Retailers ask “receipt in the bag or via email?”

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The days of sifting through wads of tatty receipts come expense claim day or wallets overflowing with thermal paper may soon be over as an increasing number of retailers begin offering electronic receipts sent direct to a customer’s email.

Earlier this year the Boston Herald cited Colin Johnson, a Nordstrom spokesperson, as saying 60% of retailers will offer some form of electronic receipt option, either by text or email, in the next five years.

Not only are electronic receipts convenient, they are a green option. According to paperless receipt firm AllEtronic 600,000 tons of thermal receipt paper is used by stores in the US each year. Fifteen trees, 19,000 gallons of water, and 390 gallons of oil go in to just one ton of paper.

Furthermore, there could be health benefits to doing away with receipts printed on thermal paper. This type of paper is coated with a chemical called Bisphenol-A (BPA), a proven endocrine disruptor, which because it is not “bound” to the surface of the paper can be transferred to the skin and absorbed into the body causing a variety of health problems. Just last month Connecticut became the first State to ban the use of this chemical on thermal receipts.

While electronic receipts are the obvious way forward, in terms of their planet-saving benefits and customer convenience, there will be many who view them with suspicion – another way for retailers to extract personal information. However, responsible retailers will give their customers control over if, and how, email address data is used.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist
Content Writer & Editor
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Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.