Upswing in Coupon Use During Economic Downturn
Could adding money-saving coupons to the products they sell help distributors grow profits? Perhaps. It seems tough economic times and technology advancements are driving a coupon usage renaissance among United States shoppers.
A recent survey of 1,529 U.S. consumers conducted in mid-February by Toronto-based ICOM Information & Communications (ICOM) revealed 67 percent are more likely to use coupons during a recession—45 percent much more likely, and 22 percent somewhat more likely.
Broken down by age, 71 percent of consumers in the 18 to 34 year-old age bracket said they are much more likely or somewhat more likely to use coupons in a recession. That compares to 68 percent in the 35 to 54 year-old bracket and 63 percent among those 55 years and above.
Geographically, 70 percent of Midwesterners said they are much more likely or somewhat more likely to use coupons in a recession, versus 69 percent of Westerners, 64 percent of Northeasterners and 62 percent of southerners.
Income didn’t make a significant difference to respondents, with 68 percent of those earning less than $50,000 a year reporting they are much more likely or somewhat more likely to use coupons in a recession, compared to 67 percent for those earning more than $50,000.
Historically, coupons represent a key area in which manufacturers operating in economic hard times have not cut back. In the weakened economy of 2001, ICOM tracking showed a significant increase in the number of coupons consumers redeemed each week.
“The consumer incentive certainly is there,” said Peter Meyers, ICOM marketing vice president. “Look at it this way: households of two adults and two children who use coupons wisely can save 25 percent on their grocery bill annually, without cutting purchases. That saves $2,400 a year based on a typical $800 a month grocery spend, which outstrips the $1,800 economic stimulus check this family has coming in May from Washington.”