In many ways, using coupons and buying groceries online are incompatible – but fretting about it seems irrelevant. Because those who like coupons and deals tend not to shop online, and those who shop online don’t care much about coupons and deals.

But what about those who are already doing a little bit of both, buying some items online and some in-store – how important are coupons and deals to them?

Important enough that brands and retailers should take notice.

The retail data analytics company 84.51° has taken a closer look at omnichannel shoppers, who divide their grocery shopping between online and in-store. About 20% said they shop both methods about equally, while the rest are split down the middle – 40% doing most of their shopping online, with the other 40% doing most of their shopping in-store.

So there’s no generalizing the preferences of these hybrid shoppers – you can’t lump them in with exclusively online shoppers who are ambivalent about coupons and promotions, or exclusively in-store shoppers who are always on the hunt for deals. Which way do these combo shoppers lean, then?

84.51°’s findings indicate that omnichannel shoppers want savings.


When asked which features are their favorite when filling their grocery shopping baskets online, three out of four survey respondents named digital coupons. As you might expect, “this feature is especially loved by very price-sensitive omnichannel shoppers,” 84.51° noted. While 66% said they typically use an online grocer’s search functionality to find the specific items they want to buy, 62% search specifically for deals, by browsing through promotions and digital coupons when deciding what to buy.

The majority of hybrid shoppers also want the same experience – and the same savings – however they choose to shop. Many retailers or third-party delivery services like Instacart mark up their online prices to account for the cost of convenience. But two thirds of the shoppers in 84.51°’s survey said they expect pricing to be the same online and in-store, and a similar number want to see the same coupons available.

Overall, the ability to apply coupons or offers is among the most important attributes in deciding where and whether to shop online, cited by 76%. The only attributes rated as being more important are the availability of items, cited by 81%, and the accuracy of a shopper’s order, cited by 88%.

These findings would seem to place omnichannel shoppers in a category closer to that of in-store shoppers – when push comes to shove, they’ll get their groceries where the selection and the savings are best. And oftentimes, that means in store. So 84.51°’s findings could be a warning to retailers against taking their online shoppers for granted.

That’s in contrast to a report from the grocery ecommerce platform provider Mercatus released late last year, in which online shoppers said convenience was the most important factor in deciding to shop online, while the “ability to save more money with digital coupons” was ranked dead last. “People always like to say they want to save money,” Mercatus Vice President of Marketing Mark Fairhurst told Coupons in the News at the time. But “shopping online is not a behavior that reflects that desire as it’s more about the convenience.”

That conclusion would seem to make sense. But the Mercatus survey appeared to be something of an outlier, since survey after survey that preceded it found that coupons, promotions and low prices were all important to online grocery shoppers. 84.51°’s survey found that 50% of respondents would shop online more often if there were more coupons or savings available, and 61% said they’d buy more online if the prices were are low are they are in store.

So shoppers who care about convenience above all else may not mind paying more and missing out on deals. But for everyone else, retailers be warned – skimping on the savings could have these omnichannel grocery shoppers doing their omnichannel grocery shopping somewhere else.

Image source: Instacart

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