Are E-Receipts the Best Solution for Your Retail Business?

Most experts agree that the days of paper receipts are numbered. Whether retailers choose an all-inclusive solution that allows customers to both pay and receive receipts on a mobile device or retailers simply continue sending receipts via e-mail, businesses of all sizes are realizing the many benefits that come with eliminating as much thermal receipt paper as possible.

How It Works

Thanks to cloud service providers, businesses of all sizes now have access to the same state-of-the-art technology used by some of the biggest chain retailers. Businesses have a variety of POS options, many of which can operate on relatively inexpensive tablets and smartphones.

Most cloud-based options provide retailers the tools they need to accept credit card and cash transactions. As a bonus, retailers can opt for a solution that delivers a receipt to a customer’s e-mail inbox as soon as the transaction is complete.

Marketing Help

E-receipts give businesses the perfect opportunity to market to customers. This marketing can be done directly on the receipt, in the form of a coupon that can be used on the customer’s next trip. Some businesses feel this is an opportunity to collect e-mail addresses for the purpose of adding customers to mailing lists, but this behavior could be seen as too aggressive.

Instead, a retailer could use the cloud-based digital receipt as an excuse to include a link. Through this link, customers can opt into your mailing list to receive special offers.

In the future, many experts predict that businesses may be able to go a step further with their marketing efforts using this technology. Through an installed app, businesses will be able to detect when a customer is near one of their locations and deploy a message about any specials that might interest them. An important first step in that direction, however, is moving customers from paper receipts to smartphone-based receipts, ensuring they’ll be in place once the technology is available.

Why Your Retail Business Should Switch to Cloud-Based POS

At one time, a business was forced to set up cash registers at a fixed location, committing to a number of registers that would be sufficient to handle the load during the busiest days. If a store had one register, lines could become excruciatingly long during peak traffic times, but additional registers could sit unused most days, taking up space that could be used for merchandise.

Cloud-based POS systems can give businesses a scalability not provided by traditional cashiering systems. Retailers often work with a cloud hosting provider to set up a system that works for them, whether it’s a complete tablet-based POS or a hybrid system including traditional cash registers and mobile devices.

Tablet Scalability

Using a card reader and mobile POS software, retailers can now empower their salesclerks to move around the store or simply fill in at the customer service desk when traffic is higher. These devices are already being used by national chains like Bath & Body Works and Nordstrom to make employees more flexible. A retailer can schedule two or three clerks, for instance, with most clerks helping customers on the sales floor until things get busy. Once the customer base shifts to the cash register, those extra clerks can grab a mobile device and help out.

Tablet Mobility

Mobile POS also empowers staff with the tools they need to help customers. If a shopper is looking for an item in a certain color, employees can use tablets or smartphones to search other locations or determine whether the item can be ordered from a company’s website. This can help cut down on showrooming and improve customer service. Some stores offer in-store customers free shipping to their home if an item is ordered from their website because it isn’t available on site.

But one of the biggest reasons to offer mobile POS is the growing popularity of its use. Once your competitors are providing this convenience to customers, you’ll have a more difficult time competing using traditional cashiering hardware.