Paper Receipts and Coupons Go Digital: How your Small Business Can Benefit

For mobile-oriented consumers, paper receipts and coupons can seem very dated and cumbersome. But mobile solutions seem to be taking off slowly. Apple’s Passbook, integrated into iOS 6, shows promise, but with so few merchants participating at this stage, many iPhone owners are still holding off.

There’s no denying that eventually consumers will store receipts, coupons, loyalty cards, and more on their smartphones. The question is, how do small business owners encourage consumers to use mobile apps for traditional paper functions? Is it simply a case of, “Build it and they will come?”

Early adapters of mobile couponing technology certainly seem to think so. Coupon Clipper and Coupon Sherpa have coupons but they aren’t the same coupons that come in the mail every day. Services like Lemon turn smartphones into receipt storage devices, but the user has to photograph the receipts and it’s still questionable if all retailers will take them for proof of purchase for returns and exchanges.

Proximiant’s paper-eliminating solution opens up interaction between businesses and customers, with retailers sending receipts directly to smartphones and later sending coupons to those same customers. The app works through a phone’s near-field communication technology, making the process seamless for the customer while protecting his or her personal data.

“It’s no secret that mobile technology is a huge trend that will only continue to grow, so more and more businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to capitalize on this trend to market and connect with their customers,” a Proximiant spokesperson says.

One way to get customers on board is for small businesses to begin offering receipts through this method. Through signage or verbal notifications, a small business can tell a customer to download the app in order to store a digital copy of their receipt. Soon, when a customer checks out, the question won’t be, “Would you like your receipt in the bag?” but, “Would you like your receipt on your smartphone?”

Proximiant develops relationships with its small business owner clients, helping you find ways to offer exclusive rewards to shoppers who use the smartphone app. This encourages future use, as well as bringing customers back to your business again. Business owners can add the Proximiant console to their existing point of sale and instantly begin sending receipts to customers.

Best of all, the app is free for customers, not to mention easy to use. A customer needs to only download the app and tap their phone against the console to transfer the receipt. Deals that might be of interest to that customer will be attached to the receipt, as well, making it a great money-saver. But the deals begin when the customer enters your store, with any coupons and specials beamed directly to that customer’s phone based on his or her shopping habits.

One downside is the app won’t yet work with the iPhone, since Apple has not yet embraced NFC technology. Proximiant has an answer for that, as well. Proximiant tags are available for merchants to provide to customers who have iPhones and other non-NFC devices. The customer needs only pair the phone with the tag and it will work whenever they return to your store.

To get started with Proximiant, visit the app’s portal for businesses, located here.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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