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Printable coupon

If you use coupons wisely, you can get a lot more for a lot less. That’s according to a recent study that examined the habits of coupon users.

Seriously now, did we really need a study to tell us that?

Despite its obvious conclusion, the study does offer some interesting insights about how coupon users compare to the average shopper – and it suggests that stores and manufacturers take notice. “The findings reinforce the value of these shoppers,” said an executive from Coupons.com, which commissioned the research.

The value of couponers – what a concept! That’s hardly the impression many seem to have about coupon users lately.

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Anyway, the report from the research company GfK focuses specifically on users of printable coupons, utilizing data on the redemption of Coupons.com offerings throughout 2012. It found that printable coupon users make more shopping trips, buy more per trip and spend more (pre-coupons) per trip than the average shopper. “Heavy digital coupon shoppers”, defined as the top one-third of redeemers, visit the grocery store an average of 1.7 times a week, 35% more than the average shopper’s 1.25 weekly trips. They also go on 35.5 “stock-up trips” a year, 169% more than the average shopper’s 13.2. In all, heavy couponers amass $6,206 worth of groceries each year, more than twice as much as the average shopper – and they pay a lot less for it too.

How much do they end up paying exactly? Well, we don’t know. The report only includes pre-coupon totals. But a bit of cross-referencing with a recent report by the coupon processing company Inmar could provide some clues.

Let’s do the math. GfK says the heavy printable coupon user redeems 6.6 printable coupons per “stock-up trip”. That’s at least 234 printables in a year. Inmar says internet print-at-home coupons accounted for just 4.6% of total coupon volume in 2012. So if non-printables make up 95.4%, one could assume the average heavy coupon user would have redeemed an additional 5,094 non-printable coupons – for a total of 5,328 coupons all year. Inmar says the average value of coupons redeemed last year was $1.13. So the total value of coupons used by the heavy coupon user was $6,020.62. Which means the best couponers spent a grand total of $185.38 for all of their groceries last year!

Well, that hardly seems right. So much for doing the math.

At any rate, GfK says the simple fact that coupon users buy more stuff makes them important and valuable, and stores and manufacturers shouldn’t be dismissive. “Digital coupon users represent a powerful force in shopping trends,” the report’s author, GfK’s Neal Heffernan, said in a news release. “Online coupons remain a key motivator among essential target groups – especially for the digitally savvy heavy coupon redeemers.”

So think about that the next time your store tightens its coupon policy, or your cashiers roll their eyes at your coupon binder. You may not be spending just $185.38 a year on your groceries. But you’re still getting a lot more, and spending a lot less, than the average shopper. And for that, GfK argues, your store and the manufacturers of the products you buy, owe you their gratitude.

One Comment

  1. “you’re still getting a lot more, and spending a lot less, than the average shopper. And for that, GfK argues, your store and the manufacturers of the products you buy, owe you their gratitude.”

    I have a hard time to believe that GFK considers moving merchandise at any cost a primary goal of retailers and manufacturers.

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