Online, Paperless Coupons Grow in Popularity

Few things excite shoppers more than the idea that they are getting a bargain. This reality may explain why manufacturers release so many  coupondiscountcoupons and why consumers are eager to use them. The mid-​year report from NCH Marketing shows 2013 coupon distribution growth is on track to exceed industry activity in 2011 and 2012.

CPG marketers have long used coupons to introduce new products and to spur sales of branded products. This year, these marketers are pumping more money into non-​food items like shampoo and soap, increasing their investment by 2.9%. Non-​food coupons account for 62.5% of releases while marketer spending on food-​related coupons, at 37.5%, is flat this year.

Free-​standing inserts (FSI) still rule, accounting for 91.1% of all coupon distribution. Marketers also release coupons by direct mail (1.9%), magazines (1.8%), in-​store handouts, and other methods such as online (less than 2%). Distribution only tells half of the story. Redemption trends are key to understanding the shopper mindset. This years, shoppers are redeeming through the following methods:

  • FSI 52.3%
  • On/​In packaging 17.6%
  • In-​store handout 13.1%
  • Internet print at home 6.1%
  • Direct mail 4.1%
  • Paperless 2.5%
  • Other 4.3%

Consumers also appear to be cooling somewhat on the coupon-​redemption frenzy they exhibited at the height of the recession. In the first half of 2013, about 1.425 billion coupons were redeemed, an 8.1% drop from the same period last year. Analysts attribute this trend to the lower average face value of redeemed coupons, now at $1.27, the requirement to purchase multiple coupons in order to obtain the discount, and the shorter time frame for offers. The average coupon expires 9 weeks after it is released. That’s a 3.2% shorter period than last year.

Coupons continue to be a proven way to quickly increase revenue.  To learn more about coupon users, check out the Audience Interests & Intent Report available at the Research Store on ad​-ology​.com.

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.