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Couponing in the Digital Age!

Joanie.Demer

In the more than one hundred years since Coca Cola and Post Grape Nuts issued the very first coupons, the face of the industry and of the coupon shopper have transformed.  With overall coupon use up 27% last year after nearly two decades in decline, the coupon has made its comeback!  But this time around, both the coupons and the consumers who use them have changed!

Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, here’s some interesting info about how the face of the coupon industry is changing every day!

Coupons Go Digital.  Step aside, Sunday coupon inserts! Digital coupons are a rapidly growing force that will likely take over as the primary distribution method for coupons in the next 5-10 years.  Companies like General Mills say they’re moving more of their coupon budget toward digital coupons and away from Sunday papers.  Digital coupons boast higher redemption rates and often cost less to distribute.

Printable Coupons:  The most prevalent digital coupons are those that you can print right from home.   In addition to top online printable coupon distribution sites like Coupons.com, Redplum.com and Smartsource.com, companies are using Facebook to distribute their coupons in exchange for you choosing to “like” the company.   Twenty percent of the U.S. population, more than 45 million American consumers, are now using online coupons reports Simmons Market Research.

eCoupons: Otherwise known as Save-To-Card Coupons. eCoupons are loaded directly from the web to your store loyalty card.  When you purchase the designated items and use your loyalty card or phone number associated with that card at checkout, the savings will automatically be deducted from your total!  Popular eCoupon websites include Cellfire.com, Shortcuts.com, PGeSaver.com, as well as coupons that may be loaded directly from the store’s own website.

Mobile Coupons: Otherwise known as Show-and-Save Coupons.  This niche is still small but will certainly be growing as applications for iPhone and Droid continue to develop.  So far the flagship for Show-and-Save digital coupons is Target.  Sign up here to receive monthly text messages with a link to store coupons and a corresponding barcode image.  At checkout, hand your phone to the cashier, and she will scan the barcode image to redeem the coupon!  JCPenney and soon fast food chains will also be using these Show-and-Save style coupons.

Consumers Go “Krazy”!

Today’s savvy coupon shopper is younger, richer, more educated and better looking than the coupon shoppers of the last two decades!  Okay, okay, so maybe the better looking thing is just my opinion, plus nobody looked good in the eighties, but you get the idea.  The stigma surrounding coupon use is lifting, and it’s becoming chic to clip coupons and more fun than ever to get stuff from the grocery store for absolutely Free!

The Krazy Coupon Ladies are on the radar. We’re not hiding or fooling anybody.  The manufacturers know who we are, they know what we’re doing, and they’re thrilled with it!  83 percent of products purchased with manufacturer coupons in 2009 were done so by just 22 percent of households.  The Krazy Coupon Ladies accounted for 65 percent of manufacturer coupon product purchases and 18 percent of all products purchased in 2009. We drove a disproportionate amount of sales and sales growth — shopping more frequently, making 1.7 more trips than non-users and buying more (at a rate 1.8 times greater annually); source: The Nielson Company.  We are buying more (in order to create our stockpiles) and spending WAY less than we were before!

Brainy Coupon Ladies (and gents): Did you know that adults with college degrees are almost twice as likely to have used coupons in the past six months as those who didn’t graduate from high school?  Strategic shopping makes a lot of sense, and savvy consumers are not letting any of those extra dollars go to waste.  Digital couponing  and websites like TheKrazyCouponLady.com are anchored by intelligent readerships.  The statistics show that users of digital coupons are better educated than users of newspaper coupons and the general population.

Wealthy Coupon Ladies (and gents): And now for my favorite statistic.  One common misconception is that those who use coupons do so because they are destitute and have no other option but to demean themselves by clipping coupons!  Au contraire!  Buckle up for this statistic!  The consumer who prints digital coupons has an average household income of . . . . wait for it. . . . $97,000! Those who earn a household income of $100,000 or more are twice as likely to have redeemed coupons printed from an online source in the past six months than adults with a household income less than $35,000.

So come on, all you “Coupon Virgins”; it’s time to give this Extreme Couponing a try!  You’ll be in good company, and you’ll be riding a digital couponing wave that’s just getting set to pick up steam!   If you want a crash course in how you can be saving $10,000 a year  on groceries, you might consider purchasing a copy of our book, Pick Another Checkout Laney Honey, Your Guide to Save Big Money and Make the Grocery Aisle your Catwalk!  You can also start at TheKrazyCouponLady.com and click on the tab “Beginners“!

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