E-receipts are simply the delivery and confirmation of email and SMS text receipts from on-line, or bricks and mortar, point of sale transactions. As it is a digital channel, it offers companies the opportunity to gather and analyse data and include promotional images and links in email content or SMS text. As a medium it can be integrated into social media, and attract customers to items which are stuck in the ‘slow moving stock’ isle.
In short, read ‘Hello, relevant targeted communication’ and ‘Goodbye paper!’
Gone are the days when we had shelves full of – let’s be honest – extremely aesthetically unappealing box files taking up space and gathering dust – until the day you had to rummage through them when you needed to find something for the tax man. And, if you’re no longer 18 years old, remind yourself of the time you wanted to return the kettle that refused to boil the water for your morning cup of tea. Today, you can simply reach into your pocket for your mobile phone. Voilá, exchange made simple.
In fact, consumer rights to data portability is now a thing, people. The European Data Protection Regulation promulgated in 2018 protects people’s rights to retrieve their own data. This means that consumers have the right to transparent communication and consent options and are able to refuse authorisation of data sharing.
In any event, no matter how much space the old box files took up, yesteryear’s research showed that customers used to lose, or throw away, most paper-based receipts. It also pointed to the waste of paper and ink that was used to print millions of records of transactions across the globe every day. Technology saves money – the savings of which can be passed on to consumers. And, of course, it saves millions of trees, thereby mitigating climate change.
Staying with climate change for a moment, physical tax receipts contained the chemical bisphenol which is toxic. Cashiers and other people who had to issue these were continually exposed to a low dose of a poisonous substance – which also ended up in nature. So let’s face it, digital has a place in this overcrowded world.
The result is that businesses can use real time data to tailor-make relevant offerings. The immediacy and inherent flexibility of this solution has created the most effective marketing channel. Promotional offers are able to be targeted based on aspects such as location or purchase behaviour. (30% off the toaster that perfectly matches the colour of that above-mentioned kettle, anyone?) The format of an e-receipt is infinitely flexible and can be integrated to a variety of web services depending on a business’ ever changing needs.
At his point, dare we even mention the UK ‘Child’s Word of the Year’: the dreaded ‘C’ word – or is it the ‘V’ word : COVID-19 Virus. Retailers are desperately trying to reassure customers that they are reducing personal interaction in sales environments. One less touch point is a big plus, for businesses and customers alike.
And with that having been said, if you haven’t already integrated this tech into your environment, we’d say “The time is now …’