A Bright Idea: Paperless Receipts. Envisioning The Future Of The Grocery Store

Here at Cronigs Markets, we are envisioning a No-Impact grocery store of the future. There are many aspects of this futuristic grocery store and one of the key ideas would be to reduce or completely eliminate the use of unnecessary paper. In these advancing technological times, there is no area as wasteful in retail than the use of paper receipts for all transactions.

Yes, proof of purchase is a necessity but we believe that with some creativity, investment and the willingness to do things differently innovative businesses will be able to make the paperless receipt an everyday reality.

The Big Problem

The problem is that too many resources are being depleted by the use of paper receipts as documentation for all retail transactions. However, this is a problem that is being counteracted by innovations like the software on FilecenterDMS.com which helps to digitize paper documentation to spearhead a movement away from a paper-based system. According to research as reported by the Huffington Post,

“Over 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees and 1 billion gallons of water are consumed each year in the creation of receipts for the United States alone, generating 1.5 Billion pounds of waste.”

This is extremely wasteful and unnecessary in these times.

A Bright Idea

By now most grocery shoppers in the Western world are familiar with customer cards. These cards have primarily been used as a way to gather shopping pattern data from the customer in exchange for discounts which in many countries have replaced the old coupon system.

These card systems have become increasingly sophisticated in the types and amounts of data they can collect about the user. We propose another use of these cards.

Most of the customer card systems are anonymous and attach the data they collect to a numbers based catalog system. If we decided to personalize these cards to the user by email address instead businesses could then use the email address as the delivery system for transaction records, but for now many retail outlets, stores and pop up shops will continue to use a retail label printer for their label and receipt needs.

These card systems keep track of the products purchased and track the frequency of purchase as a way to decide what new products or existing products to present more prominently to the customer. What these systems do not do at this time is keep a record of the point of sale transaction. By programming these data collection systems to keep a record of the Point of sale we could then deliver the receipt to the customer in a multitude of ways either by email, text message or through social media apps such as whats’app. Some customisable POS software offers a multitude of features such as these, like making the optimization of the processing of transactions easier on both the business and consumer.

At this time most of these card systems are anonymous and attach the data they collect to a numbers based catalog system. If businesses decided to personalize these cards to the user by email address or phone number instead, this could also allow for a deeper engagement between customer and retailer.

What is your Bright Idea about how the future of the grocery store experience could be more planet friendly and customer efficient? Let us know on our Facebook page. Your Bright Ideas count!