Inmar coupon trends from 2012: Lower values, greater purchase requirements
Earlier this week I took part in a conference reviewing top coupon trends for 2012, which was presented by Inmar. Inmar is one of largest coupon marketing companies in the nation -- they deal with coupon, promotion, and rebate consulting and management for numerous retailers and manufacturers.
The conference analyzed how shoppers redeemed coupons over the past year, noting that "for promotions professionals and digital and retail marketers, there were several disruptive, significant events that measurably impacted the industry."
What were some of them?
- In 2012, 310 billion coupons were distributed. 3 billion were redeemed - less than one percent of all coupons issued were used by consumers.
- Of the coupons redeemed, 2 billion were for food, and 1 billion were for non-food items.
- Redemption is down .5 billion over 2011.
- Of all coupons redeemed by consumers, 43.9% of them came from the inserts. 8% were ecoupons, with 4.6% print-at-home. 18.1% of coupons redeemed were instant redeemable, or what we think of as "peelies!" That's a big increase in shoppers using coupons that are right in front of them in the store.
Inmar noted that 75% of all shoppers use coupons in some form or another. They also noted that the drop in redemption was likely influenced by the following factors (which we've all noticed!)
- Lower face values
- Shorter expiration periods
- Greater purchase requirements (coupons that require you to buy multiple items)
Devora Rogers of Inmar led the conference. There were numerous retailers and manufacturers in attendance, and Devora explained that even though manufacturer coupon redemption is down 14.3% over last year, their 1000-person study of shoppers revealed that shoppers state they're using more coupons than ever before. One possible reason for this is the increase in store coupon usage, both paper and ecoupons, which are not tracked among manufacturer coupon redemptions.
Additional interesting statistics from the conference:
- 54% of shoppers increased their coupon usage because their financial situation changed
- 37% of people surveyed (what Inmar notes as a "radical fringe") wishes all coupons were digital. These shoppers felt entitled to the same discounts other people put in time and effort to obtain by cutting paper coupons and doing research and "homework" ahead of their trips.
- 40% of men are the primary grocery shopper in the household. (This is something I noted a long time ago, simply by observing the demographics of people attending my coupon workshops!) Inmar reminded marketers that the long-held trend of focusing promotions on "Moms" is outdated.
Devora urged manufacturers and retailers to understand that "Coupons are a powerful connection to what drives shoppers and what they're thinking," and to "Think of a coupon as a piece of news," which shoppers are eager to share with their friends and families. "Saving money is a kind of 'news,' and it's news that shoppers don't get tired of." (So true!)
In reviewing the survey data, Devora said "Marketers are doing the opposite of what shoppers are looking for," noting that there is a notable disconnect and gap between what marketers are doing and what shoppers want. She noted that the shorter expiration dates, increased purchase requirements and lower values are unpopular with shoppers, and that many shoppers surveyed felt they simply "didn't have enough time" to redeem short-dated coupons.
In closing, Devora asked "Marketers, is this really the time to be pulling back offers? Pulling back is a strategy we [at Inmar] would be wary of."
Here are some infographics from the conference:
Images courtesy of Inmar Analytics 2012 Coupon Trends - Insights and Analysis