Saturday, June 16, 2012

The evolution of spam: Nordstrom and mandatory spam acceptance

We've come a long way baby.

A year ago Nordstrom's began offering optional email receipts as "a convenient, environmentally friendly alternative to paper receipts."

Of course there are alway a few skeptics who doubted Nordstrom's integrity, but USA Today was reassuring

Retailers ditch paper and pen, use email for receipts -

... no retailer serious about building a relationship with its customers would consider taking advantage of email access, said John Talbott, assistant director of Indiana University's Center for Education and Research in Retailing.

That's because for the retailer, the most significant benefit is being able to offer a service customers appreciate, he said. It isn't about cutting costs, he said, as less than 1% of a retailer's total revenue goes toward paper and ink for receipts.

Instead, the driving force is providing an option that makes the store a more appealing place to shop...

Yesterday Emily bought a shirt at Nordstrom's. The email receipt, she was told, was mandatory. No, of course there'd be no spam. She doesn't have a spam account, so she gave them her gmail account.

She got her first Nordstrom spam a few hours later. I'll show her how to use filters later today.

Not to worry though, paper receipts are not long for this world. Soon we'll be buying things with our phones. No spam there, since of course there's no tie between our phone's unique identifier and our email and phone number.

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