receipt being printed
The Helcim Blog / Merchant Guides

Are We Saying Goodbye to Paper Receipts?

Danny Randell | September 2, 2021

“When e-receipts first started becoming a reality, they were a novel new way to keep track of your purchases. Now electronic receipts are on the rise.”

2 min read

“Would you like your receipt?”

We’ve all probably heard that phrase thousands of times.

But how often have you been asked if you’d like your receipt emailed to you?

In all likelihood, you’ve been asked at least once in the last week—certainly once in the last month. Paper receipts have been around forever it seems, but as Bob Dylan famously said: “the times they are a-changin”, and receipts are changing too.

Five years ago, if a retail worker asked you if you wanted a digital receipt, you might have been slightly weirded out.

What do you mean? Emailed? You might have thought. Not anymore.

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E-Receipts Are Growing in Popularity

When e-receipts first started becoming a reality, they were a novel new way to keep track of your purchases. Even so, most customers and most retailers have stuck with paper receipts as a way to track revenues and expenses, respectively. But electronic receipts are growing in popularity.

While 42% of respondents in a 2019 survey by Green America said they’d prefer paper receipts to digital, we’d wager that number has shrunk significantly two years later and in the wake of COVID-19. In the same survey, 89% of respondents thought digital receipts should at least be an option at the checkout counter.

Why Merchants Should Use Digital Receipts

Greener – last year the world lost 10 million trees just for paper receipts. Ouch. Cheaper – paper, printers, and ink all cost money. Going digital is free! Convenient – digital receipts are more convenient for your customer and you. No more loose papers or manually reconciling receipts with cash at the end of the day. Do it all digitally and let your POS software keep track for you.

Additional Advantages of E-Receipts

When you implement digital receipts at your place of business, you obtain each customer’s email with every transaction. This is probably one of the fastest and easiest ways for you to grow your email list organically. Now you have a direct relationship with each one of your customers and have gained the ability to remarket them. What other tool lets you do that?

Along with gaining access to your customer relationally, having the ability to segment customers by email now gives you better insight into their purchase history and habits; a major strategic advantage when it comes to deciding how to remarket a customer for future purchases.

Bottom Line

While it may be a few years before paper receipts go the way of the Dodo, it never hurts to be ahead of the curve; and with so many benefits from switching—why wait? Digital receipts offer business owners so much more than traditional paper receipts, which were primarily for record keeping and a customer’s peace of mind. Now with e-receipts, you can offer your customers convenience while saving some trees, plus, use the tool to build your business.

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