When running a business, technological advancements may not always be the easiest leap to take. Familiarizing yourself with new technology is usually difficult and it could affect productivity as employees adapt to new systems. Why change what's not broken? However, in the increasingly technological world we live in, refusing to keep yourself and your business updated is no longer an option.
We don’t really need paper as proof of transactional information anymore. A digital receipt plays the same role as a physical paper receipt but it is better in terms of storage, efficient financial management and it's more apt for the digital era.
Increased efficiency in financial management
Gone are the days when you need to print out paper receipts to file meticulously amongst all the other dusty receipts for the month or the year, to provide as proof in case of chargeback disputes. If any one receipt is misplaced or just disappears off the file, your entire balance statement for that month gets highly confusing as well and you are forced to spend days straightening it out.
These paper receipts are not made to last either since it's made from the lowest quality paper. This means that hours after the bill is printed, the ink starts fading and makes it impossible to understand the details of the bill.
Why put yourself in that situation when you have better alternatives?
Paperless receipts mean that all your bills are stored online and can be accessed from anywhere at anytime with a near zero chance of the bill being misplaced. With invoicing apps like goCollect you can also look up specific bills or customer history easily without having to organize it yourself.
Your financial management no longer needs to be cumbersome and time consuming - no matter how small or big your business is.
Retaining customers need to be a priority within your business objectives because there's a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer, compared to a 5-20% chance of selling to a new customer.
These statistics highlight the need to market to your existing customers to ensure that they are converted to loyal advocates who make more purchases.
There are many ways to ensure that you retain your customers, but the single most effective way is to remind them of your company, your products and the value. Being at the forefront of your customers mind strengthens your relationship with them.
To do this effectively, you need the personal details of the customer such as their phone number or email ID, which is a lot easier to obtain when you are requesting it to send them an online copy of their invoice. Once you have these details, you can focus on up selling, cross selling or simply just maintaining a relationship with your customers. Online receipts are also a lot easier for the customers to handle, than the physical bill, in case of exchanges and refunds.
Reduces environmental and health damage
Did you know that just in the US alone, up to 10 million trees and 21 billion gallons of water are used to make paper for these receipts?
Skipping paper receipts would save 12 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), the equivalent of one million cars on the road.
The annual waste from receipts in the US are up to 686 million pounds of waste!
"But, aren't these made of paper? Can't we just recycle them?"
This is where the problem lies. Receipt papers cannot be recycled because 93% of paper receipts are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS) which is used to help the receipts be legible. BPS makes the receipt ineligible to be recycled due to its toxicity, since it can contaminate water.
When we touch receipts, the chemical coating is absorbed into our bodies through our hands in a few seconds. BPA impacts fetal development, and is linked to neurological problems, premature puberty, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other health concerns.
The only alternative to BPA right now, is BPS, however this is an almost identical chemical which research shows causes similar detrimental effects as BPS.
Do you still print receipts for your business? What is keeping you from taking the leap to digital receipts? We'd love to hear your thoughts.