Women Find a Range of Reasons for Increasing Coupon Use

valpak-women-reasons-for-using-coupons-march2012.jpgAmerican women are in love with coupons, declares a March 2012 report from Valpak, which finds that 70% of survey respondents enjoy saving money and believe couponing is as American as apple pie, and that 58% have increased their coupon habits over the past few years. Beyond their desires (77%) or need (72%) to save money, the top reasons women give for increasing use are because they always want to get a deal (60%), it’s a bad economy (59%), and they enjoy trying new things with a discount (41%). A significant proportion also say that coupons make them feel smarter (28%), couponing is more socially acceptable (25%), and is trendy (15%).

Coupons Cross Party Divide

In an election year where partisan tension will be tested, coupons may offer a little break for the weary: there appears to be relatively broad agreement between Democrat and Republican women for why they are increasing their use. The only areas in which their opinions divide significantly are in the relevance of the bad economy (65.5% of Republicans and 54.4% of Democrats), their always wanting a deal (51.7% and 63.1%), and the more socially acceptable nature of coupons (13.8% vs. 23.3%).

Overall, 78.2% of Republicans and 70.7% of Democrats say they love to save money and getting great discounts.

Savings Would be Put to Good Use

Responding to a 2011 Time magazine statistic that consumers are on average offered $1,677 in coupon savings each year, a plurality of women said they save the extra money for a rainy day (29.3%), while 24.2% said they would put it towards their child’s education. Other uses for the savings include spending it on some fun (16.3%), spending in on the home (15.1%), giving it to family (8.2%), and giving to charity (4.8%).

Recent figures from NCH, released in January 2012, indicate that US consumers redeemed 3.5 billion CPG coupons in 2011, representing a 6.1% increase from 3.3 billion in 2010 and a 9% rise from 3.2 billion in 2009. As a result of their increased coupon redemption, during 2011, US consumers saved a total of $4.6 billion using CPG coupons from all types of media, up 12% from $4.1 billion in 2010, and representing 58.6% growth from $2.9 billion in 2007.

Other Findings:

  • The top purchase that women would not make without a coupon is going out to dinner (49%), followed by carpet cleaning (33%), milk (32%), a Caribbean cruise, and bed linens (both at 29%).
  • About 3 in 5 women said they were comfortable with a man using a coupon on a special date. This proportion was highest among 41-50-year-olds (70%), but still relatively high among the 21-30 age group (58%).
  • Roughly three-quarters agreed that they love using coupons with friends and family to save money on things they like to do.
  • Just 15% said they would not give coupons or deals as gifts.
  • 84% of respondents used coupons from their mail or the newspaper.
  • Online coupons from retailer websites (65%) are the most commonly used digital coupons, followed by ones from coupon sites (55%) and from social networks (34%). One-quarters said they used deal site coupons, while close to 1 in 5 used mobile/SMS coupons. Data from a SymphonyIRI survey released in January 2012 indicates that 39% of American shoppers reported downloading coupons from manufacturer websites in Q4 2011, up from 37% in Q3 and 35% in Q2. The next-most popular usage of digital media for CPG shopping in Q4 was downloading coupons from retailer websites (37%), followed by downloading coupons from couponing sites (35%). 27% of shoppers reported researching products on websites, up 12.5% from 24% in Q2, while 23% reported visiting online deal sites such as Groupon.

About the Data: The 125th Birthday of the Coupon Poll, sponsored by Valpak.com, was conducted online via social networks from January 23 – January 27, 2012 and garnered responses from 502 women in the US. 20% identified themselves as Republic, 37% as Democrat, and 27% as Independent. The remainder preferred not to identify themselves across party lines.