Choosing the Right System for Your Retail Store
Businesses and consumers alike need to keep track of their receipts, but the process can be a major headache. From overflowing shoeboxes under the bed to hours spent sorting, scanning, and filing merchant copies – it’s time to update our transaction management habits.
This post takes an up-close look at e-receipts for business:
1.) What they are; 2.) Why it’s time to make the switch, and 3.) How to pick the right system for your retail store.
What is an E-Receipt?
E-Receipts (also known as electronic, digital, or smart receipts) send a virtual proof of purchase to a customer’s phone or email. They contain the same itemized transaction details as paper receipts – but the exchange is fully digital.
Most e-receipts are delivered in one of three ways: via email, text message, or e-receipt software. While each option is slightly different, they all have numerous advantages over traditional paper receipts.
Digital Beats Paper: 4 Key Benefits of E-Receipts for Business
1. Improve the Customer Experience
The digital transformation in retail offers endless ways to personalize and streamline the in-store experience – and e-receipts are no exception.
By switching to virtual proof of purchase you can:
- Offer Contactless Pay: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless pay has helped businesses to keep customers and staff safe at checkout. And the trend is here to stay: 74% of consumers expect to prefer contact-free transactions even once the threat of COVID-19 has diminished.
- Prevent Loss & Damage: Although paper receipts still dominate the market, they’re easy to misplace and vulnerable to physical wear and tear. This can create headaches with returns and exchanges. In contrast, e-receipts deliver proof of purchase right to your customer’s phone or inbox, where it can’t be damaged or tossed out by mistake.
- Reduce Hassle at Checkout: Today’s consumers are busier than ever. (In fact, in a 2018 survey, over 60% of US respondents said they’re too busy to enjoy life!) Instant, easy-to-manage virtual receipts make checkout lightning-quick, improving the customer experience.
2. Harness Customer Insights
While paper receipts offer zero insight into the customer behind the purchase, e-receipts capture valuable information about your clientele. Depending on your e-receipt software, you can track anything from basic customer demographics to deep insights into their habits outside your retail store.
Use what you learn to improve your communications with existing customers and identify new opportunities to expand your consumer base. With e-receipt platforms like e.pop, you can evaluate customer analytics and create and launch targeted, personalized marketing campaigns – all within a single app.
3. Leverage Post-Purchase Communication
Existing customers are 60% more likely to make a future purchase than new ones, so your marketing efforts shouldn’t end at checkout. Electronic receipt systems help you keep the conversation going with virtual post-purchase communication.
You may use e-receipt advertising to offer: personalized promotions; loyalty program perks; customer feedback opportunities; incentives to connect on social media; and so much more.
Thanks for Shopping! Learn more about using e-receipt advertising to benefit your small business.
4. Reduce Your Environmental Impact
73% of consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly brands. And if you’re still printing paper receipts, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to make your business more sustainable.
We consume an estimated 25 million trees worldwide each year to produce over 400,000 metric tons of paper receipts. And the US alone uses over 250 million gallons of oil and one billion gallons of water each year throughout the process.
Switching to e-receipts for business is a simple, sustainable way to reduce your impact and stay true to your pro-planet values.
Getting Started: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Retail in 2021 will show you how to build an eco-friendly business step-by-step.
3 Challenges with Text and Email Receipt Systems
While email and text messages have dominated digital receipt strategies of the past, the market is changing. And these solutions have a few notable pitfalls:
1. They Require Personal Information
A customer must provide their phone number or email to your business to receive a text or email receipt. With privacy and data breaches abound, customers are more hesitant than in previous years to provide those details, creating friction in an exchange meant to make their lives easier.
2. They Create Consumer Privacy Conflicts
Consumers must explicitly opt-in to receive marketing communications from your business. That means you can’t assume they’ve consented to receive marketing emails or texts based solely on the fact they’ve provided their personal information for a receipt.
In order to comply with privacy and security laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you must provide the option to opt-out of any marketing communications tacked on to an email or text message receipt. Otherwise, you risk violating consumer protections – and a hefty fine.
3. They’re Harder to Organize
Email and text receipts can’t get damaged by wear and tear, but they can get lost in busy inboxes. This means consumers need to take additional steps to organize them upon delivery. It’s true: categorizing emails and screenshotting text receipts is just a small hassle. But providing an e-receipt solution that does the busy work for them is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd.
3 Reasons E-Receipt Apps are the Future
E-receipt apps allow consumers and merchants to automatically store all of their purchase information in one platform. (Not to be confused with receipt management apps, which keep track of uploaded receipts from other places.)
Here’s how e-receipt apps like e.pop change the game for retail:
1. No Personal Information Exchange Necessary
Rather than entrusting their data with dozens of businesses, e-receipt apps play the middle man. Merchants send proof of purchase directly through a secure mobile platform, reducing consumer risk and hesitation. No personal information exchange is necessary.
e.pop uses the same security technology as apps like PayPal. This means that, rather than worrying a small business is vulnerable to cyber attacks, consumers can rest assured their personal data is highly protected.
2. Send Personalized In-App Offers
E-receipt apps reveal deep insights into consumer demographics and shopping habits in easy-to-understand graphics. Use this information to create personalized promotions within your e.pop merchant web app. Once complete, deploy your promotions directly to your customers’ e.pop app.
Since merchants never have access to their customer’s personal details, this exchange is compliant with security and privacy protection laws.
3. Keep Everything in a Single Place
With e-receipt for business apps like e.pop, customers don’t have to take any extra steps to keep track of their receipts. All purchase details (and personalized offers sent by vendors like you) are kept in a single secure place, so they can get back to the busy day at hand.
These benefits extend to retailers, too. Easily access and extract your business’s transaction history and consumer insights for bookkeeping and marketing purposes. No managing, no organizing, no sweat!
Ready to Switch to E-Receipts for Business?
– Marley Flueger