When given the choice between a paper or electronic receipt in a store, most shoppers aren’t interested in going paperless.
More than two-thirds (68%) of US internet users in a recent YouGov Omnibus survey said they would rather receive a physical copy of their receipt when buying something in-store, while 19% favored an electronic copy, sent via email or text message. Very few (8%) said they skip receipts altogether.
Older respondents, perhaps unsurprisingly, were the least interested in electronic receipts. Fully 83% of those 55 and older said they would rather receive a paper receipt, and 74% of 45- to 54-year-olds said the same.
For the most part, younger respondents were less likely to prefer a paper copy, but only around 20% to 25% want to go paperless. For example, 53% of 18- to 24-year-olds like paper receipts, while 21% want receipts sent digitally. Interestingly, 17% of respondents in this age group said they don’t want a receipt of any kind.
According to a September 2017 survey by Brightpearl and Multichannel Merchant, 27% of retailers worldwide offer in-store digital receipts. At the time of the survey, another 27% said they planned to implement digital receipts within the next six to 12 months.
It's worth noting that many consumers would like to be able to return goods without a proof of purchase. Given that paper receipts are often misplaced or simply thrown away, 20.9% of US internet users say they like the idea of a return policy that doesn’t require the original bill of sale, according to a fall 2017 Promocodes survey.