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Created: January 18, 2002.
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ARTS and IXRetail Release XML Price and Digital Receipt Schemas for Retail Industry.

Recent announcements from the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) and the International XML Retail Cooperative (IXRetail) describe the release of new XML schemas for use by retailers. The IXRetail digital receipt XML schema "provides retailers the ability to create, deliver and archive digital receipts using in-store point-of-sale transaction data. The digital receipt is an electronic purchase verification that can be issued by retailers, financial institutions or any other industry that provides consumers proof of purchase. Development of the IXRetail digital receipt standard represents a two-year effort by retail and technology industry leaders through the Digital Receipt Alliance (Office Depot, Home Depot, VISA, NCR, HP-Verifone, Intuit, Microsoft, American Online, and Valicert)." ARTS and IXRetail also released XML-based price schemas for public review and input from retailers. Other IXRetail XML schemas for Transaction Log, Stored Value, Inventory, Remote Equipment Monitoring, and Payment will be released later in 2002. The price schemas are being piloted by Longs Drugs; they are "part of a comprehensive XML data model being developed by ARTS, and are designed to allow retailers to deliver consistent and accurate real-time pricing information to virtually any requesting device -- including hand held units, web sites, phones, and kiosks. The price schemas being piloted are based on the ARTS Data Model and use the ARTS XML Data Dictionary of more than 3,000 standard XML data tags, definitions and codes."

From the announcements:

The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) and IXRetail are very pleased to announce the availability of the IXRetail digital receipt XML schema... The AfterBOT ReceiptPLUS web-service solution has been implemented at Smart & Final Stores, a 233-store warehouse grocery retailer based in Commerce, CA. AfterBOT's Receipt solution, which is the first digital receipt implementation based on the IXRetail digital receipt ARTS standard, provides retailers the ability to create, deliver and archive digital receipts using in-store point-of-sale transaction data.

Digital receipts provide benefits to all parties in a sales transaction. They provide retailers a new method of communicating with customers for marketing and targeted promotions, help reduce third party credit charge backs and fraudulent returns, and enable proximity payments through cellular phones and handheld personal digital assistants. Customers who use digital receipts have a more efficient method for storing and retrieving receipts for future returns and warrantee processing, updating personal finance and small business accounting systems, and for using a cellular phone and PDAs to make proximity payments. In addition, the digital receipt provides manufacturers and third parties with a standard method to obtain sales information for making production and promotion cycle adjustments, streamlining warrantee and rebate claim processing, and assists in the efficient resolution of credit card purchase disputes between retailers and banks. The benefits of the digital receipt are maximized by the IXRetail schema. This standard creates a single data interface for all systems serving retailers, consumers, manufacturers and third parties.

[The ARTS and IXRetail XML-based price schemas] are available for public review and input from retailers. The price schemas are also now available for a pilot implementation by a leading multi-channel merchant... Longs Drugs feels that adoption of the XML pricing standard could make their current efforts to migrate back-end price servers much more manageable. The piloted price schemas will allow Longs to swap price servers without spending valuable time and resources on systems integration.

Retailers using the standard price schemas can increase interoperability, reduce integration costs, and facilitate e-commerce functions among trading partners and customers because XML provides a platform-independent, vendor-neutral way of exchanging data. Accuracy and real-time price availability are the advantageous results of this unprecedented level of systems interoperability. Using the schemas, a retailer can easily connect new devices -- including registers, price checkers, kiosks, and employee hand helds -- to existing price servers. In addition, they can implement new price servers without reintegrating the systems feeding those servers, or the devices performing price lookups. In this way, retailers can streamline price management across the enterprise and establish strategic control of prices across all channels.

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