We talked to Shahryar Faraji, founder at 1receipt® on how shoppers can embrace a paperless shopping experience with one central platform for receipts and he had the following say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Shahryar Faraji: Everything going alright, trying to get use to the new COVID-normal situation 🙂
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded 1receipt®.
Shahryar Faraji: I am the founder of “1receipt®” startup to eliminate paper receipts and reduce paper wastage footprint by shifting to a true contactless digital shopping receipt.
Seeing people exiting shops or department stores while they are throwing away large pieces of white papers (shopping receipts) into the nearest bin inspired me to do a half- year-long research to find a solution to prevent wasting such a valuable resource as well as reducing retailers’ cost for issuing paper receipts and making shoppers’ life even easier for storing/retrieving their shopping receipts without revealing their personal information. Also, in Australia, we have to keep our receipts for at least 5 years for GST calculation and other tax purposes – a task that looks practically impossible due to the maximum one-year life span of the thermal paper receipts.
How does 1receipt® innovate?
Shahryar Faraji: Currently, some businesses in Australia like to offer “email receipt” or “sms receipt.” This means they send your receipt to your email or your phone number. Obviously, you have to reveal your email address or phone number every time you do business with them.
With 1receipt unique and secure technology, you won’t reveal any personal information to the retailers. Just scan a barcode on your phone, and you’re done! They won’t know anything from you. We cut giving personal information out and give people the opportunity to check out faster at shopping centers.
With 1receipt, shoppers feel Cybersecured. All the customer data is 100% encrypted. Even 1receipt staff can’t see people’s personal information.
Using 1receipt custom algorithm, shoppers can see their receipts in real-time at checkout point on 1receipt app on their phone – practically from any digital devices.
The other solution in the market is scanning an “already printed paper receipts” by a smartphone app and convert it to digital; obviously, there is no merit in this solution – neither environmentally nor retailer’s cost reduction.
With 1receipt®, retailers can also benefit from unique other capabilities by sending targeted ads in the form of push notification to shopper’s mobile app (obviously with users’ consent), which will bring more customers to their shop and increase their sales while they can save money by going digital where shoppers can keep their information safe and ultimately save their time.
Our method also allows a shopper to avoid excessive emails sent by retailers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
After successfully managed to finish our last R&D stage (MVP) in 2019, we started the “marketing and sales” stage to approach retail stores (mainly in Melbourne CBD) to sell our service. The aim of this stage (started 12 February 2020) was to secure contracts with 230 small and medium retailers by 13 April 2020 to implement 1receipt hardware (Pyramid™) and software at their stores and be ready for our public launch. We also targeted/advertised to have 2,100 shoppers with installed 1receipt app on their smartphones.
Obviously, our ultimate goal was to have as many “contracted retailers” as possible. We realized that the quickest marketing method is a face-to-face approach to stores and talk to owners to get them onboard. Until early March, our marketing team, fortunately, secured several retailers (brand names available on our website).
After the COVID-19 outbreak, we had no option but to close down the office and stop the work (no remote work option due to our face-to-face method of selling). Also, due to stopping manufacturing services in China (making our Pyramid scanner), we failed to deliver Pyramid to our already contracted clients. Consequently, we had to cancel our public launch.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Shahryar Faraji: Yes, we have been forced to make difficult decisions for our marketing process. Since we are no longer able to do a face-to-face approach to retail stores/department stores to secure contracts for our service, we have no choice but to deal with them “remotely.” Our team needs to find their internet contact details and communicate/negotiate with them to introduce our service and its benefits and convince them to contact us through digital media(remotely). Fortunately, we managed to partner with a local Australian supermarket called IGA to pilot 1receipt at their Melbourne stores.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and 1receipt® in the future?
Shahryar Faraji: As a startup founder, the stress and anxiety is double than that of a regular worker because you have to manage from Product R&D until closing customers to handling rejections and pressure. Luckily I managed to overcome this by surrounding myself with great team members and mentors/advisors who helped me all the way.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Shahryar Faraji: The following are our competitors.
yReceipts – provides email receipts (risk of sharing personal information)
flexEngage – provides custom email receipts (risk of sharing personal information)
Banks (i.e., CommBank with Slyp) – Integrate customer’s shopping receipt with an individual transaction, which some people are not comfortable to reveal/store their proof of purchase in their bank transaction.
Point of Sales Makers (i.e., Oracle POS) – They add a receipt management software to their POS. However, in their platform, shoppers need to give their personal data such as email or phone number. Personal data sharing risk by Email / SMS receipts.
Receipt Scanner App (i.e., Receipt Bank) – What Receipt Bank does is to enable shoppers to scan their paper receipts via an in-app scanner and store them digitally. Still, millions of trees cut for issuing paper receipts!
We see our competitors as an advantage in how we can improve our product better to deliver an impressive user experience for our customers.
Your final thoughts?
Shahryar Faraji: Goodbye, paper receipt®. Hello, 1receipt®.
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