It is not a question of if you should offer digital receipts as a retailer today, but how. To stay at the forefront, large retailers need to find their way to offer the service. Let me walk you through the three most common ways to implement digital receipts.
Let’s start with the basics. Digital receipts are becoming all the more of a hygiene factor for large retailers. With Nordic retailers at the forefront, digital receipts are rapidly spreading everywhere in line with digitalisation and sustainability.
Top of my head, I’ll give you 7 immense reasons why modern retailers should implement digital receipts today:
- You will become more sustainable when reducing your carbon footprint
- You will reduce costs on tons of paper and receipts printers
- You will increase customer satisfaction and enhance your customer relationships
- You will be able to boost your loyalty program and by extension your own brand
- You can capture email addresses for future customer communication (just remember to be GDPR compliant, of course)
- You can find a new way to provide personalised and optimised communication
- You can boost sales by pushing for your other channels and call to actions
Safe to say that digital receipts are soon to be the new black, right?
Of course, the number of start-ups and tech-providers trying to capitalise on the demand for digital receipts sees no limit. But let’s be honest: you don’t really need an expensive partner to implement digital receipts as you probably have most of the prerequisites already.
The basics – your POS is the core
Your POS (point of sale) is the very centre of your digital receipts. As a receipt is an acknowledgement of a transaction taking place, and the POS being the point where every transaction is originated, the POS is essentially the foundation for every receipt.
Three common ways to go when you want to implement digital receipts through your POS are:
1. Through a third-party vendor
2. Through an in-house solution
3. Through an add-on solution
Let me walk you through the options and present some pros and cons for each way.
1. Implementing digital receipts through a third-party vendor
Several start-ups and other vendors are realising the profit possibilities available in the digital landscape of retail right now. Many offer solutions to be integrated with your POS in order to serve your customers with digital receipts.
As a retailer, you can fully rely on your POS-partner and the third-party vendor to make the digital receipts happen. For instance, when going for a POS from Extenda Retail you will already have a great amount of plug and play solutions with standard integrations to third-parties for digital receipts. You need an agreement with the third-party, but the rest of the set-up is ready out of the box.
From a customer perspective, this option will most likely require that the customer creates an account with the third-party vendor. This option also makes it possible for the customer to have all the digital receipt from all the connected retailers available in the same place.
2. In-house customisation for implementing digital receipts
With a sharp IT team in-house, you can implement digital receipts on your own. Most large retailers today already have a loyalty program which can be a given place to store digital receipts.
By adding the digital receipts to your loyalty program and your own app or behind a login at your own website, you will have the opportunity to bring your customer closer to your brand and enable a great number of communication possibilities. For instance, our loyalty solution, including a white label app, have the prerequisites you would need to get started by default.
To get the digital receipt from your POS into your loyalty program will however require some custom integration. And as with all customisations and custom integrations, you risk getting tied up in a spider web of clever solutions that in the end can obstruct you from making larger updates, changes, and improvements. Maintaining and updating the solution will keep laying hours on your in-house developers.
From a customer experience point of view, the digital receipts from the different retailers will not be available in one place, but instead, they will be found in the different apps and loyalty programs from the various retailers.
3. Sending digital receipts by automatised email
With a standardised add-on to your POS, you can simply send automated emails with digital receipts directly to your customers’ inbox. You do not need a separate app, login or third-party vendor, but you do need to identify the customer at the check-out and connect the transaction to his or her email address.
With an off-the-shelf add-on for your POS, this is an easy and cost-effective way to implement digital receipts. The customer will have all the digital receipts available in the same place, in their own inbox, without having to log in to any app or third-party vendor.
This option will, however, require an extra step for the customer at the check-out (submitting their email) unless you already have a loyalty program or an equivalent way of identifying the customer.
So, what way of implementation should you choose?
As I see it, there are a few verticals to consider before making your choice. The size of your retail chain, your segment, your target group, and your digital maturity being a few.
At Extenda Retail, we have worked with digital receipts connected to our POS since 2014, and are glad to advise you on how to get started. Don’t hesitate to book a free meeting with us. We are happy to discuss how you could go about to digitise your shopping experience, including offering a better customer experience with digital receipts.
Note: Fiscal demands still require paper receipts.
Digitalisation often has a way of running ahead of laws and legislation. Some European countries still have legislation that requires receipts to be printed or in other ways provided to the customer by a fiscal device where none of the options above is suitable. We have extensive knowledge about these legislations as our POS solutions are fiscal compliant in 35+ countries. Please reach out if you would like to know more.