What Are Digital Receipts (and why are retail stores switching to them)?

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In-store shopping experiences have changed dramatically in recent years, with many brands transforming their offering to stay one step ahead. 

While customers have begun to spend less time in physical stores, the amount of money they spend per visit has actually increased. Recent research has shown that customers are more willing to spend higher amounts, despite spending significantly shorter periods of time browsing products. 

The trend for spending more money in store, in less time, makes sense given the fact that most customers now research the products they’re looking for in advance. Often, customers will find out everything they need to know online, only heading into a physical store when they’re ready to make a purchase. 

With customers’ shopping habits changing, brands are having to do more to hold their attention before, during and after a purchase. And a digital receipt is a key part of this process. 

The term digital receipt might sound the same as an e-receipt, but it’s actually quite different. So, what is a digital receipt, and why are the world’s most in-demand brands switching to this new form of communication? 

What is a digital receipt? 

A digital receipt is a smarter, far more useful form of receipt. It’s similar to an e-receipt in that both options are eco-friendly, with no reliance on paper. But that’s where the similarities end. 

An e-receipt is simply a PDF version of a traditional paper receipt. With these, the backend is powered by rather clunky .csv files, which usually require the expertise of data scientists to combine the information they hold with other customer data, so that it can be used for marketing and sales purposes. 

Digital receipts are made to be linked to other forms of data. They connect a store to the cloud, linking transaction data to information from all kinds of other platforms, providing brand managers with a wealth of interconnected data on customer purchases and preferences, at the touch of a button. 

Unlocking the power of data 

In-store purchases have historically been difficult to link to specific customers, but digital receipts make this simple. 

Digital receipts allow brands to tag every offline purchase with the customer that made it, linking the data of this purchase into the omnichannel buying journey of that particular customer. Accurate information is captured thanks to the instant validations of digital receipts. 

Digital receipts can be customised quickly and easily, enabling brands to create receipts in line with their unique identity. The look and feel of a digital receipt can also be altered, before the final design is sent out via the company’s preferred communication channel. This might be email, SMS, WhatsApp or any similar platform. 

Follow-up purchases with automated digital receipts 

A typical e receipt is nothing more than a copy of a customer’s receipt. It doesn’t provide any opportunity for follow-up. With a digital receipt, things are different. 

Digital receipts can be sent with instructions for customers, keeping the buying journey going and ensuring communication channels stay open. Customers can be encouraged to leave a review online, or share details about their purchase on social media. 

Brands can also use digital receipts to invite customers to follow their social channels, and customers can be offered promotional deals and discounts on their next purchase. A digital receipt allows companies to benefit from all the opportunities of online shopping, even if a customer chooses to shop in-store.  

Greater visibility over the entire buying journey 

In ecommerce, data is everything. So the more information brands can find out about their customers, the better. Not only do digital receipts provide endless opportunities to track data on any in-store purchase, they also make it easy to measure and analyse the resulting information. 

Digital receipts can be linked to dashboards and automated reports, giving brands full transparency over sales – in real time. Teams can easily measure the ROI of every penny spent on marketing, tracking all purchases back to the marketing campaigns that influenced them. 

With a digital receipt, the entire customer journey can be clearly mapped out, giving marketers more data – and more opportunities – than ever before. 

In the case of e receipts, the story is quite different. While e receipts do provide some information, this is usually limited to open rates and delivery numbers. It’s very difficult to track the real effect of e receipts. Linking these purchases to individual marketing efforts is harder still. 

Customer retention made simple 

There’s enormous potential for customer retention strategies, thanks to the power of digital receipts. Digital receipts can be used to entice customers back to the store, whether they invite customers to revisit a physical shop or encourage them to browse new products online. 

Personalisation can be put to full use with digital receipts, upping the sales potential even further. Customers can easily be provided with fully personalised offers and promotional deals, designed with their unique preferences in mind. This allows brands to create deals that customers will find irresistible, boosting retention figures to the maximum. 

Digital receipts can be used to provide continuous communication with customers, helping companies to build lasting relationships that move through different channels seamlessly. Customers can also be encouraged to sign up to mailing lists and other loyalty schemes with digital receipts. 

A clear call to action and an enticing offer is often all it takes to get an already interested customer to sign up to such a list. With digital receipts it’s easy for customers to sign up. Customers can add their name to the mailing list in just a single click, making it far more likely that they will do so. 

Is it time to find out more? 

At eyos Retail, we provide software that enables brands to identify in-store customers through digital receipts, connecting 100% of in-store transactions into any platform they use in real-time. There’s no need for EPOS integrations, IT development, or new hardware, and setup couldn’t be simpler.
We’re on hand to show you exactly what digital receipts could do for your business. If you’d like to find out more about how you can unlock the power of in-store data, just get in touch with our team.