CPGs Need a Cross-Channel Approach to Promotional Media     

By Linda Winick

There were 256.5 billion CPG coupons distributed in print or digital in 2018, resulting in $2.7 billion in savings when redeemed. While both figures were lower than the previous year, coupons continue to affect how consumers shop as they seek savings.

How much longer will this behavior last? Nobody knows for sure, but an analysis of coupon usage in the 2K19 Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report can help trading partners understand what is happening so they can adjust their marketing plans.

“As CPG marketers respond to these newer (and expanded) ways that consumers plan, shop and save, their promotional budgets are spread across an increasingly fragmented retail and offer landscape. This not only puts pressure on manufacturer budgets, but it makes it more difficult for advertisers to provide a consistent, easy experience for consumers looking for value,” stated the report.

Consumers themselves face challenges in their coupon use in terms of how, when and where they want offers. For example:

  • 58% of consumers feel coupons should be easier to use
  • 53% prefer to be able to use paperless discounts at any store, not just the one offering the discount
  • 49% would use more coupons if it were easier to find coupons for products they need
  • 46% need to search multiple places to find the coupons for products they want to buy.

Meanwhile, the challenge for trading partners, the report argues, is how to adapt to meet consumers’ evolving shopping behaviors. In other words, how to equip consumers better with the savings they desire in ways that are easier for them to find and use.

For example, three of four consumers (75%) access and use paperless coupons in various ways:

  • 30% use mobile apps
  • 23% plan their shopping list around paperless discounts
  • 23% make a list on their phone and check it while shopping.

Paperless coupons received on a mobile device or downloaded onto a store shopper/loyalty card are more likely to be used by Parents, Millennial Parents, Millennials and Gen Xers compared to Baby Boomers. Here is the breakdown: Parents (92%), Millennial Parents (96%), Millennials (88%), Gen Xers (83%), Baby Boomers (64%).

According to the report, savings via mobile has remained consistent since 2017, with growth in the use of grocery/drug/mass store apps. Generationally, a higher percentage of Millennials and Gen Xers are users of websites and savings apps, while Baby Boomers are less likely to do so.

Sixty-nine percent of consumers save money with print, digital media, and/or loyalty cards. Here is the breakdown:

  • 51% use print media (mail, magazine, Sunday and weekday newspaper)
  • 39% use digital coupons (email, text, QR code, internet sites/apps)
  • 26% use loyalty cards (preferred customer card).

“Trends in paper and paperless coupon usage are a reminder of the continued importance of a cross-channel approach to promotional media,” the report stated.

                                               February 2020
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