Why Digital Receipts Are a Win for Your Small Business

Most of the time, receipts are a waste of paper for food service businesses. Customers generally have no need to keep their receipts, so they throw them out within seconds — but you’re still stuck paying for the paper, ink, and printers to provide a receipt for every order.

Instead of printing receipts by default, consider offering your customers digital receipts as a primary option. Here are some of the primary reasons to focus on digital:

You’ll save money on supply costs.

It costs nothing to send an email, while you’ll need to pay for every roll of receipt paper and ink cartridge you use on printed receipts. The costs can add up over time, so by asking before printing, you’re likely to save several hundred dollars a year on your business supplies.

It’s better for the environment.

Over 9.6 million trees are cut down each year to produce paper for receipt printing. In the process of producing this amount of paper, nearly 250 million gallons of oil and 1.2 billion gallons of water are used. By curbing the need to print paper receipts, we could dramatically cut our usage of these environmental resources.

Many customers prefer digital receipts.

Many of today’s eco-conscious customers are mindful of how much waste the businesses they support produce. According to research from EReceipts, 90 percent of customers surveyed would prefer to receive digital receipts instead of paper during their shopping transactions, and half of shoppers would purposefully buy from stores that used digital receipts over paper.

Digital receipts can help you connect with your customers.

While digital receipts have benefits in terms of saving money and resources, one of the most significant benefits for retailers is the fact that, by collecting customers’ email addresses, you’ll then have the ability to communicate with them on an ongoing basis by adding them to your email marketing database. Once they’re in your marketing database, you’ll be able to send them special promotions, coupons, and news to help draw them back to your store. For many merchants, this is a major draw for offering digital receipts: In a 2012 report from Epsilon International, 83 percent of the retailers that offered digital receipts claimed that the ability to email customers was a major draw for making the switch.

If you’re ready to make the switch to digital receipts, make sure your store’s point of sale system is up to the task. Many mobile point of sale solutions, including Instore, offer simple digital receipt solutions, as well as the capacity to add a wireless printer.

Image Credit: Ben Osteen