Coupons, Discounts Drive Consumer Spending During Recession

April 1, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | CPG & FMCG | Financial Services | Free-Standing Inserts & Circulars | Retail & E-Commerce | Television | Women

In an economic recession consumers tend to cut budgets but, if provided discounts, they will buy – 54% of adults say they would reduce discretionary spending, and 63% say they would not make a purchase if a deal isn’t available – according to a Harris Interactive survey.

Fully 86% of adults surveyed say they have used coupons or discount codes while shopping. But as economic slowdown pushes consumers to re-evaluate spending behaviors and tighten budgets, deal-seeking may become even more common:

  • More than one in three adults (37%) say they would increase the use of coupons and discount codes during a recession.
  • Among women, the figure is higher: 43% of them say they would do so, vs. 31% of men.

To find deals on discretionary purchases, adults are equally likely to look online as in stores (56% each). But they are less likely to look for deals elsewhere…

  • Catalogs, brochures or flyers (46%)
  • Coupon books (38%)
  • Outlet malls (24%)
  • Television (18%)

A copy of the full report, including a breakdown of regional and demographic data, can be found at

About the study: Harris Interactive (on behalf of conducted the study online among 2,471 US adults age 18+, Feb. 13-15, 2008. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income.


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