Sending digital receipts is one obvious way for retailers to cut front-end operating costs, but industry experts also credit electronic receipts for helping chains move closer to “greener” point-of-sale systems.
More often than not, shoppers leave stores holding a sales receipt the length of a party streamer, but how much of this printed information is really valuable? The truth is, not much.
“I am holding a receipt from a drug chain with two line items, two packs of M&Ms for $1, yet my receipt is literally 9 inches,” said Greg Buzek, president, IHL Consulting Group, Franklin, Tenn.
Besides the store logo, store address and a bar code for returns, the receipt also contained a “Welcome” from the cashier, a variety of promotions, online survey information and a customer-service number.
“Shoppers may be interested in some of this information, but overall, that can be condensed into a 2-in. receipt,” Buzek said. “By delivering receipts digitally, retailers can deliver all the information they want at a fraction of the cost.”
Here are some considerations to keep in mind with regard to digital receipts:
By implementing these hints, chains could cut paper costs upward of 50% in some cases, Buzek commented.
Sending digital receipts also gives retailers the freedom to give more information to the shopper. “This is the place to incite shoppers to participate in telephone-based and online surveys, and send targeted promotions—all at a fraction of the cost of printing them out,” Buzek explained.
Digital receipts could also help chains streamline returns. The portal becomes a central place of customer interaction, one that can provide the option to print receipts for store-based returns. It is also a great place for retailers to upsell and market merchandise that is available online to recapture the sale.