Paperless Point-of-Sale = Marketing Opportunity

Channel
Paperless Point-of-Sale = Marketing Opportunity
Andrew Frawley • December 21st, 2011

My colleague recently highlighted the strong performance of transactional emails and the opportunities for marketers to take advantage of these communications.  These emails may often be associated with online transactions, but we’re now seeing a closer connection between brick-and-mortar sales and transactional email messages with the increased use of digital receipts. 

Time Magazine recently reported that in this era where information can be accessed with the touch of a button and the prevalence of retailers offering digital receipts grows, digital receipts will become “a standard part of the consumer experience.” 

Not only can digital receipts be used to increase consumer engagement, they can strengthen brand loyalty and create a 1:1 bond with each individual customer

This utility doesn’t only apply to retail, but also to industries such as banking, travel and hospitality. 

A recent Epsilon survey found many retailers are testing digital receipts, with more than half of the retailers surveyed already having digital receipt programs in place and offering them across their entire store footprint.  A third currently have an electronic receipt program in select stores only.

Of those retailers currently using digital receipts, 33% do not include additional content.  To reap the added benefits of digital receipts, marketers should customize them to include information not included on traditional print receipts such as:

•    Logos and branding
•    Links to website and social media sites
•    Related products or services based on the purchase 
•    Coupons and promotions
•    Loyalty and/or reward point status
•    Information about local in-store events

This technology can also help improve your multichannel initiatives. 

By linking online and offline purchase behavior, digital receipts help create customer models to predict future shopper propensity and purchase. They offer retailers deeper insights into consumer shopping habits, which in turn can lead to more targeted advertising mailers, promotions and emails.  In fact, the Epsilon survey found the vast majority of respondents with a digital receipt program in place offer digital receipts as a vehicle to acquire customers’ email addresses.  Remarketing opportunities was the second most popular reason, followed by customer convenience. 

The key to successful digital receipts is to take advantage of white-space marketing while avoiding going overboard.  Don’t include too much content or too many links, as numerous calls to action can lead to inaction.  Use your customer data to customize appropriately.  As always, test your messaging and delivery.  Check all HTML links, images and landing pages, ensuring all content is mobile optimized before deployment. 

Digital receipts, however, may not be easy for everyone to implement.  Of the surveyed respondents that said they aren’t currently offering a digital receipt program, 60% cited infrastructure issues.  Another 33% said they aren’t offering digital receipts because their customers aren’t asking for it and because they lack the resources.

Assess what makes the most sense for your customers and your business, always keeping the customer experience in mind.  Marketers today need to identify new ways to establish meaningful connections with their customers.  Digital receipts at the point-of-sale are proving to be a way to accomplish this goal.