Is Time up for Paper Retail Receipts?

Is Time up for Paper Retail Receipts?

Written By: eyos Marketing | Last Updated: April 2023

France wants to be at the forefront of Europe’s fight against waste. From August 2023, France will ban the use of paper receipts (in most cases).

Shoppers will only be able to get paper receipts if they ask retailers for them. The goal is to reduce the environmental and health impact of harmful chemicals found in many paper receipts.

Digital receipts are a convenient, sustainable, and affordable alternative. They could be a must-have in other parts of Europe soon too. Especially if other countries follow France’s lead.

What could France’s move mean for high-street retail?

As a founding member of the European Union, France’s policies could have a broader impact across the continent. They could spur legislators to take a fresh look at whether the 27-country trading bloc needs paper-based receipts at all.

What does this mean for high-street retailers? If you are a French retailer, the transition provides an opportunity to modernize your point-of-sale practices. It allows you to cut back on the operational expense of receipt rolls. And more importantly, it allows offering digital loyalty programs and personalized offers to customers — through digital receipts.

Paper receipts are not banned in the UK or Netherlands. But British and Dutch retailers are also no longer mandated to provide them. (Customers can still request one, or a digital receipt).

Across Europe, it might be time for high street retailers to steal a march on any sweeping rules changes by doing away with paper receipts, where they can. Legislators often choose to hit retailers where it hurts, if they do not follow important new anti-waste laws.

  • In 2021 Austria passed a waste management law with a mandatory requirement to increase the number of reusable drinks bottles — aimed at slashing packaging waste.
  • Major Austrian retailers must offer beverages in reusable bottles, both in their stores and via their online shops.
  • Austrian authorities can fine retailers between €4,500 and €100,000, depending on how many outlets have flouted the rules.

Austria’s measures show how important it is to stay up to speed with anti-waste measures at both the national and European levels.

Digital receipt data can aid customer service and marketing

By moving to digital receipts, retailers can enhance their customer experience, contribute to our environment, and use customer data to inform pricing, promotions, and product ranges. Digital receipts have many other benefits, such as:

  • More sustainable store operations and prevents customers from losing paper-based versions.
  • Reduce risks of returns fraud, given that receipts are digitally stored and can be easily tracked to specific POS terminals and stores.
  • Personalized content such as QR codes, product recommendations, promotions, and invitations to leave product reviews.
  • The ability for high street retailers to measure the true offline ROI of each digital ad dollar spent — and then target any ads better.

And digital receipts don’t fade and they are harder to lose. By providing customers with detailed records of their purchases, retailers can help ensure that they receive accurate refunds or replacements should they need them down the line.

Staying ahead of the curve

For now, the jury is out on whether paper-based receipts will eventually be banned by the entire EU or other national governments. But it’s always good to stay ahead of the curve. If you’d like to see how digital receipts can boost your retail business, contact an eyos expert today.

Additional Reading

How Digital Receipts to Improve the Customer Retail Experience

Retail Analytics Trends for 2023

Can Digital Receipts Improve the Customer Onboarding Process?