What is Email Receipt Alternative Data?
Email receipts data is transaction data that comes from email receipts. Panel size and available data for evaluation is typically smaller since the collection process requires an opt-in system or rewards app but is pretty accurate at tracking retail revenue.
Use Case for Hedge Funds
A popular use case involves tracking Amazon (or any other public company retailer) sales with email receipt data by noting quarter-over-quarter revenue changes implied by the data. From there, a cohort analysis is conducted to identify a set of customers who existed in the data before the quarter, measure the customers’ total spend with a particular retail during that quarter and measure the total spend of the same cohort the next quarter. Using email receipt data, it is possible to identify shopping basket composition, how much growth comes from existing customer base vs. new customer acquisition, which customer base is paying higher prices or buying more items, etc.
How Email Receipts Data is Captured
Email receipts data is typically sourced to an email software that the end-user installs, thereby allowing the vendor to gain access to that end-user’s email. An automated tool searches the end-user’s inbox for qualifying receipt data and is coded to pull only data from business receipts and not to actually read any personal emails.
Sample Fields Offered to Hedge Funds
- hashed or unique user/member ID
- merchant name
- order total amount
- order tax
- product description
- item price
- stock symbol
- order time
- email time
- create time
- last processed day
- expiration time
- billing zip code
- shipping zip code
While all email receipts data is anticipated to remain anonymized and at consumer level prior to being distributed to a hedge fund, there are certain compliance gaps to be mindful of:
- Data must be compliant with all applicable GDPR and CCPA guidelines
- Data must never contain first name, last name, phone number, residential address, email address of any customer. Data vendor should be mindful of emails with subject lines containing first and/or last names of the customer as well
- Appropriate notices and opt-in disclaimers must be provided by vendor to end-user prior to gaining access to the end-user’s email. The purpose must clearly state what the tool intends to do, what type of emails will be collected, what type of information will not be collected and that the aggregated, anonymized data may be redistributed (typically for a research report/market research purpose)
- If data vendor is acquiring data from a third-party, must confirm that it has the appropriate rights in place to the data and to redistribute
- Is the data cleansing process and Info Security framework robust?