The 2012 coupon redemption numbers are in and the results are very interesting. You would think that in a struggling economy, people would turn to coupons even more, but that was not the case last year. Although newspaper coupon redemption may be down, coupon printing is on the rise, according to the Coupons.com CEO.
Newspaper coupon redemption down
According to the annual report of US coupon trends, issued by Vlassis and NCH Marketing Services Inc., the number one reason why consumers reduced coupon use by 17% in 2012 over 2011 was because they couldn't find coupons for the products they used. Sound familiar?
Even though the total number of newspaper coupons distributed to consumers were the same in 2011 and 2012 (305 billion coupons), there were many more coupons issued for new products last year than the year before. Because the consumer base isn't already established for new products, the redemptions were much lower. That makes perfect sense. For those who tend to use coupons only for specific name brand products they already use, they won't be interested in coupons for new products they have not tried.
For many of us, though, the coupons for new products are some of the better value coupons and often they are the reason we try a new product. If they didn't offer those coupons for new products, many couponers I know would never even consider the item.
Additional reasons that the redemption rate decreased:
* Average face value of coupons declined
* Coupons requiring the purchase of 2 or more products increased
* Coupon expiration dates decreased 6.1% to 9.3 weeks on average (8 weeks for non-food items)
Coupon printing increases
On the flip side, the Coupons.com CEO, Steven Boal, just announced that coupon printing on their site has increased significantly. He sees this as an indicator that consumers are under more economic pressure.
Did the study results hit home for you? Was your redemption of newspaper coupons more or less in 2012 than the year before? Are you printing more coupons this year?
So far in 2013, I would have to say that my coupon use overall has increased because of all the super coupon events at Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods. I am also using more printable coupons than ever because so many of their values are often higher than the newspaper coupons.