Shoppers are taking advantage of an increasing number and growing variety of more relevant, better-targeted coupons, says Inmar CEO David Mounts. They’re acquiring these coupons through retailer loyalty programs, finding them in their mailbox and receiving them at checkout.
At the same time, he adds, shoppers are actively pursuing additional savings in the aisle, augmenting and enhancing their pre-planned shopping strategies.
“While shoppers today have an expectation that they are ‘entitled’ to easily-realized savings, it’s apparent that they are willing to put forth additional effort in the store and take advantage of the offers they discover during their shopping trip,” he explained.
The increasing use of in-store methods along with more personalized offers – that is, targeted offers using demographics and other shopper data and reflecting prior shopper behavior – continues previously identified acquisition and redemption trends. Inmar’s most recent Shopper Behavior Study revealed that shoppers, on average, use 6.43 methods for discovering and acquiring coupons – both traditionally delivered as well as digitally discovered.
Whether due to economic pressure or time constraints, shoppers are turning to readily accessible content through myriad digital devices. The study found that eight of ten shoppers looked for coupons to use in-store prior to their trip, and said the process made them feel smarter; more than a quarter relied on their mobile device for decision support while in-store.
“Consumers are definitely employing digital technology to enhance their shopping experience,” said Mounts, “but, they’re still using their scissors to save money with traditional paper methods. And, manufacturers remain committed to FSIs as cost-effective, sales-driving promotions. With the abundance of value opportunities and marketers working to make these types of offers more relevant to customers, it’s a great time to be savings-minded shopper.”
Inmar recently announced that overall coupon redemption volume increased one percent for the third quarter of 2013 as compared to the same period last year. This increase was driven by redemption growth among several paper coupon types as well as paperless, digital coupons – with redemption volume for these e-wallet offers up 86% versus Q3, 2012.
The uptick in overall redemption for the quarter also marked a reversal in recent declines in coupon redemption. While year-to-date (YTD) coupon redemption was down 4.3% compared to the first nine months of 2012, it signals an improvement in the marketplace as coupon redemption was, by comparison, down 6.6% for the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
Digital coupons stood out as the exception with YTD redemption up 160% versus 2012.
Paper methods experiencing significant increases in redemption volume during the quarter included electronic shelf (up almost 64%), on-pack cross-ruff (up 32.6%) and instant redeemable, which posted a redemption volume increase of more than 19% over Q3, 2012. Paralleling increased redemption for these three in-store methods during the third quarter was growing use of paper coupons discovered “pre-trip.” Among these were direct mail, which saw a redemption increase of 17.6 percent, internet print-at-home (up 2.6%) and electronic checkout that registered 9.8% growth in redemption over Q3, 2012.
Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs) – representing 89.7% of all coupons distributed during Q3 – experienced a 5.5% decline in redemption volume compared with Q3, 2012. Still, use of FSIs topped 244 million coupons redeemed during the quarter.
Inmar currently processes and analyzes more than 2.3 billion coupons and related campaigns annually, making it a leader in planning, executing and measuring promotions. In addition to providing promotion management, coupons processing, business intelligence and consulting, Inmar closely monitors coupon distribution and redemption across the country and regularly reports on trends and activity in this sector.