We are living in a digital age so there’s no surprise why companies are choosing to use online receipts for their customers. But not all organizations have chosen to go digital with their proof of payments so how does this impact their business?
Opting to go digital can have profound implications for any company. If you decide to go paperless you may increase your revenue. There are plenty of advantages to using online receipts and it may even improve customer or client satisfaction.
Keep reading to find out what digital receipts are, if you can customize them and what the benefits of going paperless are.
What Are Online Receipts?
When customers buy goods from a company the manager and the consumer must have proof of payment for the items that were bought. The purpose of a receipt is to provide proof of a financial transaction between the customer and the business.
In the past, receipts could only be printed out on a strip of paper. This indicated the price of an item, the amount paid by the customer and the date the receipt was printed. Merchants had to keep these receipts stored in physical files to keep track of their finances.
Now, small businesses and even freelancers have the choice of creating online receipts to send to clients. Instead of printing the information on paper, the receipt is sent to a client via email or on another digital platform.
How Does an Online Receipt Work?
Upon checkout, a merchant will ask a customer whether he or she would like a digital receipt or a printed one. Some small business owners can offer both. If the customer chooses to receive an online receipt the merchant will simply punch in the customer’s email address. The platform will then send the receipt to the customer’s email inbox.
Information such as data from the transaction and the customer’s email address can be saved. Small time entrepreneurs can use this data for future marketing campaigns.
Creating a Simple Receipt for Your Shop
For any company, branding is crucial so that customers can easily identify who you are. That’s why it’s important that business owners create their own online receipts so they can add their branding to the document.
Many platforms allow small businesses to create their own simple receipt. This way you can structure the receipt according to your preferences. Ensure you find a platform that offers a simple receipt template that you can edit and customize according to your branding.
When a customer opens the digital receipt in their emails, they’ll know where it came from because you added your branding to it.
10 Benefits of Offering Digital Receipts to Customers
Manufacturing paper and ink for printed receipts isn’t ideal for the environment. Did you know that digital receipts were pushed by the Apple Store as part of the sustainability movement? Going digital means going green.
There are more benefits when you decide to use digital receipts for your business. Take a look at the top 10 advantages in this next section.
1. Easy Access and Time-Saving Solutions
It’s easier to access digital receipts compared to hardcopy ones. That’s because online receipts are stored on a digital cloud that can be retrieved with a click of a button.
Storing digital receipts on a cloud optimizes workflow because you don’t have to spend hours sifting through papers to find the receipt you’re looking for. What’s more, paper receipts require manual capturing which increases the risk of human error.
With a simple receipt infrastructure, the information will automatically be loaded onto the form simply by scanning products.
You may want to also invest in a receipt scanner if you want to keep track of all your electronic paperwork.
2. Online Receipts Helps You Save Money
If you’re a small business owner then saving money should be your main priority. Buying paper and ink to print out hard copies can cost you thousands of dollars each month. You’d save money by utilizing digital receipts because you won’t have to spend capital on paper, ink and printing machines.
Using a simple receipt template you can create professional digital receipts quickly to email to all your customers.
3. Tax Season Will be Less of a Hassle
Tax season will be less of a hassle for you and your customers. When doing taxes you often have to gather paper receipts, sort them and organize them. Sorting paper receipts can take time and it can be frustrating if one of them goes missing.
Using online receipts allows you to store them into a folder that you can easily access when tax season arrives. You can label your receipts by date so that you can categorize them correctly. Additionally, you can make tax preparation less complicated when you have a digital system to work on.
There is no risk of losing or throwing digital receipts away so you won’t have to deal with books that don’t balance at the end of each month.
4. Marketing Opportunities
When you send digital receipts to your customers you’ll have access to their email addresses. As a result, you’ll have an opportunity to talk to them or send them marketing promotions. With email communication you can send your customers the following information:
- When you have new products or services
- Inform them about any product or service on sale
- Allow customers to sign up for your monthly newsletter
- Inform your customers about any changes within your business
- Offer them loyalty programs
5. Save on Clutter and Storage Costs
Printed receipts create plenty of clutter. Some businesses will often buy archive boxes to store all their receipts. You can save on the clutter and the storage space if you use digital receipts. You won’t have a large paper trail lying around your offices or large boxes taking up space.
6. Protects You and Your Customers from BPA
Did you know BPA is found on paper receipts? This is a harmful chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats. Although BPA isn’t fatal in low levels, when you touch printed paper you’re exposed to the chemical more often than you should be.
If you want to reduce exposure to BPA products then you should scrap paper receipts and go digital. With digital receipts, there is no-contact handling which makes it safer for you and your customers.
7. Capture Receipts on the Go
Printing machines may require an outlet to operate. There can be battery-operated receipt printers but the battery life may not last long. With a digital platform, you can create a simple receipt on the go. As long as you have a device and an internet connection you can create and send receipts easily.
Using digital receipts works well if you’re a small merchant that goes to outdoor events regularly. You can sell items at concerts or sports days and not have to worry about running out of paper when doing receipts.
Additionally, you won’t have to stress about keeping your receipts safe during an outdoor event because they’ll all be saved on a digital platform. As a result, it will also optimize your security so that unauthorized people don’t get access to your receipts.
Another advantage of having digital receipts is that some systems allow customers to sign with a digital signature either with their finger or stylus so you won’t need to invest in pens.
8. Quick Sharing With Your Accounts Department
When you have paper receipts it can be difficult to share the information with your accounts department. It takes time to scan the paper to email and then send it through to people. Sometimes scanning a hardcopy onto a digital platform decreases the visibility of the printed data.
With an online receipt, all the information can be seen clearly and you can share it with multiple people without making copies of it. Since the receipts are stored on the cloud you can access them and send them through to your accounts department even when you’re not in the office.
Sending online receipts is quick, easy and secure so there will be no risk of them getting lost in the mail or stolen.
9. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Many customers prefer digitalized receipts because it also helps them organize and keep their receipts safe. Online receipts may help decrease their stress levels when it comes to tax season. The receipts will be sent safely to customers or clients email addresses where they can retrieve and access them easily.
Some people are also environmentally conscious and appreciate when corporations minimize their use of paper.
10. Improves Your Revenue
Now that you have a list of customer emails thanks to your online receipt methods you’ll be able to increase your company’s revenue. Most customers will return to your company if you inform them about sales, promotions or new products you’re offering.
The only way for you to let your customers know about your marketing campaign is by using the email addresses your customers have given you. With more clients or customers visiting your business to buy products or services on promotion you’ll significantly increase your revenue.
Are Electronic Receipts Safe?
Sending electronic receipts may be a safer alternative to paper ones. With hardcopy receipts, there is a higher risk of exposing customer information such as signatures. If a receipt gets into the wrong hands there could be a potential risk of dealing with fraud.
With most digital systems you’ll be protected by encryptions or SSL certificates so that receipts can be sent securely from one device to another. It’s important to safeguard your electronic software to prevent hackers from gaining access to your digital infrastructure.
You can also prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to your saved electronic receipts by locking this part of your system with a strong online password.
Only allow accounting clerks or bookkeepers to gain access to this part of your digital infrastructure so that there’s no risk of your receipts falling into the wrong hands.
Are you looking for an affordable platform that allows you to create professional receipts on your tablet, SmartPhone or laptop? Then Billdu can assist you. There are simple receipt templates you can use to create branded documents with a few simple clicks.
Billdu is an affordable digital platform that’s suitable for small to medium scale businesses looking for fast methods to creating professional receipts for their shops. Additionally, there is a range of online services for you to select from such as inventory trackers and exporting features.
With Billdu you can share your information with your accountants easily with no typing errors or paperwork to deal with.
So are you ready to go paperless with online receipts?