Why Retailers are Switching to Electronic Receipts
Electronic receipts are quickly overtaking paper receipts as the go-to receipt method of choice. And that’s good news for both retailers and consumers, both of whom benefit from this major transition.
COVID-19 has forced e-commerce to accelerate in one year at growth levels that would normally have taken about four to six years, according to Adobe. This includes retail-specific changes that limit contact and minimize potential exposure wherever possible. With COVID still at play now at the end of 2020 (and likely to remain a top consideration at least through the first half of 2021), the effects of these changes will be felt for years to come. One of the big ones: the massive switch from paper receipts to digital receipts.
There’s been good reason to ditch paper receipts amidst the pandemic, among them the fact that some strains of coronavirus can remain active on paper for up to five days. As for why this switch is likely to long outlive the virus, it has to do with changes in consumer behaviors and preferences, as well as digital receipts’ advantages in the world of retail and marketing.
The Big Benefits of E-Receipts
Virus aside, when it comes to e-receipts, retail companies learned pretty quickly that they were achieving more than just a safer shopping environment in opting out of paper.
Here are some of the other major benefits that electronic receipts offer—and that suggest they won’t be just a passing trend:
1. Reduced overhead costs.
When you’re running a business, every cost counts, even those line items that don’t seem to add up to much at the time. So while $20 to $40 for a case of thermal receipt paper may not seem like a huge expense, it can account for thousands of dollars every year, plus the cost of ink and printer. By going digital, retailers avoid these costs entirely and have more left over for payroll, marketing, and other growth-driven expenses.
2. Consumer preferences.
According to a GreenAmerica.org survey, a whopping nine out of 10 consumers prefer digital receipts. That’s largely because they’re easier to hang on to and reference later on, and they also don’t come with an environmental impact. (According to the same survey, a year of receipt use in the U.S. consumes more than three million trees and nearly nine billion gallons of water.)
3. Post-purchase marketing.
One of the greatest benefits of digital receipts is their utility for post-purchase marketing. E-receipts offer the perfect platform for sharing individualized product recommendations and promotions. They also give retailers an ongoing tactic for building their email lists and accumulating more customer data. All of these are opportunities that get majorly missed out on with paper receipts, resulting in reduced engagement and fewer long-term customers.
Have You Made the Switch Yet?
As one of the industry’s leading e-receipt companies, we’ve worked with tons of retail clients on making a seamless transition from paper to digital receipts. So if you haven’t made the switch yet, now is the time to catch up with your competitors and start enjoying the benefits of electronic receipts, as well as passing those benefits onto your customers. Contact us today to get started.