Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paper Receipts vs. Electronic Receipts: Which Is Better?

One recent trend beginning to gain traction with retailers is giving out electronic receipts; however, many consumers and businesses may wonder exactly whether or not the benefits of electronic receipts outweigh those of traditional paper receipts. The answer really depends on your point of view and goals.

The Benefits of Electronic Receipts 

 For many people, the biggest benefit to electronic receipts is their impact on the environment. With electronic receipts, no paper has to be printed out. Receipts can be emailed to customers for long-term filing. When it comes to returns, a person simply has to show their electronic receipt to an employee on their smart phone to return a product.

However, there’s an underlying motivation here for why retailers think they’re such a fabulous idea. They give companies the ability to collect more data than they would normally from their customers. This includes information on their purchases as well as their emails. Those emails can then be used as a way to reach customers and send them information on promotions or just more advertisements.

The Drawbacks of Electronic Receipts 

Customers may not be happy about one thing that companies may consider a benefit. That is using electronic receipts as a means to gather more information on customers and send more spam to their inbox. If you don’t approve of these two possibilities, it may be a good idea to opt out and take a paper receipt instead.

While in theory electronic receipts can last forever, this is usually not the case for digital files in general. They tend to get misplaced as well as just about anything else. A hard drive crash or an email spam filter may do a good job of losing it for you.

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The Benefits of Paper Receipts 

Paper receipts are easy to use. You simply obtain them from retailers and bring them back when needed. There are no other steps involved. You don’t have to access your email, create your own print outs or anything else. They’re simple and functional. Without the added step of gathering electronic information, printed receipts can be just as fast as electronic receipts. Quality, BPA-free paper receipts can also be easily recycled, so they can still be environmentally friendly like electronic receipts.

Due to the fact they are physical, it’s easy to remember exactly where you put a receipt for safe keeping. With a little care, the receipt won’t be lost. While certain retailers have gotten sneaky in regards to using ink that is hard to read or fades over time (a disadvantage for consumers), this is not the case for most receipts. For example, many retailers find high quality ink and 1-ply, 2-ply or 3-ply paper rolls for receipt printing from online stores like PrinterStock.com.

The Drawbacks of Paper Receipts 

While paper receipts are extremely functional and easy to use, they do have a few drawbacks for retailers. For one, creating them does require paper. This means a slightly higher impact on the environment and a slight increase in a company’s overhead expenses. They are also easy to lose if one does not make an effort to keep track of them. If a receipt is lost, a consumer may as well forget about obtaining a refund.

Overall, paper and electronic receipts both have their pluses and minuses. Consider each carefully and decide what is important to you. If you are looking for materials for paper receipt printing, contact PrinterStock.com at 1-866-748-8273.

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