It’s no secret that the economy is affecting people more than we can ignore as marketers. Higher gas prices are changing travel patterns and the sub-prime problems have impacted the renovation and furnishings sectors just to name two obvious issues. I have always been torn between offering incentives or not, but with two thirds of shoppers more likely to use coupons I don’t think this can be ignored.
ICOM Information & Communications (ICOM) a North American target marketing leader released the results of a recent survey indicating that 67% said they are much more likely, or somewhat more likely, to use coupons during a recession. (45% percent much more likely and 22% percent somewhat more likely.)
Income didn’t make a significant difference to respondents, with 68% of those earning less than $50,000 a year saying they are much more likely or somewhat more likely to use coupons in a recession, compared to 67% for those earning more than $50,000.
58% of consumers responding to the ICOM survey see their coupon use increasing if they could download a coupon from the Internet and have it automatically connected to an electronically swiped frequent shopper card.
Broken down by age, 71% of consumers in the 18-34 year-old age bracket said they are much more likely or somewhat more likely to use coupons in a recession. That compares to 68% in the 35-54 year-old bracket and 63% among those 55 years and above.
A great example of an easy to use coupon is at Safeway, the giant grocery chain. If you have a Safeway card, not only can you use it at any store in Canada or the US you automatically receive the discounted price on all of your purchases. You simply give them the card or your phone number and all of the savings are applied to your purchases. No clipping. No reading the newspaper. Nothing gets a better reaction than instant savings.
How are you going to use this information? If you are a restaurant owner have you ever thought of a scratch and win card where the customer scratches to see what the discount is on their meal? If you are a pet food store do you have a loyalty card rewarding customers with a free bag after they have bought 10? Is your coffee shop using a loyalty card offering a free drink after 10?
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