In Promotions

A couple of weeks ago, Inmar distributed a press release announcing a one percent increase in overall coupon redemption for the third quarter of 2013. (The text of that release is included in this newsletter.) Despite the somewhat subdued headline, the positive takeaways from the release are both numerous and immediate. Most immediately, there was an increase in overall coupon redemption — albeit a small one. But, I’ll take up over down any day. Does this uptick suggest a slowing in the redemption decline that we’ve all been battling for a while, now? Maybe. But, it’s really too early to tell. We’ll know more at the end of the current quarter.

What we do know — right now – is that Q3 2013 saw not only continued, accelerated growth in redemption for paperless, digital coupons, but also serious, double-digit growth in redemption volume (versus Q3 2012)  for a number of paper methods – mostly, but not inclusively, in store. Here’s a quick look at some of the data:

Electronic Shelf +63.6 percent
On Pack Cross-Ruff +32.6 percent
Instant Redeemable +19.4 percent
Direct Mail +17.6 percent

Along with direct mail, two other paper coupon types discovered “pre-trip” that registered increases in redemption volume versus Q3 2012 included Electronic Checkout (up 9.8 percent increase) and Internet print-at-home which rose 2.6 percent.

What these usage numbers most immediately tell us is that there are a number of methods being employed successfully to meet the rapidly growing (and digitally accelerated) expectation among shoppers that they are “entitled” to easily realized savings. Some methods leverage more precise targeting than others, but all of those listed above share the consumer-attracting elements of availability and convenience. All, of course, are delivering what shoppers want most – savings.

And, while detailed pre-planning is becoming easier and more commonplace through improved technology, in-aisle decision-making is still a significant part of the shopping trip – something Inmar’s shopper surveys continue to show. By properly deploying in-store methods, retailers and brands can effectively engage with shoppers at the shelf and positively influence this phase of the path to purchase. The data point to marketers doing just that.

As Inmar’s CEO, David Mounts, said recently “Shoppers are actively pursuing additional savings in aisle — augmenting and enhancing their pre-planned shopping strategies. With the abundance of value opportunities and marketers working to make these types of offers more relevant to customers, it’s a great time to be a savings-minded shopper.”

Given what we’re seeing in terms of both multiple-method use and pre-trip offer acquisition, I’d be curious to know how influential you believe in-store offers are with shoppers. How quickly, or will they, take the shopper “off list?” Do you see products promoted in store replacing items on the list or simply being added to what’s already on the list or in the cart? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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