Earth Day is our annual calendar reminder that Green is good and energy conservation is smart. Yet, concerted efforts of eco-friendly behavior and business activity are seen daily from home owners, utility suppliers, and retailers, among others. As an independent retailer, partaking in the Green movement could prove to be the best decision you make as you position yourself in a competitive market. How can you get the word out to your customers that you root for the Green team? Ok, so maybe GE Ecomagination’s Elephant mascot isn’t waiting outside your storefront, advertising your energy efficient ways to your consumers. Nonetheless, investment in eco-friendly bags, displays, and now the adoption of paperless receipts is enough to speak highly of your environmentally conscious business.
Paper or Plastic? Paper or Paperless?
According to the Boston Herald, “Major retailers such as Apple, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom already give customers the option to go digital while the Container Store and Best Buy are participating in a pilot program with Intuit, the software maker of Quick Receipts, and Whole Foods is piloting a paperless option in the mid-Atlantic region that could spread nationwide.” Who says your brick and mortar store can’t be among them? Federal regulations no longer require merchants to ask for a signature on a credit card purchase under $25 or to provide receipts for debit-card buys of $15 or less, making the integration of paperless receipts a strong possibility.
Increasing smartphone purchases, application use, and personal email access has opened numerous channels for your customers to research and buy products. And now, with the cost of receipt paper on an upward trend, “A growing number of merchants are not printing receipts for small transactions, or offering customers ‘paperless receipts,” electronic copies of purchase info, via email or smartphone apps,” mentions NYDailyNews.com in a recent article. Testament to the technologically advanced shopping trends of today, some organizations offer services that not only email receipts, but also electronically track inventory, build catalogues, set prices, and produce robust transaction reporting. Technology and its crucial role in going Green leads Richard Mader, executive director of the National Retail Federation’s Association for Retail Technology Standards, to predict that “In five years, up to 60 percent of America’s retailers will offer paperless receipts.” Will you be among them?