“Digital coupons continue to deliver value as part of the overall promotional plans for CPG manufacturers,” stated David Hamric, General Manager, Kantar Media Marx.
But where should brands distribute digital coupons to maximize the bang for their bucks? The latest evidence points to retailer websites.
“National and regional retailers across Food, Drug, and Mass are actively distributing more coupons and promotions on their own properties,” said Wade Allen, president of Coupon Factory. “With consumer confidence flat, prices for consumable on the rise, and unemployment rates still a challenge, shoppers continue to seek price breaks at the register. Retailers understand that their shoppers continue to be motivated by digital coupons and are simply meeting the demand,” said the provider of a digital coupon solution.
Digital coupon events across three key retailer websites monitored by Marx, a Kantar Media unit, increased by 30.5% in the first nine months of 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011. During the first nine months of 2012, more than 681 manufacturers distributed digital coupon offers on the websites of Walmart, Target and Publix Super Markets. That is an increase of 15.2% as compared to the same period in 2011.
For the first nine months of 2012, Food Areas represented 50.9% of digital coupon events, while Non-Food Areas represented 50.6% (NOTE: Sum of all Areas may be greater than 100% due to events which include more than one Area). The Dry Grocery Area leads within both the Food areas and across all areas in share of activity at 25.7% during the first nine months of 2012. This is an increase of 1.6 points over the same nine months in 2011. The Personal Care Area leads in Non-Food with a 20.0% share of activity, a decrease of 0.9 points from the same nine months in 2011.
Many retailers engage with their shoppers online through their retail websites and include the use of digital coupon sections on these websites. One way to help retailers measure the number of shoppers reached by their website is the Unique Visitors metric. This counts a person visiting a website only once no matter how many times that person goes to a website or a website section.
To illustrate these points, three retailer websites were evaluated during September 2012. Among these three, Walmart.com had the greatest number of Unique Visitors at 58.2MM. In comparison, Target.com had just more than half that number of Unique Visitors at 36.8MM. Walmart.com reached more shoppers than Target.com based on Unique Visitors during this period.
However, Marx detected a different dynamic when comparing the Unique Visitors for the coupon section of each retailer website. The coupon section of Walmart.com (coupons.walmart.com) received 464,368 Unique Visitors equating to less than 1.0% of the Unique Visitors for Walmart.com, while the coupon section of Target.com (coupons.target.com) attracted more than 1.6MM Unique Visitors equating to more than 4.3% of the Unique Visitors for Target.com.
In contrast to these two national mass merchandisers, Publix, a regional grocer, attracted 1.5MM Unique Visitors to their Publix.com website and 686,198 Unique Visitors to the coupon section of their website (weeklyad.publix.com), equating to 46.1% of all Publix.com Unique Visitors. Additionally, Unique Visitors to the coupon section of the Publix.com website had 1.96 Visits Per Visitor during September, which is greater frequency than both Walmart and Target.