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Study: Coupon use grows amid increasingly digital marketplace Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:00 AM America/New_York

ValassisLogoCustomers are increasingly savvy at navigating print and digital promotional media to save money and efficiently move toward a purchase, according to the Valassis Shopper Marketing Report released March 5.

Coupon usage is in vogue, with 40% of survey respondents professing that their coupon usage has increased during the past year. More than half of coupon clippers still use printed coupons from newspapers (52%) and mailers (51%), but those who prefer digital coupon delivery has grown 6% since 2012.

The vast majority (85%) of coupon users search online for savings, and more than one-third say they did so more in 2013 than in 2012. Tech-savvy coupon clippers are also networking with one another—40% have shared or traded coupons via social media, a 10% jump from 2012.

Nearly three in four (71%) of those who search the Internet for coupons do so after hearing about deals via social media, while a quarter of respondents (24%) say their use of smartphones to get deals has increased.

Recent tech trends do have downsides for retailers, though. For example, a full two-thirds of respondents (67%) engage in showrooming—the practice of learning about a product in a brick-and-mortar retailer only to purchase that product at a lower price via an online retailer. This practice is even more prevalent among millennials—generally defined as those in the 18-34 age demographic.

The younger generation’s tech-savvy and savings-sensitive proclivities aren’t all bad for retailers, though. Nearly all millennials (92%) use coupons to plan shopping lists, while more than half (51%) say their coupon usage has increased this past year, making this demographic the most coupon-friendly age group for retailers to target.

“These results highlight the need for considering multiple touch points to deliver the right message using the right blend of print, digital and in-store media,” said Lisa Reynolds, Valassis vice president of brand strategy and campaign solutions. “With a holistic view of the consumer, marketers can best identify their target audience and optimal ways to reach and activate them along their path to purchase.”