Marketers to Turn to Coupons/​Rebates as Long-​Term Strategy

With so much focus on deal-​seeking consumers, marketers are apt to believe that all they need to do is roll out a great promotion and customers will come running. That is not exactly the case. Deal seekers share some specific characteristics and understanding these details will ensure that a marketer’s promotion increases sales.

In its recent analysis of the coupon industry, Parago posits that marketers today are facing the Smart Shopper who is likely not going to change his or her buying habits as the economy improves. Consumers are so intent on getting deals that they spend a significant portion of their Internet time searching for coupons and discounts. This behavior is so engrained, over 50% of consumers say they are “annoyed” when they pay full price.
Shoppers want discounts on everyday items (59%) as well as non-​essential items (73%). And they don’t mind going 5–10 minutes out of their way to secure:

  • $5 off a $50 product 71%
  • $10 off a $50 product 87%
  • $15 off a $50 product 93%

Rebates are equally popular with consumers. Over half of U.S. households participate in rebates and their efforts yield them about $150 a year in savings. The rebate industry is valued at $8 billion while the coupon industry is valued at $3.8 billion. About half of retailers and manufacturers now participate in rebates and consumers are especially happy to submit the forms online.

Analysts point out that the Smart Shopper, primarily female, is not just interested in saving money through discounts and rebates. She also wants to feel ‘smart and savvy'. Marketers who tap into that emotion will see their promotions succeed.
[Source: Today’s Mainstream Deal-​Seeking Consumers. Parago​.com. Web. 12 Jul. 2011] 

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.