As digital receipts business eReceipts reveals a raft of new retailers have begun using its service, Retail Week takes a look at the technology.

Why are we talking about this now?

Digital receipts business eReceipts has revealed a raft of new retailers have begun using its service. Monsoon, Aldo, Joy, French Connection, The Fragrance Shop and Accessorize have joined northern grocer Booths in employing the service. The technology business was started two years ago by chief executive Andrew Carroll, with investment from chairman Lord MacLaurin. The former Tesco boss told Retail Week the business evoked memories of the launch of Tesco’s Clubcard in 1995. Kiddicare founder Neville Wright is also on the board.

How does it work?

The service uses different methods in different stores. At Booths, because time spent at checkout is crucial in grocery due to large baskets, only customers with a loyalty card receive the service. When the loyalty card is swiped, the receipt goes into a customer’s digital account which can be accessed on Booths’ website or be emailed.

At fashion retailers, cashiers collect shoppers’ emails to create their account. eReceipts is not the only business in the space, rival yReceipts offers a similar service, including integrating social media buttons in its receipts, while retailers including Apple have an in-house solution.

What are the benefits for customers?

The key attraction for customers is to be able to return a product without issue as they “will never lose a receipt again”, Carroll says, adding that it is useful for staff filing business expenses. Shoppers may also be tempted by the environmental benefits of an option which saves paper and does not clutter their wallets with receipts, often needlessly issued by legal obligation for small transactions. Moreover, shoppers can use the software’s online tools to analyse their spending and budget better.

What are the benefits for retailers?

Retailers can save up to £5 per 1,000 transactions through using less paper, eReceipts estimates. Retailers are also able to analyse the data – including average basket size, the frequency a customer visits a store and total spend –  to tailor offers which can then be emailed to shoppers.

For retailers without a digital view of their shoppers, the tools are likely to prove valuable. “There are a whole raft of retailers who do not know anything about their customers,” Carroll says. The eReceipts software can also sit simply on an existing ePOS system

How likely is it that this will be widely adopted?

Carroll says: “Retailers will have to move first on this and then the customer will follow. The technology is live and proven.” Ultimately, Carroll believes shoppers will have a single app which collects the receipts in one place. However, he admits that paper receipts will be around for some time and is working with printer specialist Citizen to produce a smaller receipt which directs shoppers to an online account.