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How to provide digital tax-free shopping?

Start attracting more overseas customers to your stores by introducing hustle free VAT refunds. Many retailers have not been taking full advantage of tourists VAT refunds,… View Article

RETAIL SOLUTIONS

How to provide digital tax-free shopping?

Start attracting more overseas customers to your stores by introducing hustle free VAT refunds.

Many retailers have not been taking full advantage of tourists VAT refunds, which is a great way to attract more international customers. This is partly because until recently, the process of getting a VAT refund was too complicated and time consuming for both tourists and retailers.

In-store tax-free shopping has a notorious reputation for being a long process,  involving customer eligibility checks, printing of tax refund forms, and other extra admin. This ties up staff’s time and can cause queues at the till. The latest COVID-19 social distancing measures have added more hurdles as retailers had to simplify their in-store customer flow.

Notwithstanding all this effort from retailers, tourists would often be discouraged by high commissions and hidden charges applied by tax refund operators.

Despite the challenges, the opportunity of extra sales to tourists is soon to become even greater as Britain is expected to exit the Customs Union in January 2021. This will add extra 27 million EU shoppers eligible for tax-free shopping with a total spending of over £5 billion annually.

Digital transformation is here

A London based technology company, Airvat, has the solution. In collaboration with HMRC  it has created a digital tax-free shopping service that can help you effortlessly offer VAT refunds to international customers.

The merchant’s involvement has been reduced to simply issuing a till receipt to the customer and directing them to download the Airvat app to complete the VAT refund process. Retailers can now start instantly offering tax-free shopping in their store by simply requesting and displaying the Airvat sticker on their till, to prompt the tourists to download the app!

This technology truly brings tax-free shopping to every store in the UK, which has historically been mostly confined to the luxury boutiques and department stores of central London.

Full automation

Airvat software has streamlined the complicated tax-free shopping procedure, which reduced the fees by over 50%. Tourists love the convenience of managing VAT refunds on their mobile phones. The app also guides them step by step through the process offering multi-language support and instructions.

As the retailer, there is no integration or staff training required. Airvat’s platform takes care of customer passport checks, generates a tax refund form, and handles refund payments electronically, directly into the customer’s account. The company also offers tax refund as a service via its API to larger partners.

Learn more on how to start offering digital tax-free shopping service in your store.

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