The Benefits of Going Paperless for Retailers and the Environment

No matter what type of retail empire you’re running – the paper mountain is something that must be addressed, quite literally.  Whether your role is at the till or you’re busy behind the scenes, we bet you groan when yet another piece of paper comes your way.  It’s yet another memo, or another letter sent by regular snail mail!  Or an important document that needs a signature.  We all know that going paperless is really important but what are the benefits for retailers and the environment?

It’s Easier to Keep Track of Documents When You Go Paperless

For day-to-day business, it’s far easier to adopt a paperless environment.  Nowadays, there’s no need to print off letters and documents for signature.  New technology has given us plenty of opportunity to use e-signatures. 

While email inboxes build up just like in-trays, those messages are more eco-friendly (and easier to keep track of) than regular letters. They’re searchable and can be stored away neatly for fast access when required.

If you have to have some paper (it’s difficult to completely eliminate it), at the very least, recycle it and if you must use paper, make sure it’s recycled. As a business, it would be fantastic to change policy, use email, use e-signatures and give your customers all the benefits of digital smart receipts – more on that later. 

Going Paperless is Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally, going paperless is absolutely paramount.  It’s cheaper to go paperless, paper costs between 13 and 31 times more, and a whopping 2.47 million (yes, we said million) trees are cut down every day – when you look at that hard copy of a document in your hand, we bet you’ll look at it differently!

Going paperless is also space-saving.  Why file yet another piece of paper when you could have it neatly stored away in the Cloud?  A better sustainable and environmentally friendly option.  While we’re on the subject of filing, as we mentioned above, keeping information stored on your computer or in the Cloud is much quicker to access than rooting through bulky filing cabinets.

Then there’s emissions.  You thought that was just related to vehicles and pollution?  Actually, paper contributes to your carbon footprint too. Manufacturing paper products produces greenhouse gases, on top of deforestation which contributes to global warming.  Even if you recycle your paper, you might be doing something to help but actually, most paper ends up in landfill.  According to this resource, paper accounts for 26% of landfill! As paper rots, it emits methane gas, 25% more toxic than CO2.

Paperless = Happy Customers

As far as your customers are concerned, more and more people are switching to being as environmentally friendly as possible.  People no longer want plastic carrier bags and re-use their bags if they still have them.  Retail customers are used to carrying their own fabric bags to carry shopping, so bolster their campaign for a cleaner environment by showing them just how eco-friendly your business is.  Instead of giving them paper receipts, make the switch to Airslip and pass on a completely paperless receipt.  It lands straight onto the Airslip app, it keeps all the information nicely in one, compact place and you reap the benefits.  Not only do you send a positive eco message to your customers (who’ll love that!), you can also use Airslip paperless smart receipts to gather important customer insights to help you push your business forwards.  It’s a real feel-good story.

Additionally, as the whole world is currently going through a pandemic, going paperless – especially with digital receipts – removes the need to pass over more paper and limits contact.  Another benefit, that’s minimal customer contact and maximum convenience.  The result is more consumer satisfaction.

Shift Your Brand Marketing Up a Gear

Using Airslip helps you with your marketing campaigns too and in an eco-friendly manner.  With clever customer insights, you can target customers directly, for repeat purchases – all within the Airslip app.  So those little irrelevant marketing messages that appear on tiresome paper receipts?  Well, make them targeted, smarter and environmentally friendly by using superior smart receipts with the added benefit of Airslip’s AI-powered algorithm that can quite literally anticipate what your customer wants. Target your customers with personalised product promotions on their smart receipts and reap the benefits of increased customer retention.

That positive eco-friendly story we’re talking about above also makes a great marketing campaign!  Keep the story alive by publicising what you’re doing to promote a healthier environment.  Talk about going paperless, not just behind the scenes but what you’re doing for your customers too, for example, providing Airslip smart receipts.  Make it a real focus for your company and conduct a social media campaign to support your paperless approach. Sustainability is the heart of going paperless but it’s also practical as we’ve discussed.

In summary, going paperless will make a big difference to you and your customers.  In the time you’ve taken to read this article, 199 tons of paper has been produced.  Don’t contribute to that figure – now is the right time to re-think your business and go paperless.


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