New Insights into the Millennials’ Attitude about Discounts 

By Lynne Cooke


What a difference a change in lifestyle makes when it comes to valuing coupons.

When Millennials become parents, their value-seeking behaviors tend to mirror those of Gen X and Baby Boomers, particularly as they plan their shopping. Fifty-five percent of Millennials with children say their use of coupons has increased this past year (18 percentage points higher than that of other generations), according to research reported by Valasiss in its Coupon Intelligence Report. In addition:

  • 89 percent of Millennial parents use coupons when planning their shopping list, compared to 78 percent of Millennials without children.
  • 48 percent of those Millennials with children are also more likely to have increased their willingness to buy store brands, compared to 37 percent of Millennials without children.

“Marketing to Millennials is not a one-size-fits-all effort,” said Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer for Valassis. “By considering the various life stages within this segment of shoppers, marketers will be better equipped to target and activate them as they make purchase decisions.”

Interestingly, more Millennials than Gen X and Baby Boomers say they engage in value-seeking behavior prior to making the trip to the store:

  • 73 percent of Millennials say they find coupons in print sources such as the newspaper or mail, compared to 69 percent of Gen X and 65 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • 70 percent of Millennials search for deals in retailer circulars and print coupons from the Internet, compared to a range of 62 to 67 percent of both Gen X and by Boomers.
  • 67 percent of Millennials download coupons onto retailer loyalty cards, compared to 56 percent of Gen X and 46 percent of Baby Boomers.

Use of digital saving methods is higher for Millennials overall than other demographic groups, but even more the case for parents who show the highest instance of increased usage compared to the previous year. In comparison to the prior year, the data revealed that Millennials with children are more likely to have increased their use of a smartphone to keep a shopping list (48 percent); get coupons or deals (53 percent); and download retailer loyalty offers (52 percent).

Millennials with children are also more likely to have increased their use of the Internet to find coupons and are more likely to visit coupon websites – 15 percentage points higher than all consumers.

According to the report, coupon use is prevalent across the generations, with 9 of 10 respondents saying they use coupons for their food, over-the-counter medications, household items and health and beauty purchases. The use of paper coupons is high at 89 percent, while 63 percent say they use coupons from paperless sources. Print coupons from the newspaper and mail are also the most preferred source of coupons (46 percent), followed closely by Internet and those downloadable to retailer loyalty cards (33 percent each).

The study was fielded in conjunction with Ipsos, a market research firm with proficiency in Internet surveys. The sample was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Consumers were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey and were given three days to complete it. The survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses had been reached.

The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary levels. It is important to consider the influence on a consumer’s path-to-purchase when executing coupon strategies. For instance, coupons and promotions delivered in-store serve a purpose of activating and influencing a consumer at point-of-purchase to stimulate an impulse buy, compete on price and/or influence the consumer’s choice of brand within a category, while coupons delivered in-home in the FSI serve the purpose of influencing the planning process and shopping list of a consumer.

NCH Marketing Services is a Valassis subsidiary and RedPlum is its consumer brand. Valassis is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp.

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                                                 Early September 2015