Inmar study: 45% of shoppers load digital coupons to loyalty cards

AUTHOR Dan Alaimo PUBLISHED March 19, 2018

Dive Brief:

  • Forty-five percent of shoppers have loaded digital coupons onto their loyalty cards, according to the Inmar Promotion Industry Analysis and its Shopper Behavior Study, reported by Supermarket News.
  • Coupons are changing shopper behavior. The study found that of shoppers with coupons, 39.1% said they would buy a product sooner; 39% said they would buy a brand they otherwise would not have considered; 38.5% said they would buy more of a product; 29.9% said they would buy a different product within a brand; and 18.1% said they would switch back to a product.
  • Digital coupons have seen five successive years of double-digit increases, with the strongest growth in share of redemption for load-to-card, which is now up 587% from 2013 to 2017. Print-at-home and free-standing inserts (FSIs) showed declines in that same time period, with minus 27% and minus 21%, respectively.

 Dive Insight:

Coupons are changing with the times and have never been more important for driving traffic, sales and brand conversions.

Brands and retailers need to meet shoppers wherever they are on the shopping journey, Holly Pavlika, senior vice president of marketing and content for Inmar, wrote in Supermarket News. In particular, moms from the millennial generation look for offers before, during and after a shopping journey. Convenience and savings on digital and mobile are big drivers, she said.

This means paper coupons distributed with FSIs in the Sunday newspaper must still be considered, as they still dominate distribution and redemption. For example, FSIs accounted for 90.8% of all coupons distributed and 34.6% of all coupons redeemed in 2017. While smaller in number, digital coupons were higher in percentage of redemption. Load-to-card incentives were 1.1% of all coupons distributed, but 10.9% of all coupons redeemed. Seventy-seven percent of shoppers said they had a shopping list for the store, and 44% said they looked for digital coupons before the shopping trip. The ease of putting the coupon discount on the loyalty card makes this a more painless exercise compared to clipping paper coupons.

In a related finding, marketers distributed 38% more of the load-to-card coupons last year, compared to the year before. Redemption of digital coupons increased 67% in that time span. Additionally, Huffington Post has reported that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase and interact with a brand that offers an engaging mobile encounter.

To stay on top of this changing consumer behavior, supermarket operators must be prepared to accept — and promote — all kinds of coupons. Advanced point-of-sale systems make this possible, and also enable to monitor purchases with coupons for fraud. Among regular load-to-card coupon users, 90% reported that the coupon changed their shopping behavior — an opportunity retailers shouldn’t ignore.