Grocery Stores Should Email Receipts

I was at the Safeway the other day, purchased 10 some odd items, and out came this long paper receipt. My girlfriend remarked, “What a waste of paper!” (Image above technically not my receipt, I threw it away right when I got home.)

That got me thinking, why can’t Safeway just email me the receipt? After all they already have a unique identifier in the form of my frequent buyer card. It would be as simple as asking me for my email address and tying the two together. (Bonus, they get an email address to spam me later.)

This would safe a ton of receipt paper, broken receipt printers, time spent by cashiers refilling receipt paper, etc. If the customer still wants a paper receipt they could simply ask.

A quick Google search doesn’t reveal any information on any grocery stores emailing receipts. Is there something obvious I’m missing that doesn’t make this possible? It can’t be against the law not to give you a paper receipt. Apple does it. Square does it.

Thoughts?

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  • T-Dizzle

    Obviously a good idea that has been thought over many times. The real issue is with the folks who are used to checking their receipts right after they leave the store. Yes, they should pay more attention, but wouldn’t you want to know right away that you got double charged for that Waygu beef so you can get a refund? What about using coupons? Sure it’s only 10 cents off a box of Ritz. I’m sure it will get annoying once you go home, look at your receipts at 2am online only to find out you got charged $0.80 more than you should have and want to go back to get the refund. Not worth most people’s time, right? But then you’re not saving the $0.80 you could have if you don’t go back. (note: it costs more in gas to save that $0.80).

    The infrastructure alone to set something like this up probably costs more than just the thermal paper. Oh yeah, ever see the back of the receipt? It’s ad space = revenue for Safeway. And if the thought of Safeway having YOUR email so they can spam you, 1 word: “unsubscribe”. There goes those ads.

  • Wayne

    If you’re one of those people that check receipts as you walk out the door you can either 1) do it on your smartphone or 2) ask for a print out. I bet an overwhelming majority wouldn’t ask for a print out.

    Initial costs will outweigh any immediate saving but amortized over a long enough time, I guarantee that it’s a money saver.

    What’s the difference between tossing the receipt away and unsubscribing?

  • Angela L.

    I was just thinking that banks should email you an ATM receipt. Millions of trees could be saved. I feel like I am drowning in paper at my house due to receipts, junk mail, kids schoolwork, bills etc. I have tried scanning important stuff but it seems to time consuming.