They are everywhere, crumpled up at the bottom of your purse, spilling out of your wallet, scattered all over your nightstand, staining your clothes when accidentally put through the wash… Those good old paper receipts. How is it, in the age of go green activists, environmental consciousness and innovative technology our society as a whole hasn’t moved away from the paper receipt phenomenon quite yet? Although many large retailers are now offering electronic (email) receipts to their customers, smaller businesses have yet to make this switch.
Not only is this a big cultural change for any business, many business owners may not understand how easy and affordable a switch to e-receipts can be. If you are looking to save your business time, money and offer added convenience to your customers you can take the following steps to ditching paper receipts:
1. Get Rid of Old Fashioned Credit Card Terminals and Outdated Software
Chances are, if you are operating a business you have access to a computer and don’t realize that you can accept credit card payments on it. More tech savvy entrepreneurs can also take payments on SmartPhones or tablets as well. Computer programs like Virtual Merchant offer an e-receipt option, allowing businesses to take payments directly on their computers and be used in conjunction with the Virtual Merchant Mobile application on their cell phones or tablets for payments on the go. Programs like talech (for iPad or iPad mini) not only offer e-receipts but can also keep track of inventory and provide business insights to help your company generate better promotional strategies moving forward.
All of these programs and applications are still able to print paper receipts from your connected or wireless printers. In the end, you have eliminated unnecessary terminals, captured customer contact information, offered your customers an added convenience and saved yourself money on expensive ink and paper. Winning!
2. After You Have Their Emails, Don’t Harass Your Customers
E-mail receipts can be an added convenience for your customers, UNLESS, you make it an inconvenience. First, assure customers that their emails will not be sold or used irresponsibly for promotional purposes.
There are, however,responsible ways and frequencies to use email addresses for sales and promotions, and tons of marketing programs out there to help teach you clever, safe ways to conduct e-mail marketing campaigns. Proceed with caution.
3. Practice What You Preach
Tracking receipts electronically can be big savers, not only in ink and paper, but in time as well.Begin to track your own expenses electronically with helpful apps like Expensify. Not only are you being kind to Mother Nature, but apps and programs that track expenses electronically can give you great insight to the big picture for budgeting and tax purposes.