- Consumers used electronic coupons more frequently than coupons distributed in paper free-standing inserts in 2020 — the first time that has ever happened — according to survey data released Tuesday by Inmar Intelligence.
- Digital load-to-card coupons accounted for 29.3% of coupon redemptions during the year, a 27% year-over-year increase compared with 2019, the research firm found. Sixty-nine percent of shoppers in Generation X who participated in the study said they are actively using digital coupons as they decide which products to buy. Among baby boomers, the figure was 58%.
- Consumers are gravitating toward digital discounts as retailers step up their use of electronic promotions in a bid to personalize their relationships with shoppers.
The findings from Inmar Intelligence's 2021 Shopper Behavior Study reflect the increasingly important role online tools are playing in the way consumers approach purchasing decisions.
Across generations, baby boomers were the most likely to look for digital coupons before making a trip to a store to purchase groceries.
The data also indicate many consumers closely associate allegiance to particular retailers with their ability to save money when buying groceries and other products. Ninety-four percent of shoppers in Gen X surveyed by Inmar said personalized coupons and promotions were key reasons to join a store's loyalty program. Baby boomers were close behind at 86%.
Other research supports the evidence from Inmar about the strong connection between online technology and people's shopping behavior. According to a survey by sales and marketing agency Acosta conducted between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5, for example, 58% of Americans are comfortable using digital tools when grocery shopping, compared with 42% who felt that way in 2017.
Rising interest among consumers in using digital tools to make buying decisions coincides with the pandemic-driven boom in grocery e-commerce that has taken place over the past year. With a significant percentage of shoppers closely associating smartphones and computers with grocery purchasing, retailers have stepped up their use of online technology as a way to draw and retain consumers.
In March, Southeastern Grocers, operator of the Winn-Dixie chain, teamed up with marketing firms Eagle Eye Solutions and Neptune Retail Solutions to expand the number of personalized promotions it distributes. The arrangement will see the grocery chain send out more than 200 million personalized offers per month.
Sprouts Farmers Market has tapped people's comfort with technology as a key pillar of its growth strategy. After concluding that digital advertising was more effective at reaching its target market, the company reallocated its budget for printed marketing materials to digital ones, CEO Jack Sinclair said last summer.
Shipt began working with Quotient last May, a coupon-focused digital marketing company, to give consumers access to manufacturer's coupons through the e-commerce provider's platform.