Whether you keep your receipts for personal finances or for your small business, using e-receipts is a great way to track your expenses. 

Here, we answer the most common questions about e-receipts.

What is an e-receipt?

An e-receipt is a piece of digital paper that proves that you purchased a product or service. Instead of having paper receipts or receipt books, it is all digitally recorded. 

Wait, what does it mean by e on receipt in e receipt? The “e” stands for electronic, so the full name is “electronic receipt.” This spelling treatment is similar to the “e” in email or electronic mail.

Who uses an e-receipt? 

From businesses to customers, anyone can use e-receipts. Unlike thermal paper receipts, they won’t fade and are convenient to store and organize.

Many retailers offer the option to either print customers’ receipts or send it to them electronically. It is up to the customer to choose the type of receipt they want. If they opt for an e-receipt, the customer will input their email address where the receipt should be sent. 

According to USA Today, 35% of physical retailers offer digital receipts. While not all stores offer this option, the majority of online retailers do. When you make a purchase online, the online retailer will send your purchase receipt as an electronic invoice to your email.

For customers, e-receipts are convenient since you no longer have to deal with a pile of receipts when you make purchases. With digitized copies of your receipts and important documents, you can search for a single word or number in a fraction of the time it would take you to shuffle through a box of the same physical data.

How common are e-receipts? 

E-receipts are very common. Online retailers send their customers an order confirmation as well as an e-receipt. Additionally, many physical retailers give their customers the option to have their receipts sent to them or printed.

According to this survey from Green America, 42% of consumers said they prefer receiving paper receipts, while 34% said they liked both paper and digital receipts. So, it just depends on whether or not the customer wants an e-receipt.

What does an e-receipt look like? 

It looks like a receipt but digital! Though, It can vary if you purchase through an online store or if a physical store sends the receipt to you digitally. The major difference is that an e-receipt has much more information from the store, such as discounts, order status, membership benefits, and other links.

For a customer, the most common e-receipt comes from shopping online. For example, many women shop online at Victoria’s Secret for lingerie, sleepwear, athleisure, fragrances, and body care. So, what does a Victoria’s secret e-receipt look like?

Image of Victoria’s Secret e-receipt, Pinterest
Victoria’s Secret e-receipt, Pinterest

You can see a list of what you purchased on the left, while the store’s self-promotion information such as credit card benefits, news events, and discounts is on the right. At the bottom, it contains other information such as order status, phone number, the store nearest to you, and their social media.

How to make a return if you got an e-receipt

Whether or not you made a purchase in-store or online, you must follow the seller’s return policy. For example, a common return policy requires you to return an item within 30-days of your purchase.

For in-store purchases, it’s the same process as a paper receipt since e-receipts are proof of any purchase. Just go back to the store, show the clerk your digital receipt, and the store should be able to give you a refund. The most convenient part is that the receipt is on your phone, so you don’t have to search through a pile of receipts to look for a specific one. 

If you are returning an item through an online purchase, log into your account, go into your purchase history, and click on the “return item” box. The website will give you instructions on how to return the item.

How to make an e-receipt as a small business

 WP Simple Pay breaks down what goes into an e-receipt. 

  • A straight-forward subject line.
  • A “thank you.”
  • Billing and shipping information.
  • List of items purchased (with or without images).
  • An invoice or order number.
  • License key information (for digital subscriptions).
  • Other relevant actions.
  • Any other related products or information.
  • Your business’s contact information.

Here are a couple of e-receipt examples:

As a small business, it’s important to know why digitizing paper receipts is important. There are lots of benefits, such as reducing clutter, smooth preparation for tax season, and everything being easier to access and organize. So, it’s important to take actionable steps toward digitizing your business documents.

How to save an e-receipt as a PDF

If you purchased an item or service online, you can access the e-receipt on your phone or laptop. It should either be in your email or on your account. If the receipt is in your email, you can download it as a PDF and save it to your files. If not, log into your account, go to your purchase history, find the order or invoice, and download it.

If you have physical receipts that you want as PDFs, then you can use apps like Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is a receipt scanner app that turns paper receipts into digital data. E-receipt generator apps provide a step-by-step guide to help users digitize copies of their receipts and other important documents.

Frequently asked questions

How do you manage e-receipts?

There are many ways to manage e-receipts; it depends on how you would like to manage them. For customers: If the e-receipts are saved as PDFs, then using your personal computer or drive is a great way to sort and organize. For business: There are multiple apps depending on what type of management system you are looking for.

Do e-receipts contain any personal information?

Most receipts, either physical or digital, do not. If they do, they usually show the last four digits of your credit card if you used it for the purchase. If any receipts do contain other personal data, you should dispose of them, either by deleting them or shredding them when you no longer need them.

Do e-receipts work with taxes?

Yes! If the receipt was digitally sent, having a copy for the IRS will suffice. If it’s a scanned receipt, it is acceptable as long as it is identical to the original and contains accurate information.

About Shoeboxed!

Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning service that supports multiple methods for receipt capture: send, scan, upload, forward, and more!

You can stuff your receipts into one of our Magic Envelopes (prepaid postage within the US). Use our receipt app (iPhone, iPad, and Android) to snap a picture while on the go. Auto-import receipts from Gmail. Or forward a receipt to your designated Shoeboxed email address.

Turn your receipts into data and deductibles with our expense reports that include IRS-accepted receipt images.

Join over 1 million businesses scanning & organizing receipts, creating expense reports, and more with Shoeboxed.

Try Shoeboxed today!