Are Receipts Integration Gold for Marketers?

Are Receipts Integration Gold for Marketers?

By: Katherine Meyer
August 17, 2011

In our consumer-driven society, marketers continually look for opportunities to cut through the clutter and give their product a shining moment in the consumer’s eye. With digital gadgets more likely to be in consumer’s pockets and the increasing ease of collecting data on consumers, designers and marketers are rethinking these opportunities for engagement. What if, instead of simply getting a receipt with your purchase and perhaps a few coupons, receipts became a ‘paper app’ –  or something experiential?

Berg, a London-based design firm, was asked to rethink what a receipt is and how it can become something more useful or engaging to consumers. And frankly, I’m a fan! The work they have done so far is really cool.

So what did Berg do that is so cool? What they realized is that receipt machines are already connected to complex systems that report consumer spending and product purchase data. With access to this information, receipts can transition from a sheet of paper with coupons for products you commonly purchase to something that provides news or information that might be useful to you as the consumer. More simply, what if your receipt was more tailored to your life and things that relate to your purchase decisions? By offering more valuable content to consumers, wouldn’t this enrich their overall impressions of your store? I think so.

As a new resident of Chicago, I’m constantly on the lookout for new things or places to check out so I can learn more about my city. If I went to purchase an album from a store in my neighborhood, it would be of great value to me if the receipt had information about shows or street festivals happening in the area. Or if it said something like “Since you like Adele, go to XYX and get one of their killer burgers. Adele loves hamburgers.” It would make me laugh – and I would probably go check out one of those burgers.

As we’ve mentioned before, user experience is something important to consider at all times, regardless of whether or not it’s a design product. I’m jazzed about this because this concept takes a commonly discarded paper item, and redefines the experience the consumer has with it. And that adds value not only to that purchase, but also to the overall experience the consumer has at your store and/or with the products they buy from you.

There are a plethora of opportunities – and so much room for creativity. Receipts could become a tool with which to raise awareness about social or health concerns, rally attendance for community event, promote purchasing local products or simply provide a quip or factoid that might make consumers smile.

Do you think consumers will take note of receipts like this – or will people continue to largely ignore them? We would love to hear your thoughts.

  • A short digression. Imagine how would receipt look like if not purchased two items, but 20. I mean, graphs, etc. And even more, it would be interesting what useful info would issue receipt, whether in it cigarettes and, say, condoms?

    Well, closer to the subject. I think that the additional information on the receipt is not needed. We’re overloaded with information. Most people head is so overloaded that we are trying to pass through itself only really important for us info. We ourselves find that we need, modern technology can do it anywhere, not just at home or office. Additional information that we do not seek, do not ask for and imposed on us against our will is perceived as spam. How often do you view messages from the spam list?

  • Just like any design, a large grocery should approach design much differently from a small café or speciality shop. You can’t look at something like this, designed for a very specific case, and say “hey that’s dumb because it doesn’t work for this other thing that it wasn’t designed for!” 

    I think the key point to take home here is that receipts are a great opportunity to do something fun, personal, and interesting – and to not consider them as a possible part of a marketing strategy may be missing an opportunity. 

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  • Anonymous

    I totally see your point, but I love design. And the way this receipt was done delighted me. But I do understand your concerns – and if everyone every where did it, it would annoy me.

  • Anonymous

    Well said — I think it could be pretty cool. And nothing is really for everyone — so it’s an opportunity to differentiate yourself in a creative manner. I. Like. It.

  • Anonymous

    I replied to your second post – and really do see your point. I think that what you’re missing is that we’re not advocating this is for everyone. But it is a fun and creative thing to consider – for the right business.