Household / Shared Accounts

A common scenario is where a Customer (or Employee, or Member) is able to “share” benefits of their account, with their immediate household. There may be other variations but we’ll stick with that example here.

Although to clarify, while many e.g. retail food co-ops may consider the “Household” concept to be an extension of a “Member” account specifically, Rattail instead considers it a logical extension of the “Customer” account. This is because the benefits which are extended to the household normally apply to “shopping” specifically, and Rattail uses the “Customer” concept to represent that. (Same holds true for a more traditional retailer which might extend benefits to the Household of an Employee - the Household will still fall under a Customer account logically.)

So it might be possible for Rattail to add a broader / more generic “Household” concept later, but for now it’s all about Customers. (And a Member account is normally tied to a Customer account, so it’s not much more than a difference of semantics.)

Okay! With that out of the way…

Household accounts can be tricky. For instance are these people actually tracked in your system? (Do they need to be?) If so are they tracked as separate accounts or just minimal (e.g. name) info somehow tacked onto the main account? In particular how are the accounts represented in your POS system?

Rattail can be used to help track e.g. Household-related links between various Person and/or Customer records. What you do with such links is up to you of course, but some ideas:

If your POS allows for it, you might have Rattail keep the POS in sync for (at least certain types of) changes to Household-related accounts. For instance in the dynamic coupon scenario, let’s say you do maintain separate POS accounts for the “parent” Customer as well as the Household “shopper”. When a coupon is given it may be enabled for both of the accounts, but then when it is redeemed by either it becomes disabled for both.

Now, maybe your POS already has a way to link Household accounts, and even a way to handle the dynamic coupon example. But then that sounds like you already have a good enough system and don’t need Rattail to be the Household “system” at all. Although it could still be used for reporting and similar needs, etc.

So if your current situation is “not ideal” then Rattail is here to help in whatever way it can; however it’s difficult to describe the scenarios it might best be suited for, until more real-world scenarios are dealt with.