Why receipt formats should always be consistent

04Aug11

Every time I place a grocery delivery order, there’s one part of the process that feels a little bit off. Specifically, when the driver gives me the receipt and asks for a signature, it takes me an uncomfortably long time to verify that the amount matches what I was expecting. I finally figured out what’s causing the mental obstacle for me: the order of all the line items is totally different than what the company shows online.

In other words, things like the subtotal, delivery fee, fuel surcharge, coupons, and sales tax appear in several places during the ordering and delivery process. The way they’re presented — in terms of the order and even the naming — isn’t consistent. Whether we realize it or not, this makes things feel a bit out of place.

To remedy this issue, just be consistent in how you present receipts — on the web, in emails, and in person. Keep the order, names and labels the same. By following this simple guideline, you’ll make customers feel more comfortable when they view receipts and purchase confirmations, which removes friction from the shopping experience and encourages people to buy from you regularly.



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