After almost every transaction, you either print or email your customer a receipt. Most people view this process as necessary busywork and fail to grasp the potential of this small piece of paper. But when used correctly, businesses can leverage receipts as marketing tools that increase sales. The best part? It’s simple, easy and turns a task you already do into a marketing machine.
The one handicap is that before you start implementing some of these tactics, you need a payment terminal that allows you to customize receipts. If you don’t have a terminal that gives you this capability, check out some of Eliot’s product offerings here.
At the very minimum you should be branding your receipts with your business’s logo. And depending on what terminal you’re using, you should also have a few lines of space to add in a custom message underneath your logo. We recommend adding your website, phone number and tag line if you have the room. Your customers will thank you when they rifle through their receipt drawer in search of the one from your business and it’s easy to find because your brand is positioned loud and clear at the top. This is also a simple way to maintain brand consistency and recognition.
People are always looking for a great deal. In fact, 81% of US consumers say they use coupons regularly. Adding a coupon at the bottom of a is a great way to drive additional business and incentivize your customers to buy something that they may have not tried otherwise as 83% of shoppers have made unplanned purchases based on a promotion or coupon. Plus, 68% of consumers state that coupons generate loyalty, so offering them to your customers is a great way to reward them for doing business with you. Want to take your coupon game up a level? Arm your customers to be your brand advocates by giving them two coupons – one for themselves and one for a friend. Offering coupons and discounts is a business practice as old as time – but what makes printing them on coupons effective is that it leverages something you’re already doing and ensures that the coupon actually gets in your customers’ hands. Plus, you have the added advantage of talking about it with your customer at the end of a transaction when you hand them a receipt. Win. Win. Win.
3. Advertise Specials and/or Special Events
If you don’t want to add a coupon to the bottom of your receipt, use that space to call attention to special events such as sales, anniversaries, customer appreciation events or product launches. Looking to increase foot traffic on a particular day or move a certain product? Include some information about it on the bottom of your receipt and offer customers an incentive to get involved. While we don’t recommend relying on receipts as the sole vehicle to promote your event, adding that information to the bottom of the receipt definitely reinforces the message and takes advantage of the opportunity to send information home with your customer.
4. Train Your Employees
Train your employees to call attention to the any coupons, promotions or special information you’ve added to the receipt as they print it out and hand it to the customer. A common best practice is circling the most important information on the receipt with a highlighter or letting the customer know that the receipt they’ll receive in their email will contain a special offer. Feel free to throw some personality into it. If you print out receipts, have your sales associate scrawl a quick “Thank you!” at the bottom or include a personal message with fun graphics in an emailed version. Small touches like this will go a long way to engaging your customers while incentivizing them to come back for more.
Does this stuff actually work?
After reading all this, you might be thinking, “Can something this small truly have an impact on my business?”
Great question. Let’s crunch some numbers.
Let’s look at just one of the suggestions listed above – printing coupons at the bottom of a receipt – and use Fancy Hair Salon (a full service salon and spa that exists only in the realm of our imagination) as an example.
Fancy Hair Salon serves an average of 500 customers a month who spend about $50 per visit. So that means Fancy Hair Salon makes about $25,000 a month.
Fancy Hair Salon is wanting to grow their profits and looking to gain repeat business for the next month by offering a coupon at bottom of their customer’s receipts.
On top of that, Fancy Hair Salon wants to gain some new customers. So since the best way to advertise is to have your loyal customers refer their friends to you, they decide to print two coupons on the receipt – one for the customer and one for the customer’s friend.
If every person who received a receipt with a coupon (500) came back to use the coupon during the next month they will have earned an additional $20,000 during that next month. (Assuming the coupon they offered was for 20% the customer’s next service or product). Additionally, if each person gave their second coupon to one of their friends and each of the customer friends came in to Fancy Hair Salon – that’s another $20,000, meaning Fancy Hair Salon would have nearly doubled their revenue.
But a 100% return rate is unrealistic. We all know that. So let’s try something a lot more realistic. Even though 78% of consumers are influenced to buy a brand they wouldn’t have typically bought due to a coupon, we’ll go for something much lower. Let’s say you get a 40% return rate on both your current customers and the friends of a customer – that’s still $16,000 in extra revenue which is a 64% increase in monthly revenue.
No matter how you look at it, the fact is is that you can reap significant rewards based on a very simple effort using a small piece of paper that you already hand to your customer after every single transaction. The effort and risk is small and the potential rewards are huge.
What are you waiting for?
Interested in learning more?
If you’d like to talk more in depth about how to grow your business using receipts and terminals, please fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP.