Study: Value, deals and coupons have strong influence on grocery purchases
- A growing number of shoppers expect grocers to offer online shopping and home delivery, but good online and in-store deals are also of primary consumer interest, according to a survey by media delivery firm Valassis.
- Ninety-five percent of survey participants said they want coupons for grocery items, and 51% actually plan their shopping trips around retail circulars, coupons and deals.
- While consumers look for deals both online and offline, 99% of the 163 billion coupons distributed by consumer packaged goods companies are issued through print media, according to a Valassis infographic. Yet 16% of the 1.08 billion coupons consumers redeem are from digital formats, with the other 84% print coupons. Valassis calls this a "redemption activation imbalance" between marketer choices and retailer influences.
When it comes to grocery shopping, most consumers are deal-seekers and still love to clip coupons, whether print or digital, in order to save money. Today's shopper also expects savings from these deals to apply whether they're shopping in-store or online.
“Digital disruption remains a prevalent theme today, and the more grocers can focus on providing value to consumers in new as well as proven ways, the more success they’ll experience. This includes offering coupons via every channel — including print — and catering to the latest consumer preferences for ordering groceries,” Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer of Valassis, said in a statement.
A disconnect exists, however, in the way brand marketers currently distribute coupons and the way consumers are actually redeeming them. Many food manufacturers are stuck in an old-school print world while retailers and consumers are pushing toward digital. This latest Valassis study finds that 57% of shoppers are more likely to buy groceries online if they can use more coupons. This figure jumps to 73% for millennials.
Another sticking point is the huge time investment involved in coupon-clipping. According to Valassis’s findings, one in four couponers spends more than four hours a week looking for deals. It seems the right time for players across the grocery sector — brand manufacturers, retailers and coupon/media companies — to align forces to try and cut that amount down and make savings easier for consumers to find and apply.
According to a study by Forrester Research, 79% of shoppers say they wouldn’t buy an item if they forgot to bring the corresponding coupon to the store with them. A new Deloitte study found that 51% of grocery sales are now digitally influenced. This kind of shopper behavior certainly makes a strong case for more digital coupons. Manufacturers and retailers that make coupons easy to find on their websites, social media or mobile apps could see a greater bump in product purchases.
Digital coupons are also a win for retailers, which can use shopper data to target consumers and their likely purchases. Through data generated from a shopping app, for example, retailers would know what the consumer may be most interested in, as well as when he or she may want to purchase it. The evidence is mounting. A digital revolution of the coupon industry should happen sooner rather than later.
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