Logical 02302 - Retail Transaction - Documents

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Logical 02302 - Retail Transaction - Documents is new.  Its purpose is to add entities that improve ARTS representation of retail transaction-related printed and digital documents.  As used here the term document means an artifact that is created and given to a customer (either as a piece of paper, or digital image) to memorialize an underlying retail transaction.  In this sense a document exists as an entity that is separate from, but linked to an underlying retail transaction.  Retail transaction documents serve several important purposes:

Provide customers with corroborating evidence that a transaction has been completed (which is useful for tax reporting, personal financial management ,etc.);

Records an issuance of a reward to a customer with the intent of turning the document back to the retailer to redeem that reward;

For anonymous customers provides a method to validate and authenticate a transaction when returning merchandise, submitting a rebate claim, redeeming a reward discount, etc.; and

Provides an additional way for retailers to promote products and services by supplementing basic receipts with reward offers.

The new entities, attributes and relationships in this subject area round out ARTS treatment of retail transactions.  The diagram here presents an entity model for the new subject area.  The circled numbers show the order used to walk through the subject area.

Figure 56: - Retail Transaction Documents


Optionally Related Customer Membership and Reward Programs

The Customer Membership Programs and Rewards block in the diagram is one part of a major extension to the ARTS ODM.  That extension addresses the complexity of retail reward programs, customer membership programs, promotional offers and supporting rules and governing entities.  The Customer Membership Programs and Rewards topic covered in this narrative covers the entities in this block in detail.  The important point (illustrated in the diagram below) is that RetailTransactionDocument may exist independently from Reward and CustomerMembershipProgramAccount entities.  This uncoupling of retail transaction documents enables retailers to decide how they want to produce and use printed and digital customer artifacts in their business.

Figure 57 - Retail Transaction Documents and Customer Membership Reward Programs


Retail Transaction Document Subtypes

Logical 02302 includes a number of retail transaction document types as illustrated in the next diagram.  Additional document subtypes may be added in future data model releases.  One of the challenges with modeling documents this way is assigning appropriate entity type names.  In practice retailers use terms like rebates, vouchers, gift cards, etc. in a casual manner that does not always reflect the basic differences between them.  In the ARTS ODM, the different kinds of retail documents are defined and attributed in ways that clarify distinguishing characteristics and attempt to create a more precise, controlled retail document vocabulary.

Figure 58 - Retail Transaction Document Subtypes and Illustrations


Retail Transaction Document Attributes and Select Entity Definitions

The next diagram shows the attributes and provides entity definitions for several core retail transaction document entities.  Attribute-level definitions are provided as links from the formal ARTS ODM entity relationship diagram presented in the next section.

Figure 59 - Retail Transaction Document Entity Attribute View


Raincheck Discussion

As a broad concept rainchecks encompass the following kinds of scenarios:

Event oriented rainchecks - For sporting events, concerts and other entertainment related transactions rainchecks may be issued when the event has to be delayed due to inclement weather or some other unforeseen contingency.  This kind of raincheck basically allows the customer to use their ticket (which has a designated event date, time and venue) in a future different event.  In this case is does not involve a coupon, discount or other customer reward it simply moves the time (and possibly venue) of an entertainment event;

Refunds characterized as rainchecks - For experience-oriented businesses like miniature golf, amusement parks, golf clubs, tennis clubs, etc, it is possible that customers receive a refund in the form of a voucher for another time when they can participate in the recreational activity.  Technically this kind of raincheck is a return; and

Deferred reward rainchecks deal with the deferred redemption of a reward.  Unlike event oriented rainchecks this kind of raincheck concerns rewards (i.e. coupons, vouchers, etc.) not the underlying entertainment event. This is the kind of raincheck represented in this subject area.

The deferred reward treatment of a raincheck discussed here is congruent with its treatment in POSLOG6.  POSLOG6 defines raincheck as “A flavor of retail transaction line item whereby the customer wanted to purchase an item, but it is unavailable, and the store is issuing a special receipt guaranteeing the price of the item to the customer when it next becomes available.”  The “special receipt” functions as a voucher that is used by the customer to obtain the promised discount on a subsequent of the on sale item.  POSLOG6 represents the issuance of the raincheck.  Note that there are almost always two steps to completing a raincheck.  Step 1 is the issue of the raincheck.  Step 2 is the subsequent redemption of the raincheck by granting the promised discount on an item.