Consumer Use of Digital Coupons Keeps Increasing      

By Lynne Cooke

Shoppers increasingly prefer digital paperless coupons as their enthusiasm for free-standing inserts (FSIs) wavers. That is the opinion of many coupon executives and a key take-away from recent industry studies.

According to the 2017 Valassis Coupon Intelligence Report:

  • 37% of consumers prefer digital paperless coupons – a 19% lift from the previous year.
  • 35% of shoppers have increased their use of the internet to find coupons.
  • 86% of consumers say coupons have influenced them to try a new product.

More evidence from an April 2017 proprietary survey from William Blair, a financial services firm:

  • 41% of respondents who use coupons at the grocery store “almost every time I go” primarily use digital coupons, compared with 37% for Sunday circular coupons.
  • 33% of respondents who primarily use digital coupon apps said their opinion of retailers “definitely improved” after using the apps, compared with 8% for those who primarily use Sunday circular coupons.

Their research found that nine out of ten grocery shoppers using coupons in some form and 87% of these coupon users indicated they were using more coupons at grocery stores this year than in the previous years.

According to Quotient Technology, some brands spend as much as 15% of their annual marketing budgets on couponing, most of which goes to paper FSIs (free-standing inserts). That hasn’t changed much in the past few decades, but it’s costly and inefficient even if it increases foot traffic in stores.

Brand marketers are “addicted” to sales spikes driven by paper, argues Quotient’s Chris Frericks, who presented at the LEAD Marketing Conference, a virtual conference held on May 10, 2017. Frericks, a client director based in Quotient’s Cincinnati office, urged brand marketers to focus on efficiency and ROI when weighing digital versus paper promotions. Digital, he said, is now at such scale that it drives steady sales.

Last year the company expanded its retail network and added tens of millions of registered shoppers to its ranks.  Quotient ended the year with about 40 million registered shoppers – people who save through the many retailer apps powered by the Quotient Retailer iQ platform, which analyzes a mix of in-store and online data to deliver relevant promotions and media messages. (This doesn’t include the millions of people who save via the app and website).

Shoppers selected more than 2.4 billion digital offers last year – a 48% jump from 2015. In the past five years, Quotient has delivered more than 7.9 billion digital offers.

Quotient is a leading digital promotions, media and analytics company that connects brands, retailers and shoppers. It distributes digital offers and media through a variety of products, including digital paperless coupons, digital printable coupons, coupon codes and card-linked offers.

                                               Early September 2017