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Valassis-Coupon-Source-Preferences-by-Generation-Mar2014There’s no doubt that the use of digital coupons is rising quickly, but new data from Valassis reveals that traditional print formats are still the preferred sources of coupons, even among the most digital-friendly coupon users. The 2K14 Shopper Marketing Report [download page] indicates that while Millennials (18-36) are more likely than the average coupon user to prefer receiving online and mobile coupons, they’re equally as receptive to newspaper coupons and more likely to prefer coupons received in the mail. In fact, Millennials are the only generation to rank mail as their preferred source of coupons.

(The survey measured use of coupons when shopping for items such as food, OTC medications, paper products and health and beauty care products.)

The order of preference for Millennial coupon users in terms of sources is as follows:

  • Mail (61%, versus the 51% overall average);
  • Newspapers (52%, equal to the overall average);
  • Internet: download (47%, versus the 30% average);
  • Internet: print at home (42%, versus the 34% average); and
  • Smartphones (39%, versus the 20% average).

Those results resemble those for another demographic group: Hispanics. Hispanic coupon users maintained the same order of preference as Millennials, perhaps a reflection of their relative youth compared to the general population.

That’s not to say that Millennials and Hispanics aren’t keen users of digital coupons, of course. Among coupon users who search for them online (more than 8 in 10 respondents), Millennials are the most likely generation to: use daily deal sites to get coupons; use coupons found on social media; and to share and trade coupons with others on social media. Hispanics also over-index in each of these behaviors, by a significant degree.

Other Findings:

  • Roughly 7 in 10 respondents who search the internet for coupons have done so after hearing about them on social media;
  • Almost 4 in 10 shoppers who use coupons searched more online for them than they did a year earlier.
  • Among those who search the internet for coupons, coupon websites (96%), manufacturer/brand websites (92%) and retailer websites (91%) are the top sites used.
  • Among coupon users, 43% of Millennials are using their smartphone more for getting deals, while 88% are often able to combine manufacturer and store coupons.
  • Among respondents who visit websites to search for coupons, 92% of Millennials download coupons onto retailer cards before going shopping, and 80% download coupons onto their retailer cards while at the store.
  • Millennials require 25% higher coupon values than Gen Xers (37-48) and 32% higher values than Baby Boomers (49-67) to engage with them.
  • Among coupon users, those with incomes of at least $50k are more likely than those below that threshold to combine manufacturer and store coupons and to combine paper and paperless discounts.

About the Data: The Valassis Shopper Marketing Report was fielded in August of 2013 in conjunction with Ipsos, a market research firm with expertise in Internet surveys. The sample was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Consumers were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey and were given three days to complete it. The survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses had been reached. The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary levels.

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