Paper Coupon Decline Allows Grocers to Personalize Shopper Relationships

It is not surprising that younger consumers are more likely to use digital shopping tools, but according to a new study, e-coupon use among all consumers has eclipsed paper coupons for the first time ever. Physical coupons have seen a long decline, with mailed coupons often going unused. However, the impending demise of traditional coupon clipping means that retailers can more efficiently and effectively target shoppers and deliver savings and increased sales.

Recent research shows 69% of Generation X shoppers and 58% of baby boomers polled actively use digital coupons. A similar study from 2019 found that 43% of all shoppers still looked for paper coupons before shopping for groceries, but in just a year, that figure dropped as shoppers have become more comfortable using digital tools. Today, 94% of Gen X shoppers and 86% of baby boomers look for the personalized promotions that digital coupons and store loyalty programs deliver.

This level of personalization is a big reason why digital coupons are so popular. Instead of searching a mailer or newspaper insert for items that are on special, consumers can let the specials find them. Many grocers have found that digital advertising is more effective at reaching customers, likely because both newspaper circulation and physical mail relevance have declined in our society. 

The trend is great news for grocery stores that implement smart retail solutions. These solutions support omnichannel retail and allow retailers to build promotions that are directly informed by shopper behavior. Digital coupons deliver on-point promotions that are much more likely to be used. If your shopper frequently buys cat food, for example, you can deliver targeted digital coupons for their routine brand as a loyalty reward or introduce new products that the shopper might not have considered. While print coupon popularity is plummeting, 80% of shoppers report that digital coupons changed their behavior, leading to more immediate sales and trying new brands. Saving money is always trending – retailers just have new tools to deliver savings in a more impactful way.

Is your grocery store embracing digital coupons? Connect with STCR to learn more about how digital coupons, loyalty programs, and other tools for shopper engagement can increase both customer savings and store profit margins.