Change in Coupon Marketing Strategies May Lead to Falling Redemption

Coupons, both in availability and redemption, came back in a big way at the height of the recession. In the past year or so, marketers have Clipping Couponsbeen issuing nearly the same number of coupons. However, the products being promoted through coupons are changing, signaling that marketers are using a new strategy with consumers.

Marketers are still intent on using coupons. Over 305 billion were issued in both 2011 and 2012.  But, marketers appear to be trying to wean consumers off of their favorites coupons. In the food category, CPG companies issued 6.5% fewer coupons, especially for “products that are purchased frequently.” When consumers check the inserts of their newspapers, they are likely to find more coupons for items like medications and personal care products.

These inserts, FSIs, remain a favorite distribution method for coupon distributors, accounting for 90.1% of the entire market. For now, marketers send out only 1% of all coupons via digital methods. This format is growing in popularity with consumers, though, and about 5.6% of redeemed coupons are digital in origin. Writing for NCH Marketing, C. Brown points out that manufacturers are still struggling with effective digital distribution – in many cases traditional retailers are not set up to accept digital coupons. Only 51.4% of all redeemed coupons are from FSIs. Consumers are using in/​on pack (18.2%) and in-​store hand-​outs (14.2%) as well.

Consumers are still feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy and want to save money whenever possible. About 80.6% of shoppers are coupons users, with 26.4% saying they are increasing coupon use. For marketers who are introducing new products, coupons are an effective strategy. But they should keep in mind, that consumers pay attention to changes in coupon strategies. Redemption fell last year as consumers didn’t respond well to shorter redemption cycles and the requirement to buy more product than they wanted.

To learn more about Coupon Users, check out the Audience Interests & Intent Report available at the Research Store on ad​-ology​.com.

[Source: Brown, Charlie. NCH Annual Topline Coupon Facts. Nchmarketing​.com. 2013. Web. 5 Feb. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.