5 Ways Couponing Has Changed and Why It Matters

Thanks to TV shows like TLC’s Extreme Couponing and websites such as Groupon, couponing—especially “extreme couponing”—has become the hottest pastime for money-savers and bargain-hunters. This has led to massive changes in how people find, clip, and curate their discounts. Understanding how the digital age makes couponing so different—and how your customers react to them nowadays—will help your business market and reach an extremely active, educated, and engaged audience.

5 Ways Couponing Is Different:

1. The Digital Revolution

The days of clipping coupons from the Sunday newspaper are changing to a different medium for newer generations. Today, most bargain hunters look online for deals. Despite the shift from print to digital, bargain-hunters still value well-known brands with longevity, like Valpak or even their local newspaper, to get them consistently great discounts for their neighborhood.

However, it’s important to note that while searching for coupons in the weekly newspaper might not be as popular as it was 30 years ago, having printed or printable coupons is still considered very valuable to the consumer (and coupon user). It’s often that digital is helping drive these printed coupons, or consumers expect higher quality and more personalized coupon options delivered right to their door.

Knowing where your clients go consistently for couponing will help you place marketing with the highest ROI in mind.

2. More Customers are Couponers

According to Mainstreet, 96% of Americans use coupons at time of purchase. Further, a 2013 survey by RetailMeNot states that 53% value brands that offer coupon discounts—and 63% purposefully plan their online shopping around coupons and deal days. Marketers should add coupon distribution as a way to attract new audiences and get them in the door, as well as build a loyal customer base.

3. Shift to Mobile

Mobile couponing via smartphones and tablets has slowly been embraced by even the most traditional couponers. Users have made such an indent that Juniper Research states that there are currently 560 million current mobile couponers. In addition the research predicts that by 2019, the number will double to over 1 billion. This makes it a great time to get in on the mobile couponing trend. eMarketer states that only 36.5% of marketers utilize mobile networks such as in app offers or discount centered apps. That gap leaves a huge opportunity for businesses to grab attention while the technology is still picking up steam.

4. Social Media Marketing

Knowing where your customers are and what they are doing is the most effective way to develop a marketing plan. Social media sites such as Swarm, Yelp, Foursquare and Loopt that have local check-ins provide a unique opportunity for businesses to not only connect with customers in real time, but to also promote themselves to customer’s friends and family. For example, a business offering a discount to people who check-in on Foursquare will not only entice the customer, but will also most likely see their discounts shared to new viewers in that person’s social media networks. There are other coupon based apps such as ibotta and Checkout51 that make couponing just another part of a social media marketing strategy.

5. Good Discounts Aren’t Enough

With so many advertisements, coupons, and discounts being sent to a customer, it is hard for a business to rise above the noise. By having a coupon that not only is attractive but also combines new digital couponing with print can have double the impact. One solution is to target your customer base by first finding them digitally through an email advertisement that gives them a discount, but to also tease additional savings in a print coupon. The deal shopper will not only click on the email component but also seek out the print ad to obtain the higher savings. This doubles the ROI while still keeping advertising costs affordable.

Get Started Today: Couponing Strategies that Work

In the past, coupons were just a carrot dangling on a stick in an attempt to get a customer to visit a store. But today, having a new media coupon strategy can totally change your business’ marketing strategy for good.

Start by identifying past couponing success including noting if the coupon or discount was digital or print and how it was distributed.

Then, seek out new outlets such as deal websites or mobile apps to promote the offer to a more targeted demographic. By knowing your current or potential customer base and their motivations for using both coupons and discount promotions, your business can evolve your couponing from Grandma’s clippings to a promotion that wows and attracts new business.   

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