The Value of Digital Receipts for Small Businesses

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Digital receipts are opening the door to a whole host of new opportunities for businesses of all sizes. But for small businesses, the advantages of switching to digital receipts are even more pronounced. 

There are many ways in which small businesses can benefit from digital receipts. Going digital provides new ways to engage with customers and improve retention. Moving to digital receipts can also significantly reduce overheads. And that’s before we even start to look at the environmental benefits of this simple change. 

Read on and we’ll explain more about why digital receipts are proving so valuable for small businesses all over the world. 

Why should small businesses consider switching to digital receipts? 

Small businesses don’t have to wait long to enjoy the results of digital receipts. For small businesses with tight budgets, this is one investment that really makes a difference. 

Digital receipts enable companies to cut costs quickly, while also providing a whole range of new opportunities to engage with customers and turn new buyers into loyal brand advocates. Here are three reasons to make the switch.  

Reduced Overheads

While moving to digital receipts does incur an initial cost, the investment soon pays for itself. Compare this to paper receipts and you’ll soon see how overheads can be reduced using a digital option. 

Businesses relying on paper receipts are billed for these regularly, as there’s a cost every time a receipt is printed. On average, a paper receipt costs between five and ten cents to print. This might not sound like much, but over time these costs add up. Particularly if business is going well and you’re printing receipts all day long. 

In 2019, it was estimated that US retailers spent over $312 million just on paper receipts. And the cost of printing receipts is rising by the day. It has been reported that a recent shortage of leuco dye, an integral product in the paper receipt production process, will push the cost of printing receipts up even further. 

Environmental Impact

Paper receipts might not sound like a huge problem in environmental terms, but they really are. These pieces of paper are printed using harmful chemicals, which mean that they cannot be recycled. 

A chemical called Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is used to print most paper receipts, and when handled incorrectly this chemical can be enormously harmful to both aquatic and human life. Paper receipts therefore cannot be recycled like other paper products, as they would cause contamination. 

Because of the presence of BPA in paper receipts, billions of receipts now make their way to landfill every single year. And that figure has been rising annually, with seemingly no end in sight. 

It’s not just the fact that paper receipts end up in landfill that makes them damaging for the planet, either. Paper receipts have a significant carbon footprint, particularly when we consider the enormous volumes of receipts being printed all the time. 

In terms of CO2, paper receipts are responsible for bringing 28,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of 10,000 flights across the world. Removing this amount of CO2 would take 1,100 football pitches worth of natural parkland. It’s no easy task. 

But paper receipts are now completely unnecessary. Brands can switch to digital versions and immediately cut down on their carbon footprint, for the benefit of their customers, their staff and the planet as a whole. 

Loyalty and Engagement 

Digital receipts mean huge opportunities for small businesses looking to engage with their customers and improve the buying journey. The results of a paper receipt can’t be measured, but a digital receipt is quite different. 

Digital receipts can be linked to dashboards that provide brands with all kinds of valuable information. This data can then be used to measure sales in real time, analyse the results of marketing campaigns and map the customer journey in far more detail than ever before. 

Brands have incredible new capabilities once they start using digital receipts. Communication channels can remain open once a purchase has been made, and companies can even use their digital receipts to entice customers back to the shop with exclusive deals and promotions. Social media channels can easily be linked, and brands can include whichever call to action they feel would be most beneficial. 

For customers, the benefits are also significant. Customers can access information on past purchases with ease, avoiding what can be a frustrating search for a paper receipt in the weeks and months after a product has been bought. 

Digital receipts also make it easy for customers to see which items they purchased previously, before searching for any complementary products such as tailor-made accessories or add-ons. This in turn improves customer retention for the brand, as customers who can easily find out what they need will be far more likely to return for a second or third purchase. 

Small businesses will see results quickly 

Digital receipts are advantageous for companies of all sizes. They’re particularly good for small businesses, though, as the results of moving to digital receipts can be seen incredibly quickly. 

The key benefit of using digital receipts is the ability it gives a company to understand its buyers’ behaviour. In addition, digital receipts allow brands to personalise their interactions, improving communication and therefore building trust and loyalty. These benefits can make a huge difference to small businesses, where customer retention is vitally important. 

Small businesses also stand to benefit from the communication opportunities of digital receipts. Digital receipts open the door to two-way communication, helping brands to extend the customer journey as they improve it. Companies can offer deals and promotions to past customers to make sure every sale is as profitable as possible. 

Digital receipts can be used by any small business. All you need to get started is a POS. If you’d like to find out more about how your company could benefit from digital receipts, get in touch with our team. 
We can connect 100% of in-store transactions into a platform of your choice, enabling you to identify in-store customers and improve results. Talk to us to find out more.