E-Receipts: Macy’s Wins Big in Customer Convenience & Data Collection


Share on LinkedIn

I’m an eternally indecisive shopper. So when I absolutely can’t decide between two or three of something, say curtains, I buy all of them. I figure I’ll try each one, see which looks best, and return the others. Retailers’ easy return policies make it convenient to do this, and avoid the cognitive dissonance so feared by shoppers like me. Unless of course, they lose the receipt. Which, if you’re anything like me, has probably happened on more than one occasion, leaving you stuck with, well, three pairs of curtains.

Last week, after getting new bedroom furniture, I was laser-focused on finding the perfect bedding to complete my room’s new look (made ever more complicated by my prima donna ways when it comes to softness and high thread counts). After scouring dozens of websites, I found the perfect duvet set—a soothing minty color with a fresh design, all in luxurious sateen cotton. As I anxiously awaited its arrival in the mail, I went ahead and purchased throw pillows to accent, in a crisp shade of gray that offered just the right contrast. All this only to find–when the duvet set finally arrived–that what the manufacturer called “jade”, which appeared to be a soft pastel green on my computer, was actually more of a jarring lime. After sending it back, I decided online shopping may not have been the way to go, and headed to the mall instead.

Three and a half hours later, I had viewed literally every bedding selection in the mall, touched and tested the fabrics for softness, and considered the matching euro sham and throw pillow options for each design. Still, I was impossibly stuck between two choices: a rustic earthy green set from Pottery Barn, and a more contemporary dusky-hued alternative at Macy’s. So I did what I always do when I get in this type of bind, and bought both, vowing to put the receipts in my dashboard as soon as I got in the car. But as I swiped my credit card at Macy’s, the machine asked me a question I hadn’t seen before: How would I prefer my receipt: an e-mail copy, a print copy, or both? I smiled, ear to ear.

E-receipts for in-store customers: a simple concept, and a genius one. For shoppers like me, it’s a huge relief to not have to worry about hanging on to that receipt, knowing it can be accessed online at any time. But even for more functional consumers, online receipts reduce clutter and save time. Records can be easily organized, filtered and retrieved in their mailboxes at any time, even accessed through mobile devices.

In addition to the value-add to customers, Macy’s benefits from e-receipts in a big way itself: what a great way to get shoppers’ e-mail addresses into their customer database! Even if Macy’s can’t or doesn’t directly market to these addresses (doing so without customer consent would be a terrible idea), the company can reconcile users by matching email addrmacysesses to credit card data (which in turn may be matched to other customer data it may already have). This boost to customer intelligence is a big step toward that all-important single view of the customer.

Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time Macy’s has been at the forefront of digital innovators. In 2011, it took the top ranking for its Digital IQ, largely because of its well-developed social media presence and mobile site.

Keep up the good work, Macy’s! Now here’s to hoping I don’t lose that darn Pottery Barn receipt.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sakina Walsh
Sakina Walsh is Sr. Manager of Strategic Planning at Quaero. With a strong background in digital strategy and multi-channel consulting, Sakina brings a deep expertise in the various nuances of the online customer experience to Quaero's Strategy group. Her insights help clients answer key business challenges, increase revenue, and create industry-leading interactive experiences.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here