Linking Offline Behavior through Email Receipts

Bryce MarshallFor many businesses, customers are shopping and buying through their branded website, branded retail stores, or through catalogs and call centers. Trying to identify and understand customers who utilize the offline buying options has been far more difficult to track. Consider what percent of all retail transactions include a loyalty card or a coupon code. Can we link these activities together more effectively than we do? While many consumers are taking advantage of loyalty programs and coupons, there is definitely a gap.
One of the things more and more consumers are finding value in is receiving an email receipt or transaction summary via email at the time of purchase – in-store or through a call center. When the consumer volunteers their email address to receive such valuable communication, very important information like the transaction ID, transaction amount, and retail location can be tied to the email address. And, of course, if this is an email address already in the profile database from other online engagements, all of this offline data can be auto-linked to the profile. It’s my guess that in coming years, more and more consumers will be comfortable providing their email address at the time of transaction in order to receive a digital receipt. And as this population grows, it will help retailers fill the gap among those transactions which today do not include loyalty program details or coupon codes.

Clearly there may be disparate systems processing online and offline transactions, and charged with delivering the automated receipt/confirmation messaging. And this is okay. A best solution would be to leverage an API integration with the Knotice platform to inform the delivery of the receipt/confirmation emails enabling clean capture of the message contents (transaction ID, purchase amount, location).

What do each of these scenarios have in common? Email is delivering value for both the consumer and the business. At no point are we using email addresses and email messaging outside of a strict permission framework, nor taking any steps outside the comfort zone for the average shopper. We are building trust within the brand-consumer relationship, not breaching it. Yet each scenario is architected in a way to potentially add a tremendous amount of value to the business to help stitch together disparate channel events, activities and attributes within a profile data-management framework.

It will take a bit of thoughtfulness and collaboration from diverse business units to make these scenarios a reality, but each example shows that cultivating a valuable profile data solution is very possible with email messaging as a strategic asset.

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