Walmart Turns Digital Receipts Into Data Collection Opportunities
United States retail conglomerate Walmart is introducing e-receipts to revolutionise and personalise mobile marketing.
E-receipts and loyalty schemes have been around for some time, with Tesco clubcard being a prominent example, and other companies do have plans in place, but Walmart are the first store to start rolling out the program.
The idea is, unlike emails that may get lost in customer’s inboxes, the e-receipts get sent straight to their mobile app and users are then able to interact and get their in-store and mobile experience personalised. With the store able to see a full purchase history, product offers and marketing can then be more targeted towards the individual.
At checkout, a customer provides a mobile phone number into the debit card reader, selects e-receipt and opts in to receive a free text message after the transaction is processed. If the customer has an account, the phone number will sync the transaction details to his or her account. Receipts can also be scanned via QR code.
Gibu Thomas, who is Walmart's senior VP of mobile and digital media and appeared at the Source14 conference in San Francisco, said: “We view this as a platform. It will produce a fire hose of transactional data.”
Shoppers will also be able to make a product return or exchange using their digital receipt, rather than having to hang on to a print copy. Wendy Bergh, VP of mobile and digital strategy at Walmart Global e-commerce, even hopes the retailer will be able to use the data acquired to make the shopping list portion of its app a more predictive experience.
She told Mobile Commerce Daily "Imagine that you are shopping and the app reminds you to buy your milk or reminds you to buy nappies when you are running out,
“The best shopping list is one you don't even have to create and that is what we want to deliver for them so that's where we are heading.”
Bergh believes Walmart is innovators by moving away from automated emails and focusing on mobile technology. She said: “A lot of our competitors have launched e-receipts and most just email the e-receipt to the customer. It up to the customer to organise their e-receipts, to go through their email and file them away.
“We are taking a very different approach with the app.”