Saturday, September 5, 2009

Who's Using Coupons? The Affluent.

Nielsen research has just released data that may surprise some, but not those of us that work within the Coupon industry:

Of the 1.6 billion coupons were redeemed in the first half of 2009 (an increase of 23% YOY), more affluent consumers ($70k+) are considered the super heavy coupon users.

As one would expect, larger households with a female head of household 54 years old and younger are serious coupon users.

Consumers living in affluent suburban areas (defined as including annual income of over $94k living in a suburban ring of metropolitan areas) are also serious coupon users. Nielsen's defined "middle class metropolitan fringes and secondary cities with single family homes & a mix of while & blue collar jobs" also falls into the serious coupon user category.

As we would expect, the recession has driven lighter coupon users in 2008 to become heavier users in 2009.

While this data is from Nielsen's Homescan Panel and typically focuses on consumer packaged good purchases, I would argue that this trend crosses to all coupons, including those for non-grocery purchases and online purchases.

Todd Hale, Nielsen's Senior Vice President for Consumer & Shopper Insights, commented on the data, "while some might think that the fervent coupon clippers are only interested in a good deal, our research shows that this was the only group to show an INCREASE in overall purchases, with or without a coupon, suggesting real benefits to companies deploying coupons in their marketing mix".

"Coupons are back in vogue"

Time Magazine's "Cheapskate Blog" covers this data summarizing it by saying that people who make "decent money" are big time coupon users.

This data confirms what I've observed in the 12 years I've been involved in the coupon industry. What's surprising to me is the number of businesses that either don't understand the power of coupons and how to deploy a strategy around them to significantly grow their sales, or feel that offering a "coupon" has a negative impact to their image.

Want to read more about coupons? Here are all the articles & blog posts that I've found of interest this year.


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