Millennials’ Use of Coupons: Food For Thought

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Millennials’ Use of Coupons: Food For Thought

By Evan Anthony, EDA Consulting LLC - 01/11/2016

In the age of connectivity, consumers thrive on instant gratification, and especially Millennial consumers. They are a very spontaneous generation and tend not to plan their shopping trips, and many purchases are made ad hoc. Retailers that focus on traditional methods like a store circular and consumers clipping or printing coupons to drive consumer engagement need to be on the lookout for new promotional methods that appeal to this spontaneous generation. As we have all seen, Millennials fall into a variety of life styles; some are in college, some are married with kids, and some are working singles etc., so we as marketers need to have a multi-focused approach to win with this generation. Like every other generational segment, they need to save money but want it to be easy.

According to recent research by Forrester Research on behalf of Linkable Networks, 34 percent of Millennials prefer to use digital coupons loaded into an app on their smartphone. This highlights a growing perceived value of digital coupons now and in the future. The study also found that 30 percent of snacks and meals are consumed by Millennials on the same day they are purchased. These statistics show that not only do people increasingly demand digital solutions, but also that there is little planning involved in their trips to the grocery store.

With the right tools, retailers can tap into this “get in now” mentality and deliver a differentiated experience for their shoppers. It’s happening already – with apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51, consumers are instantly able to connect on their mobile devices while in-store. Shoppers simply select the coupons they would like to use in the app and then take a picture of the receipt after shopping to receive cash back following their purchase. The benefit is that consumers can pick their preferred coupons while they shop, helping to drive their purchasing decisions.

Another way grocers can better engage with Millennials is through brand-funded programs like Supervalu’s SV Linx card-linked offers. The program allows shoppers to link coupons directly to their credit or debit card. Once a user links a coupon to their card, all they need to do is pay with the same card to receive their savings. Because the process is a one-step solution, users also benefit from a faster checkout experience since there’s no need to remember, scan or present coupons to the cashier.

Card-linked offers deliver a simple-to-use savings program that allow shoppers to add deals whenever they access the app, whether they preplan their trips or are making ad hoc decisions in-store. Grocers also benefit from the ability to track shopper behavior, delivering more relevant offers to the consumer, and in-turn improve the shopping experience.

As we continue to see shoppers lean toward more spur-of-the-moment purchases and digital coupons continue to grow, progressive grocery retailers have a unique opportunity to enhance the relationship they have with their shoppers with the ultimate goal of cultivating a more loyal customer. No matter what your class of retail trade, having a full value proposition with a multi-customer/generational toolbox, which should include card-linked offers, will help provide a solution for the “get it now” generation.