TechCrunch reports on future of e-receipts, flexReceipts responds

In September, TechCrunch published an article on the digital receipt trend in the retail industry. Written by a consultant who promotes the use of digital receipts in the banking industry, the article “The Big Picture on Digital Receipts” brought up several good points about the future of this retail solution. But, we feel he missed on a few fronts, too. Below is an open letter in response to Mark Johnson (@ReceiptReliance):

Dear Mark,

Thank you for thinking about the future of e-receipts.  It was a thought-provoking and forward-thinking article.

And, it hit a few homeruns. But, to carry on the baseball metaphor, there were also a few swing and misses.

The lead paragraph suggests the retailers are acting from a not-so-altruistic place and have lost sight of the customer. I would disagree.

We have found that most retailers who are implementing an e-receipts program keep their end customer top of mind. They’re cautious not to alienate their shoppers, and are implementing digital receipts to the delight of their customers. Retailers view digital receipts as a way to engage with the customer post-transaction to better their chances of becoming a repeat buyer.

You mention that retailers view coupons and loyalty programs as the same level of importance as the receipt.  I think you’re comparing two different job responsibilities. Going back to baseball, it’s like asking if strikes are more important than runs. You’ve got to have both to win the game.

You talk about a receipt including something that consumers find relevant.  How about relevant offers, promotions, or product recommendations? A flexReceipt can wrap all of that into an e-receipt, including social media links, how-to videos and, yes, warranty information, too. For what it’s worth, flexReceipts also offers its retailers a merchant portal where all of a customer’s purchase history is linked together, which makes returns and loyalty programs that much easier for a customer.

And, speaking of the customer, flexReceipts offers a consumer portal where all of their digital receipts can be housed in one centralized location, an answer to your statement that e-receipt management must be “frictionless” for the consumer.

Now, on to the bigger picture. In general, I agree with your thinking that having receipts available in your banking portal is a good idea.  But, how about those consumers that have two or three different cards?  Or, how about cash purchases? That's why we initially created flexReceipts.com : one place where consumers can store all of their receipts that is tender agnostic.  This, as you mention does require ubiquity, and flexReceipts is positioned to lead the charge on that front.

The Big Picture on Digital Receipts in our opinion is that it’s got to be a win-win for both the consumer and the merchant. In the end, an e-receipt has to be relevant to the consumer, yes, but it has to be a solution that merchants can be happy with as well.

When the consumer and the retailer are happy?

Grand Slam!