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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 08, 2008

Recession and convenience drive coupon use

Coupon redemption rates in the U.S. have dropped to around 1% during the last decade, but it appears that the whiff of recession in the air and an online distribution strategy is enough to turn even those on above-average incomes into coupon clippers.

by Helen Leggatt

icom_logo.gifIf you haven't already heard, coupons are making a comeback. The most recent survey to back this up comes from ICOM Information & Communications (ICOM). Their findings add weight to previous studies concluding that, during a recession, shoppers are more likely to seek out and use coupons as they become more price-sensitive.

Of the 1,529 U.S. consumers that took part in the survey, 67% said they were much more, or somewhat more, likely to use coupons during a recession (45% much more / 22% somewhat more).

A somewhat surprising statistic is that paperless coupons account for less than 1% of the coupon market, despite the technological advances in many other marketing channels.

Consumers love convenience and the ability to download or print a coupon from the Internet, or connect it to an online frequent shopper card, would encourage 58% of the ICOM survey respondents to increase coupon use.

"Marketers have the opportunity to discard the old-school thinking about coupons and be smarter this time around. There's no need to send out more mass coupons, such as dog food coupons to households that don't have pets,” said Peter Meyers, ICOM marketing vice-president. “Brands should do their homework and send offers relevant to the needs of individual consumers.”

Tags: acquisition, coupons, online shopping, traffic

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