Digital Coupon Redemptions Driving Purchases


There’s no question that digital coupons significantly impact shoppers’ pre-shop preparation and materially influence purchase prioritization. However, new research from our Inmar Analytics team points to more and more digital coupons being acquired during the actual shopping trip – and driving additional, previously unplanned purchases.

In-store downloads increasing

The Inmar Data Analytics team recently reviewed a sample of approximately 40 million digital offer redemptions from 2017 and found that 18.8% of these redemptions occurred within an hour of the offers being “clipped.” This additional evidence of accelerating in-store acquisition aligns with data collected during Inmar’s 2018 Shopper Behavior Study -- as more than 50% of shoppers participating in the study acknowledged clipping digital coupons during a shopping trip.

Although impressive, this speed to redemption is not entirely surprising given the inherent – and growing – popularity of digital coupons. Inmar Analytics’ 2018 Promotion Industry Analysis reported a phenomenal 67% increase in redemption volume for digital coupons between 2017 and 2016. Marketers, responding to shopper demand (although still not meeting it), increased their distribution of digital coupons by 38% over the same period.

Advertising key to driving acquisitions

While this on-the-go clipping is being enabled by digital coupons’ ease of acquisition, the frequency with which it’s occurring can be comfortably attributed to (some) retailers more aggressively, and successfully, promoting their digital coupon programs to shoppers across channels. Consistent omnichannel engagement with shoppers regarding the availability of digital coupons is a marketing “must” for retailers looking to grow digital offer redemption and drive promotion-motivated sales. And in-store advertising is critical.

As a part of this shopper engagement, retailers need to ensure they are fully leveraging the store circular to maximize the visibility of their digital coupon offerings as this legacy vehicle continues to be a go-to source for the majority of shoppers looking to save on their grocery bills. Some 79% of the shoppers surveyed for our  2018 Shopper Behavior Study said they regularly use the store circular – either the online or paper version – to enhance their shopping experience including finding coupons and identifying loyalty card benefits.

For all the seeming effort that retailers are putting into advertising their loyalty programs and the associated digital promotions, the messaging appears to be missing many shoppers and would-be digital coupon users. Among shoppers participating in our latest shopper behavior research who indicated they did not belong to a retailer loyalty program, 40% said the reason they were not members was that they did not know if the retailer had a loyalty program available.

Even more disconcerting to retailers should be the fact that 23% of ALL the shoppers surveyed during this research effort did not know that the primary store where they normally shop had a digital coupon program!

Digital influence, and impact, will only grow

Last year represented the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in redemption volume for digital coupons and, by all indications, this upward trajectory is only going to continue. As shoppers grow more habitual in downloading coupons at shelf, and as retailers become more effective in advertising digital offers in proximity to product, marketers will see digital coupons driving more and more decisions -- and more and more purchases.

Susan Jones, Senior Director, Promotion Analytics,Inmar