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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 20, 2009

Coupon availability beginning to dictate shopper decisions

Most etailers and even offline retailers expected it to happen. Still, the results from the second annual Benchmark Survey on Consumer Coupon Behavior may startle some because of the number of consumers changing their habits. The survey found that nearly 30% of consumers are now deciding where to purchase items based on coupons offered and more than 20% will leave one store for another if the second store offers a coupon.

by Kristina Knight

Both statistics are up from 2008 numbers, a sign that the struggling global economy is changing many consumers' habits.

"Consumers are more aware of their spending than ever and are very active in trying to find the best deals. Coupon websites are still growing rapidly in popularity, with nearly two-thirds of consumers checking for coupons when they shop online," ">said Guy King, co-founder of "As a result, we are seeing more and more merchants embracing coupons as a way to connect with their budget-conscious shoppers. Clearly, retailers that don't offer discounts not only jeopardize customer loyalty but could take a significant hit to the bottom line, especially as we head into the holiday season."

Consumers also report they 'never purchase' without checking for coupons (12%) first and they are now "occasionally visiting" online coupon hubs. Whats more, 29% of college grads are now checking coupon sites before shopping and 27% of either full-time employees or self-employed consumers are using coupon websites.

Even those consumers who aren't using coupons are using the Internet to find the best deals and comparison shop (40%); the majority of coupon users are between ages 35 and 44.

Tags: coupon websites, coupons, Harris Poll, online coupons, RetailMeNot

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