The French anti-waste law, passed in 2020, has set ambitious targets for reducing waste and increasing recycling. One of the key provisions of the law is a ban on automatic printing of paper receipts, which aims to reduce the significant amount of paper waste generated by retail transactions. This provision is due to take effect on April 1, 2023.
As retailers are implementing various solutions, upgrading their in-store technology, POS and IT systems, the Anti-Waste law presents an opportunity to not only reduce paper waste but to open up a new thoughtful digital touchpoint in physical stores which could lead to greater customer satisfaction and uplift in revenues.
Digital receipts for compliance with French Anti-Waste Law
Under the new rules, retailers are prohibited from printing paper receipts unless the customer requests one. In addition, customers who want a record of what they purchased or how much it cost can also request a non-printed receipt. Also known as e-receipts or electronic receipts, they are electronic versions of traditional paper receipts, which can be accessed through a smartphone or online account, in the form of a text message, email or other.
E-receipts have well-known key benefits to both business and consumers. They are generally less expensive than the thermal paper and printing required by paper receipts and can also save time as store staff do not need to change out paper rolls. They also address customer preferences for an eco-friendly and convenient solution – they can be more easily stored and managed, don’t fade with time and make personal expense tracking easier.
There are many ways for businesses to offer digital receipts – each with its own set of features. And this is a golden opportunity for retailers. While any digital receipt will comply with the law, the exact nature and content of the receipt, and how it is issued by the retailer and accessed by the customer can have significant implications for the customer experience and for the operational, financial and marketing goals of the business. Brands that choose wisely could gain a competitive advantage.
The unique benefits of smart digital receipts
Smart receipts (also referred to as intelligent digital receipts) offer the latest in digital receipt technology, and enhanced features and functionality.
1. Customer data capture and customer insights
Smart receipts can capture customer data, such as purchase history, email addresses, and feedback on shopping experiences, even if customers do not share their contact information. The anonymous customer profile is automatically updated with each purchase, and engagement with the receipt itself is also tracked. AI-powered analytics can turn this data into actionable customer insights to support better stocking and pricing decisions or targeted marketing campaigns.
2. Customer engagement and retention
Smart receipts create new opportunities for customer engagement by introducing a new digital touchpoint. Customers can engage with the brand via the smart receipt on their mobile device while they are still in the store or post-purchase. Smart receipts can also improve customer retention with personalised marketing and frictionless loyalty. Customers can enrol in the loyalty program directly on the smart receipt. Then customer identification happens automatically, without the need for loyalty cards or app downloads, while the receipt shows real-time reward status/points.
Another way smart digital receipts can improve customer retention is by enabling customers to share feedback effortlessly. An automatic prompt on the receipt asks customers about their product or shopping experience and retailers can use this information to improve their offerings.
3. Marketing ROI optimization
Some receipts can also improve marketing ROI by triggering a conversion event in online ad platforms when customers open the digital receipt. The conversion value can be tracked, and customers can be engaged and retained with remarketing ads.
4. Improved customer experience
One of the most important trends in retail marketing has been personalisation. While ecommerce marketers are able to implement the necessary tools to make personalisation work, brick and mortar retailers often feel frustrated about how difficult it is to personalise the in-store experience, especially at scale.
The situation changes significantly when you replace paper receipts with smart digital ones. Once retailers are able to identify customers and connect them to their purchase history, they then have the ability to engage customers with personalised product recommendations and special offers, leading to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Finally, smart receipts can improve the customer experience by providing useful information or digital services. For example, fashion retailers can embed item care instructions directly on the smart receipt. Similarly, grocery retailers can provide nutritional information or links to online recipes while electronics retailers can offer one-click warranty extension. The opportunities to delight customers are obvious!
Beyond implementing a digital receipt solution, with refive, French retailers have the opportunity to implement an end-to-end customer operating system which can issue digital receipts, capture in-store customer data, expand this data with online purchases and interactions, and provide brands with a 360-degree view of every customer.
Implementing a digital receipts and customer engagement solution to grow your business in 2023 and beyond
For too long, retailers have treated all in-store customers uniformly. The result – retailers spend money re-acquiring the same customers repeatedly, lose margins on one-size-fits-all sales and bad stocking decisions. And worst of all, customers feel disengaged.
refive’s smart digital receipts delight the customer while capturing valuable zero-party and first-party behavioural, purchase and interaction data. As opposed to former approaches to understanding customer behaviour, using refive neither requires customer effort (app downloads, registration etc) nor technical (cameras, beacons etc) or operational overheads in-store. All that is required is a reliable POS system. refive integrates instantly with leading POS providers but for retailers looking to update and future-proof their systems, Pinnaca Retail & IT Solutions is an award-winning retail technology partner that can implement bespoke EPOS solutions.