Email Receipts Go Mainstream: 60% of Stores to Embrace by 2016

If you’ve made a purchase at an Apple store you’re already familiar with email receipts, which are delivered to your inbox instead of lost in your wallet. According to industry insiders you’ll soon have the option to get your receipts via email from retailers large and small.

paper receipt

Paper receipts are on borrowed time.

The Boston Herald cites a Nordstrom spokesperson, claiming that 60% of retailers will offer some form of e-receipts in the next five years. This will likely be a combination of text and email receipts. Retailers may try to dress up the change in a green wrapping, but the real reason is deeper than cutting costs and paper use.

Why Retailers Love Email Receipts?

For your email address of course! Ever since retailers learned the value of communicating with consumers via email they have been on a mission to get your email address.

The good news is that most retailers have come to recognize the value of your email address isn’t just having your email address, but rather establishing a relationship with you. The email receipt is a way to provide more value to you and to deliver newsletters and coupons. If you actively open and read your email receipts, it is more likely that other emails will make it to the top of Priority Inboxes and have a better chance you’ll read them.

What’s Driving the Push to E-Receipts?

Interestingly, the move to digital won’t cut the costs in a major way at retailers. John Talbott, assistant director of Indiana University’s Center for Education and Research in Retailing, tells USA Today that the cost of paper and ink used in receipts is less than 1% of the total revenue at retailers.

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Square Card Case Allows Consumers to Open a tab at participating businesses and get a digital receipt.

Instead, the popularity of email receipts is thanks to increases in technology.  Email receipts has quickly jumped from Apple, Best Buy and Nordstrom to small businesses thanks to advances in technology and affordable technology offerings for small businesses. Perhaps the largest driving force is the  Square card reader which allows small business owners to turn any smartphone into a credit card terminal that emails receipts to customers.

Why This is Good News For Consumers

Email receipts are handy for more than just professionals that need to submit expense reports on a weekly basis. We’ve all lost an important receipt at least once, which can turn into a costly warranty repair or return. As more retailers get on board with email receipts, consumers will find it easier than ever to back up their purchase history in their email, Evernote or with their store rewards cards.

 

Until all of your favorite stores get on the email receipt bandwagon, we suggest taking a cell phone picture or scanning all of your important receipts and adding them to a service like Evernote or Springpad so that you can always access them. Digital copies of receipts are accepted by the IRS for tax purposes and, in a pinch, will work at many retailers.

Whether you get the digital receipts from the retailer or turn them into a digital receipt on your own, you’ll enjoy having all of your receipts at hand — in your smartphone.

Image: Receipt – Tall Chris

  

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    What – you mean if I go into a retail store and buy it I get no reciept but it goes to my e-mail?
    That’s not cool – unless I can check my e-mail before I leave the store to be sure it is there.
    And I am not signing into my e-mail on their skeevy public use machine which has god-knows-what on it.

    Honestly I am a little shocked people even buy things in retail stores anymore.
    I would kind of expect that to go away by 2016.

    hahahahaha…
    Half kidding there.
    Half.

  2. Richard Druce says

    Interesting article Josh. We’re one of the companies trying to make it a reality.We’re finding it’s picking up a lot in fashion / technology where the people need the receipt more for returns / warranties. For stores with higher frequency tills the uptake is a little slower and usually requires working with a loyalty system so the staff don’t have to type your email address in.

    Richard

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