Still Clipping Coupons? How Today’s Consumers Save Money

 

Exactly how are consumers engaging with coupons today? Are they still snipping along the dotted lines? Are they holding up their loyalty cards and smartphones to a scanner? Are they inputting coupon codes during online checkout? Well, yes.

No matter how they do it, what shopper—business or consumer—doesn’t use a coupon from time to time? We can’t think of anyone, either. According to a RetailMeNot survey, 96% of Americans are coupon users. It’s no wonder. People love a good deal; they want (or need) to save money. And taking advantage of a valuable offer just feels good.

The reasons for brands—again, B2B or B2C—to use coupons are just as compelling: to drive new leads and conversions, increase sales, and boost customer loyalty and repeat purchase frequency.

Join us as we take a research-based look at the couponing habits of today’s consumers. Some of what we’ve discovered might surprise you!

So Many Ways to Shop Wisely
For most shoppers, “clipping coupons” is exactly what it used to be: taking paper coupons up to the cash register. But for an increasing number of consumers, paperless coupons and loyalty cards are the way—or at least another way—to save.

Let’s consider some key findings from the 2018 Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report, which explores the behaviors associated with planning and shopping for traditional consumer packaged goods (i.e. food, over-the-counter medications, household goods, and health & beauty care products):

· 93% of consumers surveyed use paper coupons (up 5 percentage points from 2017)
· 75% use paperless coupons (discounts received on smartphones, mobile devices and shopper loyalty cards)
· The percentage of consumers who use mobile savings apps is rising—grocery/drug/mass store and/or supercenter savings apps are the most popular, with 56% of respondents saying they use these apps

As for the preferred sources of coupons and discounts in 2018,

· 48% prefer to get coupons in the mail
· 42% get coupons from a coupon book found in newspaper
· 39% get paperless discounts from the internet to download onto my store shopper/loyalty card
· 36% get paperless discounts on their smartphone/mobile device
· 35% print coupons from the internet

The breakdown of overall coupon usage:
· 53% print coupons (mail, magazines, newspapers, inserts)
· 36% digital media (email, text, QR code, internet sites/apps)
· 25% loyalty cards (preferred customer card)

We believe the most powerful finding is that 83% of U.S. shoppers switch between online and offline purchase channels across categories. It’s possible the same customer will use a paper coupon here, a mobile coupon there, and a loyalty program discount at their grocery store.

Maximizing Your Coupon Program
It boils down to this: if your company uses coupons in any capacity, you need to make them available in a variety of formats—and share them through the channels your customers prefer. This is the same general advice prescribed for all direct response marketing and content marketing programs. It’s essential to “meet your customers where they’re at” if you want to engage them and motivate action.

RetailMeNot shares insights that support the mighty coupon’s power of persuasion:

– 80% of consumers feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a new brand if they find an offer
– 67% made a purchase they weren’t planning to make based solely on finding a coupon or discount
– 62% of consumers say they can’t complete a purchase before searching for an offer

Inspired? Here are some ideas to take your coupon program to the next level:

Give your paper coupons an online home. If you mail coupons out to your contact list, why not send them the same coupons over email? You could also post them to your website for printing or mobile scanning. Just make sure you code them for attribution purposes.

Bring your digital coupons to tactile life. Compile a targeted list of customers and send them a self-mailer containing the same offers that are popular online. As an alternative to direct mail, you could also have your coupons pre-printed and inserted into newspapers. Again, just make sure they get unique tracking codes.

Offer a coupon code to generate leads. In exchange for registering for your email list, subscribing to blog alerts, signing up for text alerts, or joining your Facebook group, provide customers with a code to save money on their next purchase.

If you’re giving any of these techniques a try, remember that it’s important to test. You can start small to find out if your new strategy “has legs.” Contact us to learn more about coupons and how they can help meet your sales and marketing goals.