Introducing the simple feature for retailers, designed to reduce paper wastage and improve the customer experience.
Everyone loves to shop. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of going out and spending your hard-earned money on the things you enjoy, whether it be the latest gadget, new clothes or the weekly food shop. The one thing that all the purchases you make have in common, is receipts, and personally, my wallet is full of them.
According to 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. That’s a staggering 1.5 billion pounds of waste. While, here in the UK, more than 11 billion receipts are printed each year. This is having a significant impact on the environment.
And then there’s the practicality of receipts. For example, how many times have you ‘misplaced’ or thrown away the receipt, and your poor sibling is stuck with an itchy jumper for Christmas that’s two sizes too big?
Luckily, there is a solution for forgettable consumers, the environment and efficient retailers. Phew!
My suggestion? SMS receipts
In our digital age, receipts shouldn’t need to take up valuable wallet space. SMS is the instant solution. Most people carry their phones around with them wherever they go. If a loved one needs to return a gift, customers can simply fire over the digital receipt via SMS.
Sure, you may be thinking that some retailers are already sending digital receipts via email. But as a customer, scrolling through my emails for a receipt is arguably just as frustrating as rummaging through your house looking for a paper one. Plus, if a shop has poor network coverage or no Wi-Fi, customers might not be able to access their email account in the first place.
How do SMS receipts work? (The techie bit)
With Textlocal’s fully featured API, this couldn’t be easier to do. The API allows you to send custom text messages, add contacts, create short links and much more. All of which is available from our documentation page.
For example, to send an SMS message containing a basic receipt, all you need to do is send a HTTP request containing authentication, a message, the customer’s mobile number and a sender name.
The best thing about this is, as well as being informative for the customer, you can also customise the message to entice them to come back and spend more by including offers, related products and website links.
Links and tracking a plain text receipt by SMS is all well and good, but you can go one step further by including custom branding and unlimited amounts of content. This can be done by storing a unique receipt on your server and using our short link tool and send facilities to send it to your customers. Along with this, we also have advanced short link tracking facilities, which can be access through the Textlocal online platform.
This call will create a short URL on your Textlocal account which links to the URL specified. This information is returned in the API response, handy! Any click to this short URL is now available from the Textlocal online platform at Reports > Short Links. All you need to do then is combine this with the send SMS call, to send customised receipts to your customers at will.
Using our fully functioned API, you can automate communications with your customers and include offers, promotions and other important information about their account and transactions as well.
(If none of this makes sense to you, don’t fear. Our development team can help you get started!)
No customer numbers? No worries
When a customer is paying for an item, simply ask for a mobile number that you can send their digital receipt to. And if they need any extra persuading, entice them in with a reward scheme. So, as a thank you for their custom, you can send over a digital loyalty card with extra points on for going ‘green’.
Then hey presto! Before you know it, you should see a positive response from your customers.