Digital Trumps Printed 10-1 in Coupon Use

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Digital Trumps Printed 10-1 in Coupon Use


New data shows digital coupons grew 100 percent -- with savings totaling more than $1 billion -- during the year ending June 30.

Those coupons were printed or loaded to a store loyalty card via and the network, outpacing the growth of coupons distributed in newspapers by 10 to 1. These results come in the wake of recent research indicating that coupons distributed via FSI (free standing inserts) in newspapers rose 8.4 percent for the same 12-month period vs. the year before.

“Consumers continue to crave savings, and more and more of them are tapping digital coupons as an important part of their savings strategy,” said CEO Steven Boal. “We expect more brands and more consumers to increasingly adopt digital coupons, and we foresee substantial growth across the entire digital domain, with particular growth within social media and mobile environments.”

Printed savings during June 2010 exceeded $110 million, the highest ever recorded by the in a single month. Growth is attributed to several key factors, including continued consumer adoption of online printable coupons, the ability to save to store loyalty cards and mobile coupons, and increased use of digital coupons by brand marketers, including manufacturers and retailers alike.

According to research from Deerfield, Ill.-based NCH Marketing Services, the Internet was the fastest-growing distribution vehicle for coupons during the first half of 2010. In addition, the Internet coupon category outperformed other types of coupons with regard to share of redemptions to percent of coupons distributed.

Representing 20.8 percent of the U.S. population, 46.4 million American consumers are now using online coupons, up from 40.2 million in 2008. Of the 46.4 million online coupon users, 12.9 million don’t read any part of the Sunday newspaper, an 18 percent increase over 10.9 million in 2008.

Searches on Google for “Printable Coupons” increased 67 percent over a year ago. In addition, coupons are increasingly speaking up in the social media conversation, where consumers are sharing them within their networks and brands are using them to entice and reward “Likes” and followers.

Consumer interest in savings is expected to continue in better economic times. Research shows that even if economic conditions improve, eight out of 10 U.S. adults plan to continue to engage in couponing activities.

Data also shows that users of digital coupons have higher household incomes and are better educated than users of newspaper coupons and the general population, dispelling the perceived low-brow stigma of couponing. Consumers who print digital coupons have an estimated average household income of $96,000, a 14 percent higher income level than the U.S average. Adults with household income of over $100,000 are twice as likely to have redeemed coupons printed from an online source than adults with household income of less than $35,000.

For the first half of 2010, ready-to-eat cereal was the most popular category for both online printable coupons and coupons accessed via mobile apps, and was the seventh most popular category for coupons saved to loyalty cards. Dairy/eggs was the top category for save-to-card coupons.

Mountain View, Calif.-based distributes digital coupons to millions of consumers through its digital coupon network.