Overall coupon use holds steady with increased FSI distribution, digital coupon redemption
Inmar, a company that operates intelligent commerce networks, announced today that during the first quarter of 2014, redemption for digital coupons grew 53 percent compared with Q1 2013. Digital coupons are coupons that consumers load directly to their shopper loyalty accounts from retailer and publisher websites, as well as other locations. With no paper involved, these offers are applied automatically at checkout and discounts are instantly credited when shoppers present their loyalty card or unique individual identifier.
This growth in redemption continues the upward movement in digital coupon activity that Inmar, and the entire industry, have witnessed over the past 18 months. In 2013, more than 66 million digital coupons were redeemed industry-wide according to Inmar estimates – a 141 percent increase over 2012. Inmar alone facilitated the redemption of almost 44 million digital coupons in 2013, giving it the largest share of digital coupon redemption information in the industry.
While digital coupons are becoming more popular with shoppers in an increasingly device-dependent marketplace, the preferred method of coupon distribution for marketers – and the most popular method for redemption by consumers – continues to be Free-standing Inserts (FSIs). FSIs represented 91.8 percent of all coupons distributed in Q1 2014 and accounted for 44.4 percent of all redeemed coupons.
Industry-wide coupon distribution (including both traditional paper and digitally discovered offers) during the first three months of 2014 increased modestly (0.4 percent) compared to the same period last year while redemption fell just slightly – down 2.5 percent versus Q1 2013. Of the more than 93.5 billion coupons for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) distributed during the quarter, 41.4 percent were for food products and 58.6 percent for non-food products. This is only a slight change from last year’s first quarter when 42.5 percent of coupons distributed were for food products and 57.5 percent were for non-food items.
Other than FSIs, methods accounting for sizable portions of coupons redeemed during the first quarter of 2014 included instant redeemable (14 percent), electronic checkout (8.1 percent), shelf pad (5.6 percent), Internet print at home (4.3 percent) and direct mail (4.1 percent).
“Coupon activity from this first quarter confirms what our shopper behavior surveys continue to portray –shoppers want to save both time and money and are using multiple methods, across multiple media, to discover and acquire coupons that help them speed shopping and stretch budgets,” says Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. “With shoppers regularly using an average of 5.8 methods to find relevant offers, marketers must employ omni-channel deployment of coupons in order to successfully penetrate markets and engage targeted audiences with the dynamic, timely content they want,” adds Mounts.
Inmar has been in the promotions industry for more than 30 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.