A Growing Trend
In 2011 alone, reports show that consumers saved a whopping $4.6 billion and 80.6 percent of Americans reported using coupons on a regular basis. The coupon resurgence dates to the start of the recession in 2009 and has been aided by digital couponing companies, including RewardIt, which offers Reward$–RewardIt’s virtual currency–for each coupon redemption. Clearly, it isn’t just traditional housewives taking advantage of all the savings coupons offer any longer.
In response to the growing coupon trend, companies that previously only printed coupons in newspapers are now launching innovative new ways to get their coupons and sales in front of buyers. They’re putting printable coupons on their websites, delivering deals to buyers’ inboxes, installing in-store coupon kiosks, and using frequent buyer reward cards. These new, convenient ways of accessing discounts has driven coupon usage even more.
Coupons have long been associated with grocery stores, but the trend is affecting every type of consumer-driven business, including convenience stores, mass merchandisers, drug stores, dollar stores, and even military commissaries.
The Digital Coupon Revolution
Online coupons now account for a significant amount of coupon usage. Companies love these marketing tools, which are easier to distribute, customizable according to a particular customer’s preferences, and offer an opportunity to build brand loyalty. Look no further than the popularity of sites like RewardIt for evidence of this growing trend!
The Future of Couponing
As the economy slowly improves, will couponing again become a thing of the past? Experts say the couponing trend will continue, at least in the short-term. One reason is that the economic recovery has not been fast or robust, and the possibility of a double-dip recession still lingers. Even if the economy does recover, Americans have been instilled with the desire to save and be conservative with their spending. Plus, businesses have found coupons — specifically, digital coupons — to be a great way to target and refine their marketing. The success of these tools and the lingering effects of the economic downturn may mean couponing is here to stay.