Digital Coupon Use Skyrockets

NEW YORK Coupon usage on rose 212 percent for the first five months this year, compared with the same period in 2008, per a report released today (Monday) by the digital coupon network. expects digital coupon usage to hit $1 billion in savings by year’s end. The amount would top the $313 million that consumers redeemed in 2008.

Consumers in the Southeast printed the most coupons, followed by those in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, West, New England and Pacific Northwest.

Food accounted for nearly 50 percent of all coupons printed in 2009, followed by household (14 percent), personal care (11 percent) and beverages (8 percent). Entertainment (7 percent), health (6 percent) and pet care (3 percent) followed.

The spike in growth comes as cash-strapped consumers increasingly turn to coupons — both mobile and newspaper clippings. However, expects the bargain hunting to continue even if the economy gets better.

According to the report, brands and consumers alike are turning to coupons for the following reasons:

•    Convenience. The ability to search through and print coupons at any time of the day makes it an appealing option for busy consumers.

•    A migration to the Internet for content. As more consumers gain access to the Internet, many are also turning to the web for news, blogs and other types of content.

•    The decline of newspapers. The number of consumers printing and only redeeming coupons from the Web — as opposed to newspaper inserts — rose 46 percent to six million Americans in 2008 compared to 2007.

•    Mobile coupon usage attracts non-newspaper subscribers. The availability and convenience of digital coupons is attracting a newer, and younger, base of consumers, many of whom use Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media.

Nielsen Business Media