Argos rolls out digital receipts to nail down its single customer view

Consumers have been promised a paperless world for years and yet still happily accept paper receipts at checkout – stuffing them into a bag or wallet where they inevitably get lost or damaged. Yet digital, emailed receipts offer not only a better way for customers to manage their purchasing history, but also a more singular view for retailers of what, where and how their customers are shopping.

It is something Apple has been doing for some time but the news last week that Argos has become the first national high street retailer to rollout emailed receipts across its 700-plus store portfolio in partnership with eReceipts is yet another step forward by the retailer to better understand and take advantage of a single customer view of their instore and online channels.

The eReceipts platform Argos has chosen allows retailers to collect insight via real-time dashboards which can provide views from store managers to be able to monitor sales, baskets sizes or adoption of emailed receipts.

Customer insight

eReceipts also allows retailers to obtain customer insight across all channels through behavioural segmentation, which can then be used for category and range reviews along with pricing and promotions optimisation.

With an open rate of 70%, the channel is also a far more effective way of communicating with customers than through traditional CRM channels which means the opportunities for tying in promotional messages too are huge.

At Argos the open rates are between 65 and 70%. “There’s not another marketing channel that has that sort of engagement,” points out eReceipts sales and marketing director Edward Drax.

For customers too, communication becomes more relevant and targeted since retailers can communicate more personalised messaging as well as useful content such as how to videos, recipes and instruction manuals for example, rather than lesser value ‘spray and pray’ promotional activity.

Personalisation is coming

Although the initial focus at Argos has been on rolling out the eReceipts platform and getting staff engagement around the new process, personalised messaging functionality will be added within weeks.

Stephen Vowles, marketing director at Argos, said that the emailed receipts solution, which was trialled in the autumn before a rollout in October, had been well received by staff and customers alike.

“Customers love it because they feel reassured that they have a record of purchases without cluttering up their wallets and colleagues appreciate the benefits which enable them to provide and even more convenient service to customers,” he said.

Of course eReceipts is going to claim effectiveness of its solution but it is backed up by independent research too. Experian claims that by using emailed receipts as a communications channel can generate revenue that is up to six times higher than that which can be achieved using traditional CRM techniques.

As Drax himself points out digital receipts are easy to overlook in their apparent simplicity but the additional benefits they can offer a retailer are huge and cannot be ignored.

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