The economic downturn has encouraged consumers to revamp their shopping habits to become more price conscious and deal savvy. As a result, many retailers are implementing digital coupons to incentivize shoppers to buy items and visit stores more frequently. The tactic is working: a new study from Coupons.com and GfK Knowledge Networks, a full service research firm, indicates that “couponers” buy more items, more often. In fact, digital coupon users spend 49% more per year than the average shopper, according to the research.
The “Digital Coupon User Shopping Behavior” study revealed that the dedicated coupon user spends approximately $3,803 a year, while the average shopper spends $2,545 within the same period. Results were based on the coupon usage of more than 200,000 households that utilize into the Coupons.com site. These behaviors were compared to 2.3 million households in the GfK Knowledge Networks National Shopper Lab. The study also measured the average redemption rates of coupon campaigns that rolled out within a one-year period.
Additional findings revealed that digital coupon users spend more than average shoppers during individual trips to stores. In fact, coupon users spend approximately 23% more per trip, averaging $55.05, while average shoppers spend $44.87. Coupon users may spend more overall because these shoppers simply get carried away by focusing less on total spending and more on per-unit savings, according to Mike Scriven, VP Client Marketing, Coupons.com.
“Digital couponers may be more savvy shoppers overall — on a per-item basis, they may look for the best opportunity to save money — but their overall expenditures far outpace the savings they find,” Scriven told Retail TouchPoints. “For example, we found that digital couponers purchased 20% more units than those who didn’t use coupons, and the overall dollar spend was about 12% more. Couponers bought units more efficiently, but contributed more dollar volume to a brand.”
Due to the promise of lower prices and the incentive of special offers and deals, digital coupon users take trips to stores more frequently, according to the study. Compared to average shoppers, loyal couponers made 22% more shopping trips during the year, or 69 visits to stores versus 57 by non-couponers.
To glean further insight on the frequency of shopping trips and overall response to coupons, Coupons.com conducted a follow-up study on its web site. Results indicated that 62% of its visitors planned to visit a grocery store within two days of printing coupons and/or save them to a loyalty card. Moreover, 43% planned to make a trip within the next 24 hours.
“Initially we assumed that digital couponers were valuable, based on past research on coupon usage and brand-specific coupon studies and display media performance,” Scriven said. But actual results of both studies were unexpected. "In fact, our research additionally showed that couponers often outperform traditional banner click-through rates by two to five times,” he added. “Within the shopping trip and expenditure data, we were surprised to learn how many more trips this audience makes and how much more they spend when they grocery shop. Digital couponers could be a brand or retailer’s ‘most valuable consumer.’”