6 Ways Standard Receipts are Costing You

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Integrated into society over 5,000 years ago, receipts have been the primary form for proof of purchases for centuries. Retailers have issued paper receipts for a variety of reasons including for the purpose of facilitating returns for consumers. This practice continued until recently with little change. As retailing entered the digital age, paper receipts - primarily used to pass along purchase information - were complimented by standard forms of digital receipts, carrying out the same purpose. Today, modern dynamic digital receipts issued by innovative retailers are far more personalized and interactive than their predecessors. Retailers that continue to provide only standard receipts to customers - whether printed or digital - stand to lose a great deal. Let’s take a look at the 6 ways issuing standard receipts is costly for retailers:

#1. Lost Sales

Across the shopper journey, the standard receipt is one of the least interactive touchpoints for the customer. Why? Standard receipts - whether printed or digital - are primarily just a bunch of text, numbers and coded product descriptions. They do not offer shoppers opportunities to engage and provide no value beyond documenting transactions. Dynamic digital receipts, on the other hand, capitalize on the moments after the sale, when the customer is most excited about their purchase. These dynamic digital receipts present them with personalized content that inspires action and engagement with the brand. The personalized content included on dynamic digital receipts can range from product suggestions to auto subscription opt-ins to invitations to special sales events that prompt the customer to return to the store or click over to the e-commerce store and buy again.

#2. Decreased Loyalty

Customer acquisition is expensive. In fact, it costs far less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. The goal is to take the shopper from awareness to loyalty and turn passive prospects into repeat customers. Your receipts meet buyers at a pivotal moment right after conversion. Retailers who employ dynamic digital receipts are able to better connect with customers - to offer them something that will entice them to become loyalty members and expand their relationship with the brand. Dynamic digital receipts allow brands to continue the conversation and generate more clicks to surveys, product recommendations, and coupons, to name a few.

#3. Poor Brand Experience

Retailers invest heavily in providing customers with a consistent brand experience right up to the sale, but some neglect to optimize their receipts as a part of the shopper journey once the transaction is complete. Reinforcing a positive brand experience is important, with 80% of customers saying that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. 65% of consumers also say they have cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience. Dynamic digital receipts help to enhance the customer experience by providing a well-branded, value-added, mobile-optimized communication seconds after purchase (in-store and online). Retailers offering dynamic digital receipts are able to spark mobile engagement with more of their customers after each sale.

#4. More Mystery Shoppers

Identifying your in-store shoppers is a vital component of a successful retail engagement strategy. With paper receipts, receipts are printed at the register without connecting the dots to the customer that made the purchase or any previous engagement with your brand. In contrast, dynamic digital receipts capture customer email addresses at the point of sale, allowing customers to self-identify as they opt-in to receive a digital receipt. From there, retailers have the ability to connect the dots between customers’ existing shopper profiles and any known accounts, past purchases or preferences related to their shoppers, both in-store and online. Email addresses have been termed ‘retail gold’ as they also help retailers create new target segments and more successfully engage with in-store shoppers.

#5. Missed Cross-Channel Traffic

Consumer connection points between physical stores and the e-commerce store are vital for generating cross-channel traffic. Dynamic, digital receipts help to encourage online shoppers to head in-store by providing information about opportunities available at their closest location. Dynamic digital receipts also allow brands to push in-store shoppers online by prompting them to reorder items they purchased or consider other similar and complementary products available online.

#6. Loss of Customer Feedback

96% of Media & Marketing Execs report that they are deeply committed to using audience data to transform their businesses. Simple prompts within dynamic digital receipts (like a thumbs up and thumbs down icons) make it convenient for shoppers to offer timely feedback on their purchase experience. Retailers who neglect to leverage their digital receipts to gain additional insights on their customers immediately after purchase miss out on a treasure trove of feedback and a fuller understanding of their shoppers’ experiences.

Standard receipts - printed and digital - used to serve their limited purposes for a time, but that time has ended. With the competitive nature of retail in the digital age, no consumer-facing channel should remain neutral in its effects on your traffic and revenue.


flexEngage transforms standard receipts into personalized marketing channels that drive continued engagement and sales. Let us reimagine your receipts. CLICK HERE to request customized samples for your brand.