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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Retail Love: Personalized Receipts

How often do you actually scrutinize the receipt you receive after paying for your essential shoppings at Nandan, Agora, PQS, MeenaBazaar etc.? Chances are very high that not many of us want to read it line by line, as it bears nothing more than the testimony of the payer being poorer at that instance. Was wondering would it make any difference if the malls would consider pepping up the plain and boring act of handing over receipts with statutory texts, legal terms, promotional items etc. by also doing the following.

1. How about asking for name of say every 10th customer and typing it in before printing the receipt. So that the receipt would read, 'Thank you (Asif, Sonia, Rahat) for shopping at Agora with us today'. Will that add a bit of personalization?

2. How about random motivational quotes or 'On this day in history' information on the slips? One might argue that what is the relevance of putting these unrelated information in a receipt? Well that exactly is the point. The objective is to divert buyer's attention to the possibly not so good feeling of becoming poorer by some hundred taka, to something lighter, entertaining and short-living, something which is good as it happens only at the bill counter or at the queue.

3. How about having a webcam installed at every till and targeting customers especially with children to make a pose and smile as the checking clerk pushes the final button for the bills and prints the receipt with a photo icon in it? Its likely that children might find this idea of printing free photos on receipts very exciting and persuade parents to visit that shop everytime, for a reason...or without time.

4. How about asking customers in the receipts to return a collection of say 10 past receipts within 2 months to be able to enter into some sort of lucky draw, free gift voucher or some sort of 'free love' from the retail shop?

5. I am convinced that I suffer from short term memory (ref. Hindi movie Ghajini :) ) as I still have the habit of writing 'things to buy from kacha bajar' in a small piece of paper mixing Bangla and English as my preparatory work. I must admit that I still don't know the names of many spices and vegetables in English and I end up writing it in Bangla in my shopping list such as 'hing, jabitri, jaifol, mushurir dal, tej pata etc'. I always mix up between cardamom, cinnamon, cummins etc. and still function better by writing and reading dhonia, jira, gorom moshla, elachi, darchini. How about asking customers if they want the receipt to be printed in Bangla or English? Is it too much of an overhead or are there too many software complications to achieve this? I reckon not.

6. What about Lazz Pharma and bigger medicine retailers printing out random health and care tips on their receipts?

This simple act of doing something new with something as old and as mundane as a shopping receipt might help those pieces of paper from not being trashed through the car window or to the nearest litter bin along the way. Also, since retail shopping has become more of an experience worthwhile, so there is no harm in giving customers new experiences through something as small as a receipt.


Jeeshan said...

Nice post. Innovative ways to get emotionally attached with consumers. Theres a lot that retailers can do, unfortunately very few have come to realization. Even if they do, they ll ask whats the net impact to my bottomline?

Shehzaad said...

@Jeeshan our retailers are content and confident of the fact that even if they don't do anything unique for their customers, they will still continue making good profits. As they never gave the consumers the chance or even the awareness to demand more.

Nasir U Ahmed said...

It's also probably because the outlets don't face stiff competition and hence never bother about bringing up some little innovations for attracting customers.

I personally liked the fourth suggestion which I believe would encourage more customers to visit the outlets more frequently.