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Jack Dorsey's Advice to Dying Retailers: Disrupt Receipts

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Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Brick-and-mortar retailers may be dropping like flies running up against the likes of Amazon and discount retailers, but Square’s Jack Dorsey has an answer. The receipt.

Dorsey delivered this bit of utopian wisdom of a world where receipts were much more than shriveled pocket debris at the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show conference in New York City today. In this world, receipts become a “communication channel,” a “publishing medium,” a “canvas,” if you will.

“What can we do with this everyday tool?” Dorsey asked a roomful of people with blank stares.

Using a receipt effectively, Dorsey preached, can lead retailers closer to the holy grail: Bringing one-time customers back.

This receipt talk went on for a while, and I was relatively convinced where it was going. In all honestly, I was waiting for the big Jobs-like reveal. Lights dim, Dorsey digs into his front pocket and whips something out. Nerds faint. “We call it … Square Receipt,” Dorsey would proclaim.

None of that happened. After a few more minutes of the crazy talk, Dorsey segued into a pitch for Square’s current products. Dorsey referenced how those shoppers who use Square’s mobile wallet to pay at stores that run their payments through Square receive electronic receipts that ask for feedback and tips and other useful information for businesses.

That said, Dorsey is likely not done talking up receipts. “Square is currently working on features that bring more value than ever to the receipt,” Square spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn told Re/code on Wednesday afternoon.

Hate to break it to you, Dorsey. Chipotle is way ahead of you.

This article originally appeared on

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