Digital receipts are transforming retail marketing as it is an opportunity for retailers to digitally engage and off line customers. With digital receipts, retailers get access to customer data which can be leveraged to build 360° pictures of the customer and target them with personalized communications.
The severity of the pandemic impact forced the retail sector to rapidly innovate to attract shoppers and shopping spends. These innovations also transformed the customer buying journey. Most retail customers have become comfortable with social distanced shopping, Phygital retail and contactless payments and this couldn’t have been at a more relevant time. Even before COVID-19, during the last few years of the 2010s, initiatives like the #SkiptheSlip campaign had been making headlines on social media to reduce the use of paper receipts.
Just as the corporate world will find it difficult to wean employees back to the office after the work from home culture, retail customers too would shy away from returning to the old norms and are showing a preference for many of the best practices of new retail. One of those practices is ‘digital receipt’.
With over 70 percent of customers opting for a digital receipts since they are eco-friendly; this is going to have a transformational impact on retail as a business. (Businesswire)
Given the advantages it offers, it’s not surprising that customers too prefer digital receipts with over 90 percent of consumers finding them more convenient than paper receipts. (NCR.COM)
However, the real-world customer benefits of digital receipts are varied and go much beyond; the reasons are easy to understand:
• The safer and contactless shopping experience
• Instant redemption of gift vouchers becomes easier as digital receipts are ever available on the mobile
• Returns/exchanges/warranty issues are easily man-aged with zero dependencies on paper receipts that may get washed in the laundry
• Easy access to purchase info like purchase date, price and store name which allow repeat purchase
• implifying business expense process where employees need to submit receipts to their finance teams
• Digital Receipts also save space in wallets/bags
• And solving the most crucial problem of fading away of important thermal prints on paper receipts that can frustrate even the most astute expense managers
However, what needs to be really appreciated about digital receipts is that this seemingly simple change in format has suddenly opened a whole new world of opportunities for brands and retailers. This is almost as path-breaking in retail as was the mass adoption of debit and credit cards.
Digital receipts are helping retail brands to maximise their connection with customers and changing the relationship from being transactional and impulse-driven to one of engagement and trust. This is especially true for retailers who realise that a digital receipt is much more than a digital copy of the old paper receipt. The digital receipt while frozen in time is actually a dynamic and live handshake with the customer for life. When such a handshake is established, it gives the retailer an opportunity to quickly increase their market share and build customer lifetime value.
The digital receipt as a dynamic and live handshake initiative by trans-formative retailers conveys multiple actions through one vehicle. Like, in addition to the transaction information, the receipt can also carry future offers, discounts and other integrated possibilities that ease customer effort and increase retailer affinity including:
• Time-based trigger of discount offers from the central server leveraging the customers’ contact information and purchase history
• Enabling customers to easily share the receipt with family and friends with a single click integration via messaging apps
• Increasing customer spend with reminders for product replacement, servicing and privileged discounts
• Precipitating renewed/more frequent purchase window with new product launch information
• Empowering the customers by sharing complementary uses, invites, freebies
• Promoting new launches with a quick purchase window
The retail industry contributes 10 percent of India’s GDP and is one of the top 5 retail markets in the world powered by our 1.3 billion population
To add to this, the digital receipt system also captures transactional data which allows retailers to gain access to customer insights including their individual needs which leads to higher customer satisfaction, greater loyalty and more referrals.
Artificial Intelligence is also playing a large role in retail by enabling brands to have smarter conversations with faster customer support. The AI engine combined with digital receipts enables learning across different customer engagements to further enrich the conversation and improve custom-er relationships by taking feedback directly via digital receipt.
According to McKinsey “It (omnichannel) can improve customer satisfaction by providing a more personalized experience and even create ‘moments of delight’ for the customer during interactions that truly matter to them.” Not only this but digital receipts also help brands save money by sharing consolidated information about any particular transaction digitally and removing the need for paper and printing with thermal receipts. Digital receipts can also increase brand recall value with complete customization and branding options easily available.
As the world awaits to unlock - it is getting clear that brands will have to adopt digital receipts in order to create a truly contactless shopping experience in the Omni channel re-tail world. Customers too are eager to adopt the latest in contactless shopping which works to their advantage and convenience.
The innovations possible with digital receipts are just getting started. As the offering matures, the cross-link-ages will become even more rewarding and transformative for retailers. Some major brands even advocating for an even more seamless customer experience that integrates with mobile banking applications, which will enable saving the receipts in customers' bank account records. The future will bring into play the network effect with customers, where the power of the net-work increases significantly with the addition of users. Combine this with the current mobile network of 400 million WhatsApp users as per Tech-crunch and 310 million Facebook users as per Statistica, and the opportunity for retailers becomes really huge.
The retail industry contributes 10 percent of India’s GDP and is one of the top five retail markets in the world powered by our 1.3 billion population. The impact of digital receipts driven retail revolution will definitely create winners – including both the consumers and the retailers.