Customers Moving Away from Paper Receipts, Survey Says

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Washington, D.C.—89% of U.S. consumers would like retailers to offer digital receipts as an option to consumers, and millennials and younger Americans are leading that charge, according to a new survey from Green America.

Key findings, according to a press release:

  • Nearly 40% of respondents have already signed up for digital receipts. 42% of age group 25-34 and 55% of age group 35-44—millennials and younger members of Gen X—have signed up for digital receipts, and 33% of age group 16-24 have signed up.
  • 51% of respondents say their preferred receipt method is either digital or both paper and digital. Only 42% say their preferred receipt method is paper-only.
  • The top two reasons for wanting digital receipts, each cited by 70% of those who want digital receipts, are “it’s better for the environment” and “they’re easier to store.”
  • On average, respondents say that they end up throwing away or losing over half of paper receipts that they receive, even ones that they intended to keep. Over 25% of respondents stated that they throw away or lose “nearly all” paper receipts they are given.
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The release notes that the people who prefer paper tend to feel more secure with a paper copy—but they also said that they lost paper receipts they intended to keep an average of five times per month, providing an opportunity for retailers to educate the public about the advantages of digital-only receipts.

Todd Larsen, Green America’s Executive Co-Director, said in the release: “Given the high cost of receipt paper for businesses and the shift of customer preferences, it makes sense for businesses to offer a digital option for customers who prefer it, rather than print receipts that are often thrown away. When companies make these options available, it’s good for the environment and the bottom line.”

The survey was conducted by Censuswide, with 1,011 General respondents in the U.S. between July 11-15, 2019.

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