You’ve probably heard of the humble coupon at some point in your life. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the concept. You may even have used coupons to save money on household items such as groceries and travel, or to earn discounts at restaurants and retailers.
In fact, coupon use in North America reaches nearly everyone. A 2018 global survey conducted by Coupons.com found that 89% of respondents use coupons, while 82% have used them in the past year. In the UK, the figures are similar: 80% use coupons and 66% have done so in the past year.
Although there’s lots of competition in the coupon space, especially with the recent rise of online marketplaces, the humble coupon is here to stay. In fact, recent data suggests that consumers prefer to learn about discounts and rewards through coupons rather than other forms of marketing. Here’s why.
The Effect Of Changing Scenarios
The internet and mobile commerce have had a huge impact on the way we shop. About 66% of American Express survey respondents said they mainly use coupons to save money, while 56% of those in the UK use them to do the same. The rise of the “sharing economy,” where consumers can earn money and discounts by sharing resources such as their homes or cars, may also explain the shift toward coupons as a way of accessing discounts.
Before the emergence of the sharing economy, most people used coupons simply to gain savings. The growth of online marketplaces, which can provide shoppers with discounts and offers, has made coupons less necessary, as people can access the discounts directly on the marketplace sites.
When it comes to coupon use, generation Z is leading the way. In the 2018 American Express survey, 80% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 cited coupon use to save money, compared to 59% of millennials and 56% of Gen Xers. This follows a trend of youth turning to digital coupons and offering platforms like TikTok, which provide users with the ability to gain discounts and savings through a combination of marketing and PR tactics.
The Influence Of Digital Tools
Technology is changing the way we engage with the world around us and how we expect to receive information. The 2018 American Express survey found that 64% of respondents use coupons to navigate social media platforms, while 58% use them to search for information online. This follows a trend of consumers using digital tools to their advantage, as 77% of respondents use social media platforms to learn about brands and products, and 71% use online search to do the same. Platforms like TikTok allow users to discover brands, products, and services via short-form videos.
The rise of TikTok and other platforms, as well as the increasing influence of social media in our lives, may explain the increase in popularity of digital coupons. A report from the NPD Group, a market research firm, predicts that as many as 24.8 million American consumers will use digital coupons by next year. That’s nearly 1 in 5 American shoppers.
Consumers are using digital coupons as an easy and convenient way to save money, research products and brands, and learn about new products and offers. Online marketplaces and social media platforms are also providing customers with the information they need to make the right choice, and companies such as PeachPromo, a coupon platform, see this as a way to remain relevant in an ever-changing world.
Coupons As A Customer Engagement Strategy
In light of this trend, brands should consider using coupons as a way to stay relevant and establish a connection with consumers. Several large companies have already begun implementing this strategy, and the benefits are becoming more apparent.
According to Shift Markets, a consultancy that studies inbound marketing, marketers can gain a 7% to 10% lift in brand recall and a 5% to 7% increase in customer engagement simply by offering coupons. This is mainly because coupons allow consumers to receive information about savings and offers that are relevant to them, rather than forcing them to receive information they do not want, simply to gain access to a discount.
In the last two years, numerous major brands have launched their own versions of digital coupons, establishing an open marketplace for consumers to compare offers and find the best deals. Some of the biggest names in retail include Walmart, Target, and American Express, which all offer their own digital coupon platforms.
This trend shows no signs of slowing down, and brands must continue to develop new ways to attract, retain, and motivate consumers. Although discounts and savings seem to be the main draw for consumers, creating a community of people interested in your product or service through social media or word of mouth marketing is also effective.
Marketing, PR, and communications professionals have a wealth of tools at their fingertips to drive marketing strategy and digital marketing campaigns. From influencers and branded content to SEO, content marketing, and social media, marketing teams can create strategies and tactics to reach consumers where they are online.
When it comes to coupon use, consumers have an array of options when it comes to gaining savings. From digital coupons to smartphone apps and online marketplaces, more and more people are taking advantage of the digital sphere and all its perks.