We once lived in a world where paper ruled.
Cash was king, and standard receipts were traditional. As technology, business offerings, and customer expectations have advanced, we are quickly moving away from practices that no longer serve customers. We no longer need them to prove a purchase, enable refunds, or detect miscalculations. In fact, many customers realize the negative impacts of paper receipts and are demanding change.
The truth is paper receipts are a mess. In addition to being inefficient and disorderly, there is significant research to show that paper receipts, especially those made of phenol-coated thermal paper, damage the environment as well as personal health. As a result, conscious store owners and retail leaders offer digital receipts to customers as a way to stay more organized and contribute to the Earth's wellbeing.
Digital receipts give these businesses a way to keep purchases on file and market to customers with ease and convenience. That means they can always refund an item and can give you a custom experience. While they also make an eco-friendly impact, digital receipts maintain all of the few benefits that paper receipts possess, including consumer privacy and transaction verification.
Offering digital receipts transforms many areas of business so that customers like you get a better experience of buying. If you are interested in switching to digital receipts to become more organized, eco-friendly, and health-centric—explore this guide to how digital receipts work, what digital receipts are, and why digital receipts can make your life much easier.
How Digital Receipts Work
Before ditching the slip, you may be wondering, "Exactly how do digital receipts work?"
Often, digital receipts are sent to the customer after a transaction through their phone number or email address. These mediums allow businesses to send receipts simply and instantly while storing customer information for later use. While these can be useful options, many customers are concerned about privacy and unwanted solicitation. (Privacy is one of the few former benefits of paper receipts.)
But, other options work differently to keep customers safe and businesses from looking abusive to stored information. For example, as a digital receipts app, Receet uses NFC to relay a digital receipt to the customer without needing to request an email address or phone number. This method means that businesses can offer a complete solution to customers that keeps all the benefits of paper while going completely digital.
Receet's sample of digital receipts
Now, let's jump into what digital receipts are more generally, how to use them, and why you might want to make life easier through digital receipts.
What Are Digital Receipts?
An electronic receipt (also known as an e-receipt) is proof that a purchase was made or a service rendered.
The general idea is the same as paper receipts, but without the costs to revenue, dangers to health, or impact on the environment. They come in many forms from many different types of retailers, but they all have one simple thing in common: they don't use paper.
E-receipts can be transmitted and distributed through many means as well, including email, app, website, phone, or mobile NFC. Some of these modes require asking for personal information from the customer, such as an address or number, but others like NFC require none of that sensitive information. In the future of consumer protection, it's possible that NFC will become the new normal for digital receipts.
Obviously, it's likely that you've already experienced the digital receipt during your own transactions at a local coffee shop, electronics store like BestBuy, or online retailer like Amazon. If you've shared your email address or phone number with a retailer to get an e-receipt, then you're familiar with the simple, satisfying, and easily managed process.
Suppose you are on board with gaining the advantages of digital receipts for yourself. You may be wondering how these businesses join the digital receipt revolution. Read on to discover the simple process of implementing digital receipts for your retail transactions.
How to Use Digital Receipts
In general, there are two primary options for getting digital receipts. You can choose to get receipts sent to your email address or phone number. But, you can also use a third-party app solution.
Storing through Email and Phone
With the email address and phone number option, you will need to trust retailers with your personal information. If they are a large retailer, this may be an appropriate option since it's likely they will only target you for specialized promotions. But, this also gives them a way to reach you any time of day or night which can annoy even the most interested consumer.
In addition, you will spend a good deal of time and energy developing a system to track all your receipts—not to mention deleting receipts and promotions from your inbox and messages. While the benefits of digital receipts still stand, you may get bound up in the need to intelligently store, erase, and block these forms of transmission. Luckily, digital receipts are just as useful when offered through a third-party or add-on solution.
Using a Mobile App
There are several vendors, apps, and software companies that have realized the demand for digital receipts in recent years. Seeing that in-house development of receipt systems are cost-prohibitive and complex for retailers, they have sought to create intuitive and highly effective systems for digital receipts as a service. In many cases, their solutions are integrated into their existing POS system.
Solutions like Receet, a digital receipts app, can modernize the way you handle receipts as a consumer. Businesses are then able to market content to you through digital receipts according to their business needs while also personalizing the receipt experience for you. This solution means that you save time and energy by not needing to organize all your receipts by hand (or through email or text). You also have an immediate means to show proof of purchase and dispute transactions in cases where you didn’t receive the product or service advertised.
Once you've decided whether you want to develop your own digital receipt system through email or phone or choose one like Receet that integrates seamlessly into your life, then you're ready to see countless benefits.
Why Digital Receipts Make Buying Better
The benefits of digital receipts are as profound for businesses as they are for the customer experience. With tools like Receet, you can enjoy software and app functionality that allows for privacy, real-time analytics, product recalls, fraud protection, accounting integration as well as sorting, filtering, and searching. But, these are just the start.
Supports True Sustainability
The damages to the environment caused by paper receipts are well-documented. Paper receipts cut down millions of trees, waste billions of gallons of water, and produce hundreds of millions of pounds in pure waste—every year!
Digital receipts, on the other hand, contribute zero waste to the environment. They save these valuable environmental resources for more important functions of business and life such as infrastructure and agriculture.
You can reduce the toll that receipts take on the environment and promote yourself as a green enthusiast through the use of digital receipts. Those who want to be a retail leader in their community will take the digital receipt route to better business and a better future. And, you can be a smart consumer by only shopping where digital receipts are the first option.
Protects Personal Health
In addition to environmental impacts, paper receipts often contain dangerous chemicals that can negatively affect the health of employees and customers like you. The chemically-treated paper used for traditional receipts contain toxins that are linked specifically to birth defects, cancers, and other diseases.
To get more specifical, thermal receipt paper contains Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS), well-known endocrine-disruptors which can enter the body by simply touching the paper. These disruptors knock hormones out of balance and cause problems for your development, neurology, and reproduction. It's also associated with issues like poor fetal development, diabetes, and thyroid conditions.
Digital receipts never harm consumer or employee health. They are a completely touchless and secure way to offer proof of purchase. Even in times of pandemic transmission of disease and illness, digital receipts are a way to keep everyone safe through sanitary and safe delivery.
Keeps Information Private
While traditional, paper receipts were always a private form of documenting transactions, digital receipts often require personal information such as email addresses and phone numbers. But, this is not always the case.
Digital receipts from Receet that use NFC-technology to deliver purchase information and promotions never exchange personal data for a receipt. Thus, it never gives you the impression that retailers are holding your receipt hostage in exchange for marketing to you in unwanted ways.
Saves Valuable Resources
As we've pointed out, paper receipts are incredibly wasteful for the environment, but they also sink your resources as well. It can waste money every year to maintain a printed receipt system that actually works when tax season comes around. And, it can lose you money when paper receipts are not correctly maintained or when they are lost and disorganized.
Digital receipts are orderly, money-saving receipts. You can save money and ensure easy refunds by simply switching over to digital, and you won't waste money on errors, disorganization, or loss.
Additionally, if you choose an app like Receet, you can reduce the resources, time, and energy traditionally needed to develop a personal, printed receipt system.
Improves Marketing Functions
Attempts to market through paper receipts are weak and limited. You can add as many coupons and promotions as you want to a paper receipt, but we’re most likely going to send those possible savings and experiences into the trash. It may not seem like it at first but digital receipts change the way businesses market to you, and that can improve your experience of buying with them.
With digital receipts, businesses can add marketing content to their customer's transactions that is tailored to business needs and your device. They can even target and pin-point specific customers to push marketing content directly to their smartphones which is likely to be about a product of interest to you. This allows you to personalize the experience of buying while also ensuring that you can return again and again for promotional offers.
Creates Transaction Insights
Paper receipts are a nightmare to organize and analyze. Even if you manage to collect and sort all your receipts appropriately, good luck with entering all that data into another tool in order to see profits, losses, and expenditures.
Instead, you can save hours on accounting while also improving your analysis of spending by using digital receipts. Through Receet, for example, you can integrate with your accounting software, see transactions in real-time, sort all your transactions, filter purchases, and search for your receipts. It's all a built-in benefit.
Boosts Customer Satisfaction
Finally, you’re likely to thank a business for switching to digital receipts. When you cut out environmental impacts, eliminate health risks, and start personalizing the experience of buying, you will see that businesses truly care about your wellness and satisfaction.
Increasingly, customers are more demanding of retailers in terms of their health- and planet-consciousness. They are even asking that retailers personalize their experience more than ever. Digital receipts are a way to get all these rewards from your retailer and to show them that you’re a smart consumer that won’t tolerate poor business practices.
An electronic receipt is the newest, safest, and most conscious way for businesses to offer proof of purchase. It’s also one of the smartest ways that a consumer can store, organize, and manage receipts while improving the buying experience. Retailers continually implement them through solutions like Receet. They allow you to benefit from improved sustainability, transaction insight, promotional marketing, cost savings, health-positive practices, satisfaction, and privacy.
Start revolutionizing the way you keep track of purchases and promote plant- and personal health through digital receipts. Book your free demo on Receet today, and follow Receet on social media to stay informed on its newest features.