We may not all be ultimate coupon clipping machines, but that doesn’t make us any less appreciative of using coupons to save a few dollars. In a recently published study by Google with the help of Zavers and Shopper Sciences, From Clipping to Clicking details customers’ couponing habits. Of the $467 billion offered in coupons in 2012, only $3.7 billion were redeemed. Google found that many shoppers who forgot the coupon at home would actually not make a purchase.
Marketing Charts reported that Google’s survey took place in late 2012 and required 1,000 participants to have used a coupon in the past 6 months. Most shoppers still obtain coupons through direct mail and newspapers, but e-mails follow close behind. Google asked its participants if in the last 90 days they have left a store without purchasing an item because they forgot a coupon at home–42% answered affirmatively while 6% were unsure. Marketing Charts suggests that due to this finding, there may be more efficient redemption methods to serve shoppers.
Paper coupons still seem to reign supreme, but their broad distribution makes it more difficult to reach the right shopper. Even when the coupon does reach its target, a sale is not guaranteed due to a consumer’s potential forgetfulness. The study welcomes the “rise of the digital coupon” and it’s potential to deliver the right coupons to the ideal customers in an efficient manner. The rise of mobile lends a hand in making digital coupons successful since so many shoppers are reliant on their mobile devices in general. With 59% of customers loading coupons onto their loyalty cards from their mobile devices or the web, mobile is certainly beginning to cement itself as a powerful supplement to the paper coupon.
Customers will begin to seek out time-saving and money-saving ways to shop more than they already do through the Internet. The study recommends that CPG marketers designing coupon programs should look at the bigger picture and embed coupons in relevant content, like geo-targeting customers in stores. Mad Mobile News reports this if you deliver a coupon to customers while they are in the store, 63% are more likely to make a purchase. With the rise of the efficient digital coupon, 30% of customers are already relying on showing their coupons on mobile devices to cashiers. Google’s study reports the eMarketer predicts digital coupons will grow by 4.6% each year and will accrue 100 million users by 2014.
Coupons have to start the process of integrating into a brand’s digital experience. Their future hinges on giving customers what they want in real-time. Customers are becoming more accustomed to immediacy in this digital world and they are now actively seeking that in their shopping experiences.