The recession has not ended for many U.S. consumers. They’re still looking for ways to save money on purchases and for many, this means hunting down discount coupons. One leading research firm says consumers saved over $3.7 billion last year. Marketers are on track to distribute large numbers coupons again this year – through free-standing inserts, in-store media and online methods.
The Annual Topline U.S. CPG Coupon Facts Report for Year-end 2010, released by NCH Marketing Services, Inc., a Valassis company, indicates that marketers distributed 332 billion consumer packaged goods (CPG) coupons last year. The distribution method broke out as follows:
- Free-standing inserts – coupon booklets 87.7%
- In-store media – 5.2%
- Digital – 7.1%
Consumers redeemed 3.3 billion coupons, generating a response rate of nearly 1% and an increase of 3.1% over the previous year. The study also indicated that more consumers are looking for and using coupons. About 78.3% of consumers redeemed coupons in 2010. This marked the 4th year of steady increase. Charlie Brown, NCH Vice President of Marketing says, "In fact, a third of the respondents in NCH's Annual Consumer Survey said that they used more coupons in 2010 than the prior year."
The average coupon was worth $1.46. In just over 1/4th of all instances, shoppers had to buy 2 or more of an item to secure the discount. And the coupons generally expired within 9.1 weeks.
Another study, by Valassis and BIGResearch, finds that 80% of shoppers sign up for grocery/drug frequent shopper programs. Many of these shoppers are interested in having coupons transfer directly from the web to their frequent shopper cards which they then redeem at the store to get their discounts. Up to 20% of consumers are already using this type of technology. This kind of consumer interest is one reason that Valassis and AOL are partnering to deliver coupons through retail frequent shopper programs. As a result, digital coupons may grow to an even larger percentage of the total pool in 2011.[Source: Valassis announces shoppers save $3.7 Billion in 2010 using coupons. Valassis. Whattheythink.com. 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 1 Feb. 2011; Valassis and AOL to Deliver More Coupon Offers Through Retail Frequent Shopper Programs. Valassis.com. 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 2 Feb. 2011]