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Omnichannel, Regulations
May 31, 2022

Dematerialization of the receipt: an obligation to anticipate today

Initially set for January 1, 2020, the ban on systematically printing sales receipts will only come into effect in 2023. Time is running out, however, to comply with this new regulation, while continuing to meet customers’ expectations. In this context, one solution is obvious for retailers: the dematerialization of tickets.


Automatic ticket printing to be banned soon

With Law No. 2020-105 of February 10, 2020 on the fight against waste and the circular economy, more commonly known as the anti-waste law, the government intends to limit waste and preserve natural resources by changing our production and consumption models. Among the various measures already adopted, one should not be overlooked: the ban on automatic printing of tickets from January 1, 2023. It concerns:

  • cash register receipts ;
  • bank card receipts;
  • tickets issued by cash machines when withdrawing money;
  • vouchers and other promotional tickets.

In fact, each year, 10,600 rolls of paper are consumed per hypermarket to print cash register receipts(1). Within the next year, paper tickets will only be issued on the customer’s express request, as stated in article L541-15-10 of the French Environmental Code. For the government, this new regulatory framework should allow to fight effectively against the waste of paper, especially since many customers throw away their printed tickets once they leave the store.

Cash register tickets: issues to anticipate now

For stores, the end of the systematic printing of receipts – already applied by some brands – will obviously allow to limit expenses on this item. However, it will also confront retailers with several major challenges.

  • The evolution of the cash register software: in the long run, the tool will have to offer several alternatives to the cashier and/or the customer (in the case of a self-service cash register, for example) to allow them to print the receipt or not. Ideally, the software could also offer the consumer the possibility to indicate his e-mail address in order to receive his invoice in electronic format.
  • Purchase control: at the exit of the store, security guards will need an alternative to the cash register receipt to verify customer purchases. This is especially true for checking out customers who have not requested a printed receipt and have not presented a loyalty card at checkout.
  • After-sales service management: exchange, reimbursement, guarantee, repair… all of which require the customer to present proof of purchase. In the absence of an invoice, either in paper or electronic format, retailers will have to think of another way to verify the origin of the products in order to guarantee the continuity of the after-sales service.

Dematerialization: an alternative to printing tickets

Although it may seem restrictive, this new framework is in fact an opportunity for points of sale. Indeed, retailers have the opportunity to dematerialize the receipt, both to meet this obligation and to develop their customer relationship. It must be said that the dematerialization of the item, provided that it is prepared in advance, offers many prospects.

  • 40% of customers do not want to receive their printed receipt when asked, among Système U customers and Carrefour loyalty card holders(2).
  • Collecting customer information: by opting for a dematerialized receipt, the main alternative to paper printing, customers provide at least their e-mail address. Thanks to this information, retailers can better understand their customers’ behavior and act accordingly.
  • A loyalty lever: in order to benefit from a digital ticket, customers can also decide to create a loyalty card, avoiding having to communicate their identity or e-mail address at each payment. In this way, retailers can enrich their customer database.
  • A new marketing tool: at the same time as the dematerialized receipt, brands can send a personalized marketing action, notably according to the purchases made and their frequency. The invoice thus becomes a new tool for an omnichannel customer journey.
  • A response to customer expectations: not only do many consumers no longer want their receipts, but they also expect new solutions to better manage and track their purchases. Dematerialization can therefore be an opportunity to offer dedicated tools (mobile application, web interface, etc.) to meet these expectations.

To anticipate this regulatory opportunity and get the most out of it, discover our dedicated offer, Generix Omnichannel Sales (FR), including its Local POS solution.

(1)The anti-waste law in the daily life of the French: what does it mean in practice? – Reference document – Ministry of Ecological Transition – 2021 (2)Paper receipts: the beginning of the end? – 60 Millions de Consommateurs – 2021

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