Answering the Question We All Silently Ask Ourselves
The same question is posed by a countless number of cashiers at The Home Depot® every single day: “Would you like your receipt emailed to you?”
Maybe you think to yourself, “Huh, how convenient,” and you decide that an e-receipt is a good idea. In today’s day and age–also known as the era of technology–keeping your records stored digitally is the most convenient and effective form of bookkeeping. Better yet, having somebody just send the receipt to your inbox with just a click can significantly minimize the amount of work you have to do. Everything about e-receipts seems to be a benefit; easy access, convenient data records, less clutter in the office–
And digital receipts are environmentally friendly.
So there you are, feeling positive about your choice, and then to your surprise, the cashier still prints you a physical receipt. What is the point of offering an electronic receipt if The Home Depot just prints it anyway? Isn’t that a waste?
The question has been posed to us at HammerZen from clients again and again, so I decided to delve deeper into the mystery behind paper receipts. What I found was what I expected; many businesses do the same thing for a practical reason.
So what’s the deal with paper receipts?
As much as we like think otherwise, the technology we use on a day-to-day basis is not infallible. There has probably been a time where your phone glitched out or your computer froze–and the situation with Home Depot e-receipts is the same. Albeit small, there is still a chance of failure when sending receipts from the store to your inbox. No big deal–except it is. If you do not get the digital copy of the receipt, nor do you receive a physical copy, you cannot track your purchases or make a return. Thousands of returns are made everywhere every single day, so imagine the widespread customer dissatisfaction that would occur if people did not always get their receipts.
So, for liability reasons, many companies (including The Home Depot) still require that employees print receipts for customers, even if they are delivered digitally. (Although, if you sign up for a Home Depot Commercial Credit Card, you can still make returns without a receipt up to one year after the date of purchase. Read more about it here.)
While only receiving e-receipts is not currently an option, it is something to which we could look forward in the future. Companies all across the world are converting to more technologically based systems; once the e-receipt system is perfected, it is something we can expect to see in more and more industries.
As for the time being, you should keep holding on to your Home Depot receipts and saving them in your inbox so you can keep your purchase data together.
If stashing your paper receipts into a shoebox or filtering through all of your emails does not sound like your cup of tea, you have no need to worry. There is an easy alternative solution that puts businesses at quite the advantage: Pro Xtra®.
Pro Xtra is The Home Depot’s loyalty program for businesses. When you use Pro Xtra, your purchases are automatically–and neatly–uploaded into your account so you can view your data with no problems or confusion. Best of all, there are all sorts of neat features involved aside from purchase tracking, including business tools, card management, and exclusive offers.
Even with Pro Xtra, you still have to transfer your data from your account into your accounting software, QuickBooks. Unfortunately, you have to do it manually, because Pro Xtra’s and QuickBook’s file formats are not compatible. However, when you use the HammerZen app, you can seamlessly integrate your Pro Xtra and QuickBooks and automate your data entry process.