insights at macro as well as micro levels
  • Analysis of major countries, which offer considerable opportunities or account for significant share has also been included as part of geographic analysis for the optical character recognition market

Optical Character Recognition Market: Major Players

  • Some significant players engaged in the optical character recognition market include
    • Abbyy Software Ltd.
    • Accusoft Corporation
    • Adlib Software
    • Adobe Systems, Inc.
    • Amazon Web Services, Inc.
    • Anyline GmbH
    • ATAPY Software
    • Beijing Wintone Science & Technology Co. Ltd.
    • Black Ice Software LLC
    • Captricity (Vidado Inc.)
    • CC Intelligence Corporation
    • Creaceed SPR
    • CVSION Technologies Inc.
    • Exper-OCR Inc.
    • Google Inc.
    • Hyland Software, Inc
    • IBM Corporation
    • Infrrd Inc.
    • IRIS SA (Canon)
    • LEAD Technologies Inc.
    • Microsoft Corporation
    • NTT DATA Corporation
    • Nuance Communications
    • Oki Europe Ltd
    • Open Text Corporation
    • Paradatec, Inc.
    • Prime Recognition Corporation
    • Ricoh Group
    • Ripcord Inc.
    • SEAL Systems Inc.
    • Smart Engines
    • Transym Computer Services Ltd
    •  Xerox Corp.

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