Sales receipt dematerialization: how to transform this obligation into a marketing opportunity?
Published on 11 August 2021
As of January 1st 2023, 30 million paper tickets will disappear... and new marketing opportunities will appear. Indeed, sending the ticket by email or in a mobile application allows brands to enrich their customer loyalty strategy in a new way. A gold mine to be handled with care...
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What does the law say?
The law carried by the deputy Patricia Mirallès (LREM) stipulates that by January 2023 at the latest, the systematic printing of receipts will be prohibited. It will therefore be necessary to request it expressly.
A law that first responds to an ecological imperative, when we know that about 30 billion receipts are printed each year in France (French source), on a non-recyclable paper. Of course, many retailers will offer to send their receipts by email and this has its share of carbon footprint too (emission, transport, storage). Nevertheless, the dematerialization of sales receipts is fully in line with our digital era. It also responds to health issues, as the ink used may contain endocrine disruptors.
Organic retailers anticipated the law all the more easily as their customers were already not in favor of getting their paper ticket back (8 out of 10 customers for La Vie Claire, compared to 4 out of 10 on average in France). Several mass-market retailers (French source) are also starting to do this well before the law comes into force: the amounts involved and the number of lines encourage consumers to keep a record of their purchases, but they are invited to find it in their loyalty program or emails. A paradigm shift that represents a huge source of value for retailers.
The dematerialized ticket, an asset to accelerate loyalty
By retrieving the email address of a customer who is not registered in its loyalty program, the company is able to link all the purchases made: online, in a traditional or automatic checkout, in its usual store, but also occasionally near its office or its place of vacation! Although this information is processed anonymously, its omnichannel dimension makes it extremely rich in terms of customer knowledge, and constitutes a real opportunity in the face of e-commerce giants.
The email address is also a direct access to the consumer! Moreover, an email containing a receipt, i.e. important information requested by the customer, has a high open rate. It is therefore the ideal opportunity to interact on other subjects: satisfaction questionnaires, news, cross-selling... But be careful, it is not a question of drowning the customer in messages and generating marketing exhaustion. Email must be used with finesse in a two-step strategy. First, thanks to the improved knowledge of their online and in-store habits, offer them ever more relevant offers. Secondly, to include them in the brand's loyalty program.
Indeed, sending the receipt by email should be only a step towards a mobile application or a dedicated web portal, welcoming, ergonomic, which contain and optimize the whole relational program between the consumer and the brand. For small players such as local shops, the electronic banking branches of banks as well as pure players such as Cleanbill (French) will surely offer this type of portal or app in the medium term, but shared with other merchants.
Reassure to create loyalty
Beyond the technical expertise required for the use of shower heads, data processing and marketing issues, the dematerialized ticket raises the question of trust between the retailer and its customer, which must be clearly defined in the strategy:
- both in terms of personal data management:
Is the loyalty portal in privacy by default / by design?
What charter should be displayed on the respect of privacy?
- as well as after-sales service:
Do we allow refunds or exchanges without a ticket?
- or push marketing:
Does the sales tunnel provide for a clear opt-in for various marketing communications?
It is by clearly defining these elements, which are the basis of a relationship of trust with the customer, that the players will make the most of this new law.
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