Coupon Use Hits Early 1990s Levels

According to data from promotions transaction settlement company Inmar, coupon redemption in the fourth quarter of 2008 grew nearly 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007, the first jump in redemption since the early 90s.

I think this is one of the strongest signs that impact of the tight credit has not only affected our disposable income, but changed our spending habits. I think that once people get used to using coupons they will become more firmly entrenched as a marketing tool and we need to innovate around coupon distribution, redemption and loyalty.

“Consumer response remained strong for the year with 2.6 billion coupons

There's a coupon in here somewhere!
There's a coupon in here somewhere!

redeemed, the third year in a row at that level.  The weak economy was a major factor in stopping the steady decline that coupon redemption had seen in the years prior to 2006.  The peak year for coupon redemption was 1992, at the end of the last major recession, when 7.9 billion coupons were redeemed.”

“Traditionally nearly 70% of coupons were redeemed in conventional supermarkets” according to Jennifer Mauldin, President of Inmar Carolina Services Revenue Recovery Services.  “But in 2008, the mass merchandiser channel saw a 15% increase in redemption overall, made up by a 20% increase in redemption for food coupons and a 13% increase in non-food coupons.”

This number has dropped to 64% while coupon redemption in mass merchandisers now account for nearly 19% of all coupons redeemed.

In 2008 there was a 5% increase in the number of coupons made available to consumers last year for a total of 317 billion coupons. This distribution is not just up over the previous year, but is back up to levels from a decade ago.  If there are 330 million people in the US that would mean there were 960 coupons distributed per person.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Now, internet coupons have introduced themselves into the mix. Instead of acquiring to take a coupon to the store, you identify a coupon on the internet and copy down the “coupon code”. Then you visit an internet retailer and enter the coupon code during the checkout process to claim your discount. Or, if you prefer to shop at a physical retailer, you’ll be able to locate coupons on the web and print them out to bring with you! As such, the options have been greatly expanded for the average coupon user.

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