Digital coupons have long been overshadowed by consumer appetite for traditional coupons. Consumers love flipping through inserts they find in newspapers, direct mail packages or even in the stores. But,  eMarketer digitalcoupongoodreports that the digital coupon is gaining market share and is a tool that businesses should consider using.

Currently about 102.5 million U.S. online adults are using digital coupons. This is about 52% of all online adults and represents an 11% increase over last year. By 2015, about 57.5% of online adults will turn to digital coupons to save money on products and services.  eMarketer analysts base their projections on the rising number of smartphone users. For example, about 1/3 of smartphone owners will use a digital coupon this year and they’ll access these coupons in the following ways:

  • App
  • Mobile internet
  • Mobile barcode
  • SMS

As merchants make more digital coupons available through different formats, at least 74 million adults or 46% of smartphone users will redeem them in 2015.

eMarketer also took a look at how tablets are affecting digital coupon usage. Analysts believe that about 47 million consumers use tablets on a regular basis. About half of these consumers, 45.6%, will redeem a digital coupon. While tablet shoppers will redeem coupons offered through a variety of formats, their behavior differs from smartphone redeemers in one important way. Tablet shoppers tend to find and redeem coupons while they are at home – a trend which makes the device not very different from a traditional computer in this case.

The eMarketer study didn’t get into whether consumers will redeem fewer traditional coupons as a result of their digital activity. Marketers who want to reach out to all market segments with a coupon program – whether it’s a promotion to introduce a new product or a discount to celebrate a corporate milestone – should probably roll out both digital and traditional coupons.

Have you experienced strong demand for your digital coupons?