Inmar Inc. | November 8, 2012

Digital paperless coupons don't quite make up a large share of total distribution and redemption just yet. But at the rate this new method of distributing discounts is growing, it is beginning to shape the future of promotion.

Inmar predicts that more than 28,000 retail locations will be set up to accept these offers by the end of the year and that those locations will have accepted over 50 million paperless redemptions in 2012 alone. The growth in redemption is fairly geometric too. Starting from a pretty small base in 2011, and adding redemptions from new retail locations all of the time, Inmar estimates that consumers redeemed over 13 million digital paperless redemptions in just the third quarter. That number is expected to double in the fourth quarter.
That redemption growth is driven by a significant growth in adoption: 74% growth in the number of consumers signing up to participate in digital programs, 77% growth in the number of digital offers those shoppers select and 97% growth in the number of digital offers consumers are redeeming.
With those kind of numbers now, it's no wonder that Inmar is predicting that more than 100,000 retail locations will be connected and enabled for digital paperless redemption by 2015. By that time, Inmar anticipates nearly 100 billion paperless coupons will be in distribution, representing a solid quarter of the coupons distributed.
But this new reality isn't one that's void of paper. We're finding that brands are (and are likely to continue) using their traditional coupon strategies with methods like free-standing inserts (FSIs) to get advertising impressions as well as incremental sales. Digital paperless offers are often seen as additive to those efforts, reaching a new consumer set and adding another engagement layer to marketing efforts. What's more, this incremental spend is generating solid ROI for brands, making it much easier to justify and invest in for the future.