“Yes, Here Are My Coupons” Proudly Said by 80% of Americans

Big deal about coupons

By Jason Kelley
February 2, 2012

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CPG
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In these times, the latest findings from the NCH study of coupon use are not surprising to us. 80.6% of consumers reported using coupons sometimes (33.2%), very often (34%), or always (13.4%) in 2011, with a further 14% saying they used them, The proportion reporting using coupons at least sometimes in 2011 represents 3% growth from 78.3% in 2010, and has risen every year since 2007, when it was 63.6%. By contrast, the 5.4% of consumers in 2011 who said they never use coupons is the lowest since 2007, when it stood at 10.6%.

40% of us use coupons
37.2% of 2011 respondents who compared their current-year use of CPS coupons to their prior-year use said they used more coupons than in the previous year, marking an 11% rise from 33.4% in 2010 and a 62% jump from 2007’s pre-recession level (22.9%). Of note, though, 1 in 10 reported using less coupons in 2011, the highest proportion since 2008 (11.2%).

90% of us do a little pre-shopping homework
Data from the study indicates that 90.9% of consumers in 2011 planned a shopping list with coupons before a store visit, up 2.5% from 2010 and a more substantial 16% rise from 2007 levels. According to a survey released in January 2012 by SymphonyIRI, half of shoppers in Q4 2011 reported using a store circular to make a list prior to going to the grocery store, while 42% used coupons to make a list.

Internet Use Up
Meanwhile, according to the NCH study, 64.1% of coupon users in 2011 searched the internet for coupon savings either sometimes (26.4%), very often (22.1%), or always (15.6%), representing a 27% increase from 2010 respondents using the internet with that frequency. In fact, the proportion reporting always using the internet to search for coupon savings more than doubled, from 7.4% to 15.6%. By comparison, those saying they never use the internet fell from 22.2% to 15.4%.
Data from the SymphonyIRI survey indicates that 39% of shoppers reported downloading coupons from manufacturer websites in Q4 2011, with other popular digital media usages including downloading coupons from retailer websites (37%) and downloading coupons from couponing sites (35%).

So, what is the “so what” factor here: For many CPG brands, couponing is should be a critical part of any brand and DR effort….your customers are looking for it.