A New Practical Application for Email

Posted by Bonnie Malone 

How many times have you made a purchase and needed to return an item, but couldn’t find the receipt? Or, the receipt got accidentally washed in that new pair of pants and is totally unreadable? Or, your husband made the purchase and has no idea where the receipt could be – or if he actually ever got one?

A few days ago, I was in the mall shopping with my daughter. During the checkout process at Gap Kids, I was asked by the cashier if I would like the receipt emailed to me. Surprised by the request, and highly curious, I said yes. The cashier entered my email address into the POS system and the debit card keypad prompted me to verify the address before checkout was completed. Minutes later, I received an electronic duplicate of the paper receipt provided in store:

Immediately, I was enamored with this very practical – but new – application for email.  Having spent the bulk of my career working for big box retailers, I understood how impactful this process could be for the store’s return process – not just the customer’s convenience.  And, as a email marketer, I began to think of how that same email could also impact the growth of the email file with permissioning layered on both at the point of sale and in the email content itself.

I think this is a very cool concept (hats off to the Gap!), and wonder if you have experienced something similar with other companies?  Or if you would consider implementing this kind of tactic as part of your email program?

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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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