The retail industry is ignoring the receipt as a potential engagement tool, according to Twitter chairman and co-founder Jack Dorsey.
Dorsey said at the NRF conference in New York on Wednesday that the receipt is one of the most powerful tools a retailer has to interact with customers on a personal one-to-one level. But retailers are failing to see the receipt as a means to “build a communication channel between the merchant and the buyer”.
He said: “We believe if you give something valuable to people they’re going to come back and create more value to commerce. The receipt is a rich communication channel that can be interactive,” he said during his keynote session at NRF.
In 2009 Dorsey founded Square – a small, square shaped mini card reader that attaches to a mobile device and enables the consumer to pay an amount to a chosen recipient.
The consumer can also open an app which enables them to store their credit card details once and see a directory of all the retailers who are signed up to scheme in the local area via geolocation technology.
When they walk into a store, their name and picture of their face appears on the retailer’s till and the merchant can confirm the payment without having to physically handle the consumer’s bank card.
A paperless receipt is then sent via text message or email. Dorsey believes this enables the retailer to engage in a much more meaningful way with the consumer.
“We see this product as a way to build a communication channel between the merchant and the buyer. We believe if you give something valuable to people they’re going to come back and create more value to commerce.
“The more you personalise the experience and tailor it to them the more they come back,” he said.
For Dorsey, the receipt is an overlooked opportunity for retailers to create better dialogues with their customers. “Sometimes the receipt isn’t taken – the reason it’s not taken is it’s not useful. We see the receipt more as a communication and publishing medium – a product in itself that people want to take home and engage with.”
Dorsey claimed the Square device is going to be “a big part of the future of commerce”, describing it as a “more affordable POS alternative”.
Since launching in 2010, there have been over 1 billion visits per year to merchants signed up to Square, Dorsey claimed. It is currently available for retailers in the US, Canada and Japan.