Traditional offers still dominate, but volume of digital “clips” continues to climb
Inmar, a company that operates intelligent commerce networks, today announced that 2.14 billion coupons (including offers for both food and non-food items) were redeemed during the first nine months of 2014. Of all the offers redeemed so far this year, 40.8 percent came from Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs), which represented the largest share of redemption among all “major” methods — those with more than 20 million redemptions.
Although FSIs remain the predominant method for redemption, shoppers’ desires for convenient ways to save continue to fuel significant growth in digitally discovered coupons. “Clips” of paperless digital coupons, which consumers load directly to retailer loyalty cards, exceeded 650 million during the first three quarters of the year. Redemption of these coupons, referred to as Load-to-Card (L2C), has more than doubled since 2013. At the same time, Inmar estimates that 600 million Print-at-Home (PAH) coupons were printed during this same nine month period — with a measured average redemption rate of 11.23 percent.
“Shoppers want convenience when it comes to finding ways to save and their surging use of Load-to-Card coupons shows us that,” says Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. “The increasing capability of marketers to personalize and target these paperless offers is only going to grow their popularity among shoppers and enhance their effectiveness as tools for engagement and conversion.”
While L2C offers enjoyed explosive growth, FSIs still accounted for the majority (91%) of the 251 billion coupons distributed during the nine-month period. The 251 billion total represents a small decline in overall distribution (-1.7%) compared with the same period last year. Overall redemption was also down slightly (-2.5%) at the end of Q3 2014 versus the end of Q3 2013.
After FSIs, the most popular methods with shoppers (in terms of redemption volume) for the first nine months of 2014 were Instant Redeemable and Instant Redeemable Cross-Ruff which, together, accounted for 22 percent of all coupons redeemed. Other in-store methods garnering significant shares of redemption were Electronic Checkout with an eight percent share of coupons redeemed and Shelf Pad, representing 5.7 percent of the coupons redeemed during this period.
As marketers continue to experiment to find the right formula for motivating acquisition and driving redemption, face values for distributed coupons — at the end of Q3 — were up for both food and non-food offers ($1.15 and $2.05, respectively). However, the redemption period for food and non-food coupons distributed contracted (down to 2.4 months and 1.9 months, respectively).
Inmar has been in the promotion industry for more than 34 years and currently processes and analyzes more than 2.3 billion coupons and related campaigns annually, making it an expert in planning, executing and measuring promotions. In addition to providing promotion management, coupon processing, business intelligence and consulting, Inmar closely monitors coupon distribution and redemption across the country and regularly reports on trends and activity in this sector.