Thursday, November 29, 2007

Idea: Email Me My Receipt

I have a suggestion for brick and mortar stores... instead of ignoring my outstretched hand and shoving the receipt into the bag, how about you email me my receipt?

Receipts are important but annoying things. Small slips of paper that get crumpled in my wife's purse or folded into little squares in my purse and then lost for a week or more on average. Not helpful when my wife tries to balance her checkbook.

Let's use Exxon as an example. I have one of their SpeedPass devices. I can go on the website and indicate whether I want a receipt or not. After I make that election on the website, that choice is automatically honored wherever I use the speedpass, be it at the pump or inside the convenience store buying a slurpee.

Expand it out further... We have cards for Fred Meyer, grocery stores, bookstores, pet stores, Good Guys, Blockbuster, Starbucks, the library, etc. All issue these annoying receipts. Some we just throw into the burn bucket by the fireplace at home. Others go next to the computer for reconciliation. Some (like the library slips) we could do without. If we could log into these respective websites, access our accounts and make these elections, we could save all kinds of paper.

If my credit cards and utilities (and now even World Vision, not to mention the church I used to work for) is offering online statements, why can't these stores give us the choice? Good for the environment, cheaper for the retailer (less paper, ink, printer repairs), less annoying for the high-tech customer.

Plus, a good chance to foster loyalty card adoption. If I needed a card for Home Depot or Panda Express in order to get the emailed receipts, I'd sign up in a heartbeat.

Disclaimer: I don't actually carry all those cards. I carry one card with all those barcodes thanks to a cool, free service called Just One Club Card.
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