Retailers are increasingly going the way of omnichannel offerings, upgrading their businesses to accommodate today’s consumer, and now they are turning to a simple element to amplify the purchasing experience: the receipt.
In an effort to support the omnichannel trend and give retailers a post-sale avenue for extending services and engaging customers, Orlando-based startup flexReceipts developed patent-pending, interactive digital receipts that let retailers add social media links, videos and customized offers to a purchaser’s receipt.
Tomas Diaz, flexReceipts’ CEO, said, “In today’s fast-paced retail world, personalization and instant gratification are must have’s for retailers. Yet, consumers still demand a high level of service and attention. The humble receipt is a medium to delight a customer after the purchase is complete.” He added, “By delivering an enriched digital receipt immediately post-purchase, a retailer can personalize the receipt to thank the customer for their purchase, can recommend additional products, and can even provide incentives for that customer to return to their store.”
The receipt not only encourages customer engagement, it also offers businesses analytical insight into shopping trends and consumer spending habits.
“Similar to e-mail marketing,” Diaz said, “retailers will receive analytics akin to open rates. But, it goes well beyond that. Our retailers are provided with an analytical suite that provides metrics to help retailers identify new users, repeat purchasers; it provides shopping basket analysis, ties to overall retail and industry trends and even shows cannibalization trends.”
From the customer perspective, managing receipts will become less painful as the digital solution provides a portal where consumers can manage their purchases with digital receipt storage. Returns will also be easier–and also trackable–and submitting warranty information and rebate claims will be less of a hassle.
Some major retailers like Apple, Sears and Gap have been offering digital receipts for some time, but, Diaz said, most are just static PDFs of the original paper receipt. “While this is a good first step towards going digital, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of functionality and interaction,” he said.
Implementing flexReceipts technology is fairly straightforward, it works with any retailer or POS company and doesn’t infringe on Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. Costs are based on the volume of digital receipts delivered and, according to Diaz, are most times a fraction of a penny.
Last month, flexReceipts announced an exclusive deal with Retail Pro International (RPI) to bring its digital receipts to specialty retail stores throughout the U.S.
RPI vice president of business development Mike Bishop said, “The receipt has a love-hate relationship with the retail industry. It’s a necessity, but one that has long been ready for an update.” He added, “Now, flexReceipts is leading the charge in the e-receipts space, showing the industry how retailers can actually build loyalty and engagement beyond the sale.”
flexReceipts also finalized a funding agreement in March from Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund, LLC (FTSCF), a subsidiary of the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research to support the company’s continued growth. flexReceipts plans to hire more than thirty employees over the next three years.
Today, the retail experience is principally about providing every consumer a one-to-one, seamless shopping experience, and any experience that adds to that will be key to setting successful retailers apart.
Diaz said flexReceipts’ goal is to accommodate that reality. “Typically, the sales cycle ends when the customer receives their purchase,” he said, “But, the receipt actually extends the purchase cycle, offering the retailer direct interaction with the customer after they’ve walked out of the store. Consumers are craving this level of personalized attention and brands can use the receipt as a way to create loyal customers.”