Magazine Article | October 1, 2003

Color Receipts Build Business, Bring Customers Back

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

It's proven - using color messaging on receipts actually helps build repeat business.

Integrated Solutions For Retailers, October 2003

By adding graphics, color, and messaging on receipts, retailers can turn a simple transaction document into a revenue-generating communications medium. Will it work for your operation? Many retailers have given their stores an edge with such programs and have found ways to keep customers coming back to try a new product or redeem a coupon. The trick is getting the attention of consumers, who haven't been looking at the typical black-and-white text receipts in use today. Believing color receipts could deliver huge benefits, TransAct Technologies, makers of Ithaca brand printers, commissioned an independent research firm to explore whether adding color to receipts makes a difference.

The news for retailers is even better than expected. Researchers conducted focus groups and talked with hundreds of consumers exiting well-known national restaurant and retail chains. Consumers were shown both black-and-white and color receipts with various logos, offers, and promotions. Their positive reactions prove that adding color to receipts isn't just about aesthetics. Color can actually improve business, from boosting the effectiveness of promotions to increasing brand awareness and even generating new revenue. Here are some highlights from the study:

Color Receipts Enhance Brand Image
The power of adding color to receipts as a way to enhance a brand became evident when consumers were asked what they thought of the company represented on the color receipt. Most frequent comments included: The business is more friendly; the company has pride in its products and services; they're trying to save me money; the retailer is trying to make my life easier; and, it makes me feel happy.

Color Doubles Consumer Awareness
Adding color to the receipts more than doubled the number of people who noticed an offer within three seconds. Only 31% of consumers in the study noticed the black-and-white messaging. More than 80% of consumers who were shown receipts with two-color logos, promotional messages, and coupons noticed them within three seconds. After three seconds, a total of 90% noticed the offer.

Color Boosts Redemption By 158%
Awareness alone is only part of the equation for success. Retailers need customers to act on a promotion to gain the extra sales. Consumers were asked whether they would act on the offers on both black-and-white and color receipts. More than twice as many people said they would redeem the coupon when it was in color. Across the board, from the coffee shop to the clothing store, color yielded impressive results in consumer likelihood to redeem.

Color Brings Customers Back
Customer loyalty also increases when you add color to receipts. Not only does it increase total return visits by 62%, adding color increases the frequency of visits to one and two times per month, depending on store type. This means receipts can be used as a powerful business-generating medium. If color receipt messaging improves attitudes toward the brand and brings customers back, POS printers have the potential to do much more than provide confirmation of sale. They can become a vital part of a total marketing communications program.

Stores are already finding all this out for themselves. They're featuring new products, highlighting special sales, and even running promotions on receipts in color. The color grabs consumer attention to receipts they might otherwise toss. The messages show the retailer cares about each consumer's business, building loyalty and increasing the number of visits to the store. This research and stories from retailers shows that color receipt messaging offers a huge sales growth opportunity.