The retail landscape is changing.
With every new device, every advance in mobile technology and every new social media trend, consumers are becoming more savvy and hungry for true engagement. But just how big are these changes, and how fast are they coming? With a slew of recent data from industry thought leaders like RIS Magazine and Boston Retail Partners, we no longer have to speculate: we’ll just let the numbers do the talking.
This is the first of a series of posts about survey data on the changing retail landscape. In the coming weeks, we’ll take closer look at these numbers and what they entail. We’ll also be conducting a survey of our own on changing retail attitudes toward digital receipts.
RIS Magazine Survey
In March, we contracted a partnership with RIS Magazine to find out just how important post-sale engagement is in the current retail landscape and what retailers are doing about it. The partnership culminated in the release of a study titled “Optimizing the Post-Sale Opportunity.” The study polled retailers on their current use and future plans for post-sale engagement tactics like digital receipts.
The results showed that, while only about a quarter of retailers currently use digital receipts for in-store purchases, more than half said they had plans to invest in them within the next 18 months. Taken with those that already have a solution in place, that’s more than three quarters of all retailers implementing digital receipts by 2016. What’s more: on a scale of 1 to 5, retailers ranked e-receipts a whopping 4.5 on average.
This surge in interest toward digital receipts is closely tied to the concept of a personalized retail experience. Modern consumers have come to expect the businesses they patronize to treat them as individuals, rather than merely as faceless contributors to a bottom-line. Indeed, 56.8 percent of retailers said delivering personalized marketing messages is a top reason for investing in e-receipts.
What’s more: the modern consumer is increasingly environmentally conscious, making a paperless solution ever more important. In fact, the ridiculousness of needlessly long paper receipts has gone viral lately thanks to social media.
Earlier this year, Boston Retail Partners released the results of its annual POS / Customer Engagement Survey. The survey of retailers and consumers showed that adoption of electronic receipts and post-sale engagement via email is poised to explode in the next few years.
By the end of 2017, BRP predicts a 700 percent increase in retailers providing digital receipts with personalized suggestions. This lines up closely with the predictions from the RIS Magazine study: as more retailers begin to adopt e-receipt solutions in the coming months, the practice will enter the retail mainstream, resulting in a cascade of widespread adoption in the coming years. It’s similar to the recent expansion of other retail technology innovations like mobile payments: major growth happens gradually, then all at once.
The BRP survey also confirmed that consumers are more than ready for this type of engagement: 80 percent of consumers said they liked retailers to send product recommendations via email based on prior purchases. Smart receipts with purchase-based suggestions sent straight to customers’ inboxes are exactly the kind of personalized retail experience that consumers crave today.
These results prove that a paperless, personalized electronic receipt is the retail solution of the future. With an economy that’s getting stronger by the day, retailers are ready and able to invest in the innovative technologies that will bring their businesses into the modern world and sustain them well into the future.
If you still haven’t considered adopting digital receipts for your retail business, the time to act is now.