Would you like a 20% discount on item groceries? How about with a collection of coupons, that could cut your monthly grocery bill from $500 to $300? In light of the Global Financial Crisis, recent Nielsen Homescan data in the US, has reported that:
“ …the recession is driving heavier coupon usage among all types of consumers as many lighter users have become heavier users. After three quarters of declines in 2008, coupon redemption spiked 10 percent in Q4 2008, per Inmar. This was followed by a 17 percent increase in Q1 2009 and a 33 percent surge in Q2. This tally includes Food Sales Indexes, on-pack offers and Internet coupons but excludes retailer coupons. ”
This suggests that coupon usage is helping consumers stretch their budgets but also helping retailers and manufacturers provide sales offline.
What about online electronic coupons?
According to the Age, electronic coupons are also on the rise with many shoppers, especially younger consumers who in the past have rejected coupons printed in newspapers and direct mail books. The use of electronic discounts and coupons has more than doubled in the first half of 2009 compared with the same period last year along with the overall rise in coupon usage. Although electronic coupons still represent a small part of the total coupons used, accounting for more than 3 per cent of all coupons used, they have strong potential in growing quickly and providing new ways for shoppers to deal with their increasingly tight budgets. Electronic coupons are a great way of driving consumer traffic, building loyalty, increasing sales and attracting new customers.
The flip side is preventing counterfeiting and hacking because most coupons are not properly syncing with checkout systems. For example, when a notorious KFC in the US faced traffic jams and demand at several restaurants with had to offer rain checks because of the expected demand for free grilled chicken meals offered in a coupon posted on Oprah Winfrey’s website.
But by combining both electronic and traditional print formats, experts believe that they are likely to grow although maybe not to the level of that seen in 1992 of 7.9 billion.