Social Media & Digital Coupons Driving Industry Trends
Even though overall coupon distribution was down slightly in 2012, redemption rates for some key growth areas were up, according to NCH Marketing's Mid Year 2012 Coupon Facts Report. With more people than ever before redeeming mobile coupons according to Juniper Research, and the rise of Facebook apps, and databases of online coupon codes on sites like coupontrade.com, the coupon industry is being fueled by a new layer of value provided by companies who want to make it easier for consumers to find and use coupons. According to the infographic, How Big is the Coupon Industry (which you can find here), some have taken it a step further, with 47% of women & 33% of men stating that they use social media as the primary source for their coupons.
And it makes sense, the easier it is to find, save and redeem a coupon, the more likely someone is to use it. And when you find a good deal, isn't it natural to want to share that with others? This is what a new breed of companies are doing, focused on helping consumers get the value of coupons without all the heavy lifting you might see on a show like TLC's Extreme Couponing.
Even companies like Largo, Florida based Valpak (yea the same blue envelopes in your mailbox Valpak), are getting into the mobile and social couponing game. Speaking with MediaPost, Fred Steube, Digital Innovation Director, Valpak said, "We are seeing increased use of mobile coupons and increases in redemption." And Nancy Cook, VP Digital Business Development adds, "Our app downloads tripled last year." And when you don't have to dig in your wallet to pull out crumbled paper coupons, or fumble through a binder as thick as Tolstoy's War and Peace to get the value, it makes it that much more appealing.
In a segment this morning on CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS they highlighted the idea of what they call "stealth couponing", where consumers who are maybe too embarrassed to slap a coupon down can use different sites and apps to stealthily save money without anyone knowing the difference. There was also the American Express AMEX Sync program, which will let card holders load offers they see on Twitter or Facebook directly on to their cards to appear as credits.Continued on the next page