Is the world ready for digital receipts?
Change may not be easy, but it is inevitable
How wise is it to handle BPA/BPS laden receipts which can have a harmful effect on our health? Additionally, we all have faced a situation of losing a thermal paper receipt when we need it the most, be it for exchange or for warranty claims or for tax deductions or even for office reimbursements. What if we could manage these receipts or file them in a way to find it easily? Well, there is an option!
Don’t be surprised if your cashier doesn’t hand over a paper receipt to you at your next purchase. E-receipts or SMS are taking the market by a storm. Most retailers are now moving to sending e-receipts to your email or by sending SMS to your phone as a proof of purchase.
Let us discover the different reasons why thermal paper receipts are losing ground to the digital receipt:
Thermal paper receipts are an environmental nightmare
Approximately, 90% of thermal paper receipts end up in the trash, on an average, 3 seconds after it is printed. Do we really need one? According to Green America, in one year, 10 million trees, 945 million litres of oil and 3.8 billion litres of water were used in the creation of thermal paper receipts in the US alone. While Laves Chemie Consulting estimated 34 million trees cut, every year, globally to manufacture 1.3 million metric tonnes of thermal paper. Imagine saving our forests and water by going digital and adopting a technology to manage receipts and to track all of your expenses.
“During the development journey of our flagship product – Invoiz, we have become increasingly aware of the impact thermal paper receipts have on the environment and our health. Hence, there requires a shift in thinking and a conscious effort to opt for digital receipts instead of paper receipts,” says Malladi Balasubramanian, Co-Founder of Invoiz.
To decide, retailers should ask the following questions:
Do any customers tend to ask for paper receipts?
Will there be significant negative consequences if only digital receipts are provided?
If the answer is “NO” in both the cases, then the best solution for the environment, for customers, your employees and for your margins is to eliminate paper and adopt digital receipts.
Retailer overheads and maintenance
According to Future Market Insights (FMI), “An average paper receipt costs between $0.015–0.05 per receipt. This means that a merchant printing 1000 receipts a day spends between $5,475 to $18,250 per year just on the thermal paper”.
Going paperless could help businesses use the same money for scaling up, employee benefits, increase their CSR value and enhance overall growth of the company.
For retailers, digital receipts can also become a tool to promote their products and services.
Is an SMS or E-receipts an option?
Apple was the first to provide e-receipts via email, back in 2005. Today, there are quite a lot of stores which provide this option. But how many of us are comfortable to share email addresses and phone numbers at the cash counter. What if the email does not come to you because of a misspelt address or a wrong phone number? Missing a receipt for some of the petty things might not be of an issue but what about big items, like a fridge, washing machine, which comes with a warranty.
In one of the branded retail shops, both an e-receipt and thermal paper receipt are issued at the check-out counter, so that if you don’t receive an e-receipt in your inbox then you have the printed copy as a proof of purchase. That defeats the whole purpose of going paperless!
It is, thus, necessary to move to an easier and safer option – digital receipts are the way forward.
Proprietary apps versus a Universal app
There are a few big retailers who are coming up with their proprietary app for online purchases. From a customer’s point of view, it becomes an extra effort to manage all the different apps and keep track of expenses with card and cash payment. In addition to this, the customers have to bear the aggressive marketing with constant notifications pinging on their phone.
With an increasing number of digital solutions in the market, there requires a Universal app which can seamlessly integrate with the latest POS systems benefitting both Retailers and Customers.
Logically, most retailers will opt for a solution that will be both economical and not intrusive for the customer. The solutions for the future are those that will require the least effort of the retailer and the customer.
Invoiz is a cost-effective, cloud-based platform that will enable registered customers to receive digital receipts from retailers by scanning the QR code on the Invoiz app. This saves customers from revealing their personal information at the check-out counter.
The app allows customers to view, share and archive digital receipts in personalized folders to facilitate reimbursements and exchanges. None of us prefer a constant buzzing of notifications of the deals which sometimes are not relevant to one’s requirement. The silent offers and discount promos, on an app, can be filtered through before visiting the shopping centres. The Green points feature rewards the customer for supporting a green initiative. The expense tracker is one of a kind in the world, which allows the customer to track expenses through filters and in real-time.
Retailers can gain valuable customer reach and market the products & deals to specific customers as per gender and age. Going paperless, reduces overhead costs for thermal paper, printers and printed promos & flyers, increases company’s efficiency, helps to streamline processes and moreover creates a healthy environment for the staff.
“Unlike other solutions available in the market, Invoiz app works with both card and cash payment for in-person and online stores” says Harminder Singh, CTO of Invoiz.
To conclude, digital receipt technology is a new wave and is gaining an acceptance among retailers and customers.