The ability to make a profit and stay in business long-term depends upon repeat business. This is true for almost every type of retail and restaurant operation. Even in areas with high tourism traffic, it is the local repeat traffic that helps keep the business open during the off-season. On top of that, if a business can somehow get a tourist to come back even once more before they leave the area they then have doubled their sales from that specific person. Do this over and over again and you will build a nice business for yourself.
What costs only a fraction of a penny to produce and can go with every customer as they depart your business? The answer is a printed cash register receipt.
What can you print on that cash register receipt to bring back customers? The answer is only limited to your imagination and a piece of paper.
This is the portion of the receipt above and below the main body. In general, this is 3 lines above and 3 lines below the main body that can be programmed to display a variety of messages. Most often the header contains the name, address and phone number of your business. This is important to identifying your business but you can get creative. Maybe you can find room to add a bit of ad copy, your tag line or company motto. “U Save More at Our Store” or some clever tag line.
Use bold print to bring emphasis to your message. But remember that you can only get half the letters on the row when you double the size of the letters. Also, regular size font not only gets you more letters it can be emphasized by placing it between rows of double sized fonts.
The best possible scenario is that your point of sale software and printer allow you to use a logo in your header. Using a professionally designed logo can add a lot to your customer receipt and free up the printed lines of your header for more marketing messages. If you can have a logo on your receipt be sure to increase the marketing message on your customer receipts.
Here you have a lot more options, all depending upon your point of sale software. Generally, you have between 3 and 6 lines of footer messages that can be programmed. This allows you a great deal of flexibility in getting a message to your customers.
Here is where you can advertise your business.
Announce upcoming events
Offer discounts on return visits
Offer discounts on portions of your menu (10% off appetizer on next visit)
Advertise special discount times such as Happy Hour or Early Birds
Receipt good for $5 off next visit
Like I said, this is only limited to your imagination and about 6 lines of print.
Web Site Registration
One of the best uses for the receipt footer that has come out recently is getting people to register on your web site. This gives you a tremendous start on building your E-mail mailing list that is used to advertise your business. Offer the visitor a reward of a coupon or discount for completing the registration.
Have a nice web site built that has lots of pictures of happy customers at your business. Advertise your menu if you are a restaurant and the latest arrivals if you are a retail store.
Depending upon the point of sale software that you have you can have random customer surveys printed on the customer receipt. These surveys are usually linked to a web site where the customer completes a short questionnaire about their visit to your business. In return they get a coupon, discount or are registered for a drawing to be held on a future date.
You get to know how their visit was and another registration for your E-mail and direct mail mailings.
Change the Message
Don’t look at your customer receipt as something you are obligated to hand to them. Look at it as if you are advertising to your customers and enticing them to come back. Give them a reason to come back more often and watch your sales increase.
Many point of sale systems make it very easy to change the header and footer messages. There are some that allow you to pre-program the message and automatically change it by day and time of day. That means you can advertise specials on a daily and weekly basis, reminding your customers of upcoming events and specials that might interest them.
Be sure to train your customers to look at their receipt. Have your cashiers or wait staff highlight the message by circling it or highlighting it with a market. Get the word out. Don’t just look at your receipt as an obligation and expense. Look at the customer receipt as your marketing tool that is used to market to your best customers. Those are the ones that just bought from you.