Going Online for Coupons

It has yet to challenge the Sunday newspaper as leading source of coupons for consumers. The Internet is gaining, though. A Scarborough Research report says 11 percent of households now get coupons via the Internet. For comparison’s sake, 53 percent get coupons from the Sunday paper.

Among other leading sources are the mail (35 percent of consumers get coupons this way), in-store coupons (33 percent), preferred customer/loyalty cards (22 percent), in-store circulars (22 percent), weekday newspapers (17 percent), product packages (17 percent) and magazines (15 percent). Though each of these sources has seen a rise since 2005 in the percentage of consumers getting coupons from it, the increase has been steepest for the Internet.

The same report notes a strong correlation between the percentage of people in a locale who read the Sunday paper and the percentage who use grocery coupons. For instance, in Milwaukee — the “leading coupon-clipping market” — the locals are 24 percent more likely than adults nationwide to read the Sunday paper. “Nationally, Sunday newspaper readers are 15 percent more likely than all adults to use grocery coupons in their household.”

Meanwhile, the poor economy is giving a boost to consumers’ use of coupons. In a survey by the Nielsen Co. (Adweek’s parent company), 32 percent of respondents said they’re now using coupons more often. That compares with 25 percent saying the same in a December 2007 survey.