Mobile Coupon Usage Up, But Traditional Formats Still Preferred

More consumers say they prefer to get coupons in the mail (44%) than through any other method, according to a study from Valassis [download page], which surveyed 1,000 US adults. Preference for mail coupons is up slightly from last year (40%) and mirrors results from a previous study showing that US adults prefer print coupons over paperless discounts. Participants who preferred to get discounts on their smartphones and mobile devices showed the greatest surge, however, with 32% expressing a preference this year against 24% last year.

Mobile Savings Apps

More consumers are taking advantage of the convenience and savings of mobile apps to access discounts, and their use over the last year has grown significantly. A slight majority (51%) of consumers have used a grocery store, drugstore and/or mass merchandiser or supercenter savings app this year (up from 38% last year). Coupon apps join store savings apps in popularity gains, each having seen sizable increases.

It’s also worth noting that a greater share of African American and Hispanic consumers (versus the general population) are using these types of apps.

Coupon Usage Still Popular, Especially with Millennials

Coupon use remains high, with 90% of all surveyed consumers reporting that they use coupons in some form. Millennials have demonstrated the greatest shift, as the 94% reporting use of coupons this year represents a fairly sizable gain from 88% last year.

Millennials are also the age segment most likely to use paperless discounts (89%), which are discounts received on smartphones and downloaded onto store loyalty cards. Though they trail in this regard, a majority of Gen Xers (79%) and Baby Boomers (54%) are now using paperless discounts.

Searching for Deals Online

Retailer websites and manufacturer/brand websites remain the most popular websites used to search for coupons, with 70% of survey respondents saying that they have searched for coupons on those sites. Coupon searches across all types of websites have increased year-over-year, suggesting that consumers are more likely to actively seek out deals than before. A recent study confirms that most shoppers continue to be interested in getting better deals.

Hispanic Consumers Seek Stores With Better Deals

The survey results reveal that Hispanic consumers can be influenced by promotions and offers when selecting stores. While the majority (82%) of consumers across all races and ethnicities cite that they would be willing to switch stores to take advantage of weekly specials, this inclination was highest among Hispanic respondents (91%), Hispanic consumers are also more likely to decide on store destinations based on paperless discount availability, and are more willing to switch to competitors stores for better deals than the overall population.

In-Store Coupons and Discounts Influence Behavior

The study finds that there are ample opportunities to persuade shoppers to buy certain items while they are in the store, even getting them to stray from their original shopping list. Some 86% of shoppers reported making purchases based on a discount found in the store, while 81% of shoppers search for deals in store circulars while in the store.

About the Data: The survey was conducted from an online consumer opinion panel consisting of 1,000 respondents who were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary.