Couponing for Traffic and Sales

Mar 19, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

American consumers were blanketed with 336 billion paper coupons in 2002, a 3.4 percent increase from the previous year.

At the same time, says a press release from CMS, “The number of coupons redeemed by consumers during 2002 dipped 5.4% to 3.7 billion coupons, with most of the weakness in the first half of the year. By midyear, coupon redemption trends strengthened, with more consumers proactively seeking savings as concerns rose over war, unemployment, market declines and rising energy costs.”

CMS research also shows growth in coupons downloaded from the Internet. A recent New York Times piece reported, “Consumers downloaded about 242 million coupons last year, 111 percent more than in 2001, according to CMS Inc., a coupon management company. Of those, 7.6 million were redeemed, which is more than a fourfold increase from 2001. But online coupons are still a tiny share of the coupon market. More than 335 billion paper coupons were distributed last year, with 3.7 billion being redeemed for a total of $3.1 billion.”

Moderator’s Comment: How will current economic and
political conditions affect coupon usage? What is the future of couponing?

If economic uncertainty is a prime indicator of coupon
usage, then we can expect to see an increase in redemption in 2003. Greater
availability of coupons for CPG brands and retailers online will increase distribution
and redemption rates. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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