Online Receipts – Why Businesses Should Start Using Them


13 min


October 16, 2023

We are living in a digital age so there’s no surprise why companies are choosing to use online receipts for their customers. But not all organizations have chosen to go digital with their proof of payments so how does this impact their business?

Opting to go digital can have profound implications for any company. If you decide to go paperless you may increase your revenue. There are plenty of advantages to using online receipts and it may even improve customer or client satisfaction.

Keep reading to find out what digital receipts are, if you can customize them and what the benefits of going paperless are.

What Are Online Receipts?

When customers buy goods from a company the manager and the consumer must have proof of payment for the items that were bought. The purpose of a receipt is to provide proof of a financial transaction between the customer and the business.

In the past, receipts could only be printed out on a strip of paper. This indicated the price of an item, the amount paid by the customer and the date the receipt was printed. Merchants had to keep these receipts stored in physical files to keep track of their finances.

Now, small businesses and even freelancers have the choice of creating online receipts to send to clients. Instead of printing the information on paper, the receipt is sent to a client via email or on another digital platform.

Unsure about the distinction between invoices and receipts? Clarify their differences by checking out our detailed article.

What Information do Online Receipts Contain?

Digital receipts, much like their physical counterparts, contain specific pieces of information crucial for record-keeping, accountability, and verification. Here’s what they typically include:

parts of Digital receipt 1

1. Vendor Detail

Name, contact information, and address of the store or service provider.

2. Recipient Details

Name and contact information of the customer or party who made the purchase, essential for identifying the transaction’s rightful owner.

3. Receipt Number

A unique identifier for the transaction, useful for referencing the transaction in future communications.

4. Transaction Date

The complete date (and often the time) when the transaction occurred.

5. Items/Services Purchased

A detailed list of the product(s) or service(s) bought, including quantities, if applicable.

6. Costs

Individual prices of the product(s) or service(s), alongside any discounts, taxes, and the total cost.

7. Digital Signature

Depending on the system, there might be a digital signature or a verification code.

8. Barcode or QR Code

Often used for returns or warranty claims, facilitating easy reference for the retailer or service provider.

9. Payment Information

How the customer paid (payment methods like credit card, PayPal, etc.), often including the last four digits of the card number for verification.

10. Return Policy

Information on the vendor’s return/exchange policies, if applicable.

This structured digital record keeps transactions clear and straightforward, ensuring that all parties have the necessary details for accountability, returns, or future reference.

Types of Digital Receipts

Ever considered the myriad types of receipts that chronicle our daily exchanges? From the tactile familiarity of paper receipts to the seamless convenience of their digital counterparts, each is a silent custodian of our financial narratives.

Types of Digital Receipts

These unassuming emissaries are crucial, providing indisputable evidence of our economic activities and facilitating a structured approach to financial management.

  • Bank Transaction Receipts: These are issued by banks post any transaction made within the bank or through its services, confirming the completion of the transaction.
  • Transaction Receipts: A broad category, these receipts serve as proof of any business transaction and can include both digital and physical receipts.
  • Purchase Receipts: These are standard receipts that confirm the sale of goods or services, typically detailing the item(s), quantity, and total cost.
  • E-receipts and Digital Receipts: Sent electronically via email or other digital means, these receipts provide a convenient, eco-friendly record of purchase without the clutter or environmental impact of paper.
  • Business Receipts: Used in various business-to-business transactions, these documents confirm the receipt of a purchase between companies.
  • Reimbursement Receipts: Especially relevant for business expenses, these receipts are necessary for employees to prove their expenditures when requesting reimbursement.
  • Return Receipts: Issued when an item is returned, these receipts confirm that the product has been accepted back, and they often detail the refund or exchange policy followed.
  • Credit Card Receipts: These are issued when a transaction is made using a credit card, showing the last few digits of the card, the amount charged, and often requiring a signature.
  • Paper Receipts: The traditional form of receipts, printed on paper, and given immediately following a transaction.
  • Cash Receipts: Issued for cash transactions, these receipts are crucial for accurate cash handling and financial record-keeping.
  • Handwritten Receipts: Often used in smaller or traditional businesses, these manually written receipts are given as proof of purchase, typically signed by the person issuing the receipt.
  • Invoices: While not receipts in the traditional sense, invoices are requests for payment and become receipts once they’re marked as paid, serving as proof of transaction in various professional services and business-to-business dealings.
  • Gross Receipts: These are often used in financial reporting, representing the total amount of revenue received from all sources before any deductions or expenses.
  • Delivery Receipts: Used in shipping and logistics, these receipts confirm that a delivery has been made and often require the recipient’s signature as proof of delivery.
  • Service Receipts: Issued by service providers outside of retail, such as consulting, legal, or freelance work, detailing the nature of the service provided and the total cost.

Each of these receipt types has its specific uses and relevance, catering to different sectors, transaction types, and record-keeping needs in both personal and professional realms. They form an essential part of financial documentation, accountability, and regulatory compliance.

Digital e-receipt template

Experience streamlined financial documentation with Billdu’s digital e-receipt template. This intuitive tool simplifies transactions, allowing businesses to generate professional, compliant, and customizable e-receipts with ease. Enhance your record-keeping, reduce paper waste, and provide immediate, clear transaction confirmations to your customers.

With Billdu, step into the future of efficient, environmentally conscious, and organized financial management. Select the ideal receipt template to streamline your transactions.

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Environmental Benefits of Digital Receipts

Imagine a world with less waste, where every small action contributes to a healthier planet. That vision is becoming a reality with the simple yet powerful switch to digital receipts. Each year, millions of trees and billions of gallons of water are consumed in the production of paper receipts, contributing significantly to deforestation and ecological imbalance.

By choosing digital receipts, we can drastically reduce our carbon footprint. It’s more than just avoiding paper; it’s about saving energy, cutting down pollution, and protecting our precious wildlife. This effortless change could save countless resources and steer us towards a sustainable future.

Start with Billdu—choose digital receipts and become an advocate for Mother Earth. Each minimal effort in curtailing our environmental footprint counts significantly. United in this eco-friendly transition, we’re not just embracing change; we’re trailblazing a path to a more sustainable, verdant future.

11 Benefits of Offering Digital Receipts to Customers

Manufacturing paper and ink for printed receipts isn’t ideal for the environment. Did you know that digital receipts were pushed by the Apple Store as part of the sustainability movement? Going digital means going green.

Benefits of Digital Receipts

There are more benefits when you decide to use digital receipts for your business. Take a look at the top 11 advantages in this next section.

1. Easy Access and Time-Saving Solutions

It’s easier to access digital receipts compared to hardcopy ones. That’s because online receipts are stored on a digital cloud that can be retrieved with a click of a button.

Storing digital receipts on a cloud optimizes workflow because you don’t have to spend hours sifting through papers to find the receipt you’re looking for. What’s more, paper receipts require manual capturing which increases the risk of human error.

With a simple receipt infrastructure, the information will automatically be loaded onto the form simply by scanning products.

You may want to also invest in a receipt scanner if you want to keep track of all your electronic paperwork.

2. Online Receipts Helps You Save Money

If you’re a small business owner then saving money should be your main priority. Buying paper and ink to print out hard copies can cost you thousands of dollars each month. You’d save money by utilizing digital receipts because you won’t have to spend capital on paper, ink and printing machines.

Using a simple receipt template you can create professional digital receipts quickly to email to all your customers.

3. Tax Season Will be Less of a Hassle

Tax season will be less of a hassle for you and your customers. When doing taxes you often have to gather paper receipts, sort them and organize them. Sorting paper receipts can take time and it can be frustrating if one of them goes missing.

Using online receipts allows you to store them into a folder that you can easily access when tax season arrives. You can label your receipts by date so that you can categorize them correctly. Additionally, you can make tax preparation less complicated when you have a digital system to work on.

There is no risk of losing or throwing digital receipts away so you won’t have to deal with books that don’t balance at the end of each month.

4. Marketing Opportunities

When you send digital receipts to your customers you’ll have access to their email addresses. As a result, you’ll have an opportunity to talk to them or send them marketing promotions. Similar to how you can understand your audience better using social media automation tools data, these emails will help you build a better rapport with your customers. With email communication you can send your customers the following information:

  • When you have new products or services
  • Inform them about any product or service on sale
  • Allow customers to sign up for your monthly newsletter
  • Inform your customers about any changes within your business
  • Offer them customer loyalty programs

Adding a QR Code to your online receipt can also help you share other marketing CTAs you wish your customers to complete. With QR Code generator, you can easily create dynamic and trackable QR Codes.

Marketing opportunity using receipts

5. Save on Clutter and Storage Costs

Printed receipts create plenty of clutter. Some businesses will often buy archive boxes to store all their receipts. You can save on the clutter and the storage space if you use digital receipts. You won’t have a large paper trail lying around your offices or large boxes taking up space.

6. Protects You and Your Customers from BPA

Did you know BPA is found on paper receipts? This is a harmful chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats. Although BPA isn’t fatal in low levels, when you touch printed paper you’re exposed to the chemical more often than you should be.

If you want to reduce exposure to BPA products then you should scrap paper receipts and go digital. With digital receipts, there is no-contact handling which makes it safer for you and your customers.

7. Capture Receipts on the Go

Printing machines may require an outlet to operate. There can be battery-operated receipt printers but the battery life may not last long. With a digital platform, you can create a simple receipt on the go. As long as you have a device and an internet connection you can create and send receipts easily.

Using digital receipts works well if you’re a small merchant that goes to outdoor events regularly. You can sell items at concerts or sports days and not have to worry about running out of paper when doing receipts.

Additionally, you won’t have to stress about keeping your receipts safe during an outdoor event because they’ll all be saved on a digital platform. As a result, it will also optimize your security so that unauthorized people don’t get access to your receipts.

Another advantage of having digital receipts is that some systems allow customers to sign with a digital signature either with their finger or stylus so you won’t need to invest in pens.

8. Quick Sharing With Your Accounts Department

When you have paper receipts it can be difficult to share the information with your accounts department. It takes time to scan the paper to email and then send it through to people. Sometimes scanning a hardcopy onto a digital platform decreases the visibility of the printed data.

With an online receipt, all the information can be seen clearly and you can share it with multiple people without making copies of it. Since the receipts are stored on the cloud you can access them and send them through to your accounts department even when you’re not in the office.

Sending online receipts is quick, easy and secure so there will be no risk of them getting lost in the mail or stolen.

9. Increased Customer Satisfaction

Many customers prefer digitalized receipts because it also helps them organize and keep their receipts safe. Online receipts may help decrease their stress levels when it comes to tax season. The receipts will be sent safely to customers or clients email addresses where they can retrieve and access them easily.

Some people are also environmentally conscious and appreciate when corporations minimize their use of paper.

10. Improves Your Revenue

Now that you have a list of customer emails thanks to your online receipt methods you’ll be able to increase your company’s revenue. Most customers will return to your company if you inform them about sales, promotions or new products you’re offering.

The only way for you to let your customers know about your marketing campaign is by using the email addresses your customers have given you. With more clients or customers visiting your business to buy products or services on promotion you’ll significantly increase your revenue.

11. Customer Data and Personalization

In the digital landscape, online receipts are more than just proof of purchase—they’re a portal to customer engagement. Each transaction generates valuable data, offering businesses a snapshot of consumer buying habits at their fingertips. This information is crucial, acting as a compass for businesses to navigate through the vast consumer behavior landscape.

Here’s how businesses can turn every online receipt into an opportunity for personalization:

  • Tailored Marketing: By analyzing purchase data, companies can craft targeted campaigns, special offers, and product recommendations that resonate on a personal level, turning generic interactions into tailored shopping experiences.
  • Direct Engagement: E-receipts serve as a communication bridge, inviting customers to participate in feedback surveys, access exclusive promotions, or join loyalty programs, all while enhancing customer retention strategies.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Using insights from transaction data, businesses can predict future buying trends, streamline inventory, and adjust sales strategies, ensuring they meet customer needs accurately and promptly. 

In essence, online receipts offer businesses a dual advantage: reducing environmental impact and simultaneously unlocking a world of customer insights. By leveraging this data, companies can provide unparalleled personalized experiences, fostering loyalty and driving engagement in ways that redefine the traditional boundaries of customer service.

Creating a Simple Receipt for Your Shop

For any company, branding is crucial so that customers can easily identify who you are. That’s why it’s important that business owners create their own online receipts so they can add their branding to the document.

Many platforms allow small businesses to create their own simple receipt. This way you can structure the receipt according to your preferences. Ensure you find a platform that offers a simple receipt template that you can edit and customize according to your branding. Don’t forget to activate BIMI logo and get gmail verified tick as part of better brand recognition.

When a customer opens the digital receipt in their emails, they’ll know where it came from because you added your branding to it.

Are Electronic Receipts Safe?

Are Electronic Receipts Safe

Sending electronic receipts may be a safer alternative to paper ones. With hardcopy receipts, there is a higher risk of exposing customer information such as signatures. If a receipt gets into the wrong hands there could be a potential risk of dealing with receipts or invoicing frauds.

With most digital systems you’ll be protected by encryptions or SSL certificates so that receipts can be sent securely from one device to another. It’s important to safeguard your electronic software to prevent hackers from gaining access to your digital infrastructure.

A site owner can install reputed SSL certs from reputed SSL CAs, which can offer strong encryption to online billing and receipts. You can find lowest price single domain, multi domain SSL, or cheap wildcard SSL for online receipt platform.

You can also prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to your saved electronic receipts by locking this part of your system with a strong online password.

Only allow accounting clerks or bookkeepers to gain access to this part of your digital infrastructure so that there’s no risk of your receipts falling into the wrong hands.

Final Thoughts

Are you looking for an affordable platform that allows you to create professional looking invoices and receipts on your tablet, SmartPhone or laptop? Then Billdu can assist you. There are simple receipt templates you can use to create branded documents with a few simple clicks.

Billdu is an affordable digital platform that’s suitable for small to medium scale businesses looking for fast methods to creating professional receipts for their shops. Additionally, there is a range of online services for you to select from such as inventory trackers and exporting features.

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Frequently asked questions

What is digital receipt software?

Digital receipt software is a modern solution for creating, sending, and managing receipts electronically, eliminating the need for physical paper copies. This type of software allows businesses to efficiently track sales transactions, providing both the business and the customer with secure, organized records that are easily accessible and environmentally friendly.

How Does an Online Receipt Work?

Upon checkout, a merchant will ask a customer whether he or she would like a digital receipt or a printed one. Some small business owners can offer both. If the customer chooses to receive an online receipt the merchant will simply punch in the customer's email address. The platform will then send the receipt to the customer's email inbox.

Information such as data from the transaction and the customer's email address can be saved. Small time entrepreneurs can use this data for future marketing campaigns.

How do businesses process digital receipts?

Businesses process digital receipts through a series of streamlined, automated steps facilitated by specialized software. Once a transaction occurs, the system generates a detailed receipt electronically, capturing all pertinent sale information.
This receipt is then instantly transmitted to the customer via email, text message, or directly through an app, depending on the platform's capabilities and the customer's preference.

On the backend, the digital receipt is securely stored and cataloged for easy access, enabling efficient tracking and management of sales records.

This process not only expedites the transaction for the consumer but also simplifies record-keeping and analytics for the business, supporting comprehensive, accurate financial management.

What businesses use online receipts?

Numerous businesses across various sectors utilize online receipts due to their convenience and efficiency. Key users include:

  • Retail and E-commerce: From brick-and-mortar stores to online marketplaces, digital receipts streamline transactions and simplify record-keeping for both sellers and consumers.
  • Food Services: Restaurants, cafés, and delivery services prefer digital receipts for quicker, contactless transactions, enhancing customer convenience.
  • Freelancers: Independent professionals opt for electronic receipts for easy tracking of services, expenses, and billable hours, aiding in organized financial management.
  • Transportation: Airlines and rideshare services issue e-receipts for effortless access to travel records, ensuring a seamless experience for travelers.
  • Healthcare: Facilities often offer digital receipts, providing patients with precise and easily accessible records for personal and insurance purposes.

Overall, the shift to digital receipts is pervasive, cutting across various industries as a response to the growing need for eco-friendly, efficient, and simplified transaction methods.

Why are online receipts important for customers?

Online receipts offer customers a convenient, secure, and immediate record of their transactions, accessible anytime from their email or digital wallet, eliminating the worry of losing physical copies. They also support a more organized approach to tracking purchases, simplifying budgeting and financial management, and facilitating easy returns and warranty claims, thereby enhancing the overall shopping experience.


SEO Specialist at Billdu

David Fačko is an SEO specialist at Billdu, one of the best-rated invoicing software for freelancers in the world.

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