Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Are retailers shooting themselves in the foot?
By Mark Johnson – CEO Receipt Reliance Pty Ltd

Every now and then, when discussing my digital receipt idea EFRTS™ within the finance industry,  the feedback I receive is  that retailers will not be willing to disclose detailed customer purchasing information (itemised retailer/merchant receipts) to a third party such as a bank, even though they are considered to be a trusted partner of the business.
They say retailers are reluctant because the data that they supply may be used against them by competitors who have signed up for a marketing intelligence campaign. If this proposition is true, then perhaps retailers are shooting themselves in the foot!

There may have been some foundation for this view in the past, but I believe that has now been outweighed by the advantages to retailers if they are willing to make receipt data available to a consumer's bank or financial institution.

In fact, whether retailers like it or not, there is a proliferation of apps available that allow consumers to photograph, scan and receive receipts to their smart phones via NFC or cloud, and of course don’t forget email. While these receipt capture methods are not friction free (as we have talked about in earlier blogs and publications) once captured, this data can then be massaged for a whole range of marketing applications.

There are companies already analysing customer spending habits from data supplied by banks to formulate an advertising campaign for potential new customers. They see customers purchasing habits via a link to their bank issued card and then target advertisements through the customer’s online or mobile banking app. How more effective would the retailer campaign be if they could analyse down to line item level and focus their advertising accordingly?

A completely frictionless concept like EFRTS™ which links the retailer’s detailed receipt to the bank payment transaction would fit in nicely (i.e. giving a customer access to a digital receipt on their online or mobile banking app) and retailers would clearly have an upside through a very powerful advertising campaign if they deployed the right digital advertising solution.

An interesting idea was presented in a recent article Using Digital Receipts to Facilitate Loyalty Program Enrolment, where the writer suggests joining a retailer’s customer loyalty program post purchase via a single button click. It would utilise your bank’s ability to authenticate you, and therefore automatically fill in the blanks on the customer loyalty application form. If you combined this idea with storing digital receipts at your bank, how much easier would it be for the consumer and how many more customers would join the retailer’s loyalty program as a result?

So instead of perceiving such an idea as a threat, retailers should embrace this new digital age and at the same time give their customers access to a convenient digital receipt storage solution like EFRTS™ where their receipts can be stored safely, securely and privately.

By the way, if you are reading this blog and you are a retailer and you have an opinion about releasing receipt data to someone other than your customers, like a bank for instance, please get in touch at: http://www.receiptreliance.com/share.html and tell me what you think.

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