Coupons have become popular among more than just those clipping the Sunday circular. The combination of the belt-tightening practices of consumers during the recession and the digital revolution in couponing has created a trend that is here to stay. According to eMarketer, digital coupon usage is now firmly a part of the online shopping experience of millions of U.S. consumers.
eMarketer estimates that by the end of 2011, nearly half of U.S. adult internet users, or approximately 88.2 million people, will have redeemed an online coupon or code for use either online or offline in the past year. By 2013, 96.8 million adults will redeem an online coupon.
“Consumer brands are accustomed to promoting their products in stores and in newspaper inserts,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst and author of a forthcoming report on online couponing. “But as more shoppers make purchase decisions online before taking a shopping trip, brands are following them onto the internet.”
The growth rate for online coupon users is expected to gradually decline through 2013, as most online consumers predisposed to using digital coupons already do so.
Already, household usage of digital coupons has nearly doubled since 2005. Experian Simmons reported that 12% of households redeemed coupons from email or the web that year; it expects that figure to reach 22% in 2011.
“Today’s online coupon users tend to be affluent, highly educated and over the age of 55,” said Grau. “This is valuable input for marketers shaping the different elements of a promotional campaign, such as what products to promote with coupons, where to place the offers and what marketing messages to use.”[Source: "Online Coupons Reach Nearly Half of Web Users." eMarketer. 1 June 2011. Web. 3 June 2011.]