Coupons have been in use since the late 19th century when Coca-Cola first issued a coupon for one bottle of the popular soft drink. Since then, coupons have gained tremendous popularity across all shopping categories as an effective marketing tool.
We answered the most pressing questions, so you can be up to date with all the latest coupon facts that you probably didn’t even know. Keep reading to learn about the coupon industry, common trends, and how to become a super-savvy shopper who gets all the best deals.
How Many People Are Using Coupons?
If you still associate using coupons with cutting out little text boxes from newspapers, you’re in the right place to get familiar with current coupon trends. Yes, coupons from newspapers are still in use, but the coupon industry has successfully transformed into an exciting digital world you don’t want to miss!
1. How big is the coupon industry?
Despite a few years where coupon use shortly decreased, the coupon industry has been growing overall in the last couple of decades. There may not be any official data on the global use of coupons as of yet, but industry analysis of the US can give a pretty good picture.
According to recent data, the coupon market size in the US has reached over $100 million in worth, and over 300 billion coupons were printed in 2016 alone. With the transition to digital coupons on the rise, projections of this growing marketing trend are visible. Estimations show that 145.3 million digital shoppers used coupons in 2021. For comparative purposes, 142.3 million redeemed online coupons in 2020.
2. What percent of consumers use coupons?
Over 90% of consumers use coupons. If this number surprises you and you think it’s too high, it’s possible that you still ascribe to the social myth that the only people who use coupons are those who are either poor or cheap.
Research shows, however, that people look for discounts and special offers, regardless of their income bracket. For example, only 15% of consumers say they rarely rely on a coupon, meaning almost everyone uses them at one point or another. Who doesn’t like free money, right?
3. What types of people use coupons?
With the advent of digital coupons and promotions, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers and are now the most likely to use coupons regardless of the type of purchase. According to coupon industry statistics, a vast 30% of them say that they always use coupons, compared to just 19% of the general population.
It remains, all types of people use coupons, with over 90% of people using them regardless of their income level. Notably, 86% of households making more than $200,000 per year will still look for coupons.
4. Do Millennials use coupons?
Absolutely. Millennials are currently the most likely generation to use coupons. It’s been a long road to get them into couponing, though. This digital generation just couldn’t get into newspaper coupons, but since the transition to online codes and offers, Millennials can’t help but save.
The coupon industry’s move from print to digital advertising has been paramount to its continued relevance in today’s market. Coupon market statistics support the fact that Millennials will continue to be a loyal coupon generation, with 89% of them willing to purchase and try a new brand if they get a coupon or a discount for it.
5. Do discounts increase sales?
Without a doubt, discounts absolutely increase sales. Sales and coupons are strategic methods used by companies to sell more products and generate more profit. On average, statistics on coupon usage show that consumers who use coupons spend 24% more than regular customers.
Discounts increase store traffic and stimulate sales. As an example, research shows that 63% of consumers say they’ve bought an item just because they had a coupon for it or it was on sale. There are ways to use coupons, however, that don’t involve mindlessly buying everything with a discount sticker on it. Know what you need first, then find the coupon for it.
6. What is a digital coupon?
Even though many shoppers still prefer getting printed coupons in the mail, online and mobile coupons are the format of the future. There are several different types of digital coupons:
- Downloadable coupons: You can download these coupons from several online places (most likely, the company’s website) and print them to use in-store, or copy the QR code to use them online.
- Mobile coupons: These are most likely integrated into the company’s mobile app, where you can easily access them, and the cashier in the store will scan the code on the screen. In some cases, it’s enough to just activate the coupon on your app.
- Coupon codes: These codes are one of the top coupon trends today, as they can be easily distributed. You’ll find them across web shops, websites offering deals, and often on social media as well. It’s enough to enter the code in the online check-out process, and your purchase amount will be decreased.
- Automatic discounts: With these, you may never even know you’ve used a coupon because it will automatically be applied when you proceed with your purchase. These discounts are mostly active in online stores and occur whenever the store has an ongoing promotion.
7. How many coupons are used per year?
The exact number of coupons is difficult to estimate, with billions of codes and coupons distributed across the globe every year. One statistic showed that in 2016 the US printed 307 billion coupons, but the amount seems to vary from year to year.
Other data can equally give us an indication of coupon popularity. For example, 88% of consumers in the US used coupons in 2020, especially around big shopping holidays like Black Friday. With almost 330 million people living in the US, we can estimate that coupon usage is similar to previous years.
8. What percentage of coupons are redeemed?
Average coupon redemption rates are an even better indication of coupon popularity. Research shows that consumers love getting coupons for deals, but it’s a long way between receiving a coupon and actually redeeming it. Industry data shows that less than 1% of all coupons are redeemed.
Perhaps surprisingly, some types of paper coupons show higher redemption rates than digital offers. Up to 80% of coupons from traditional print media will be redeemed, while digital coupon redemption rates are less likely. This trend may be reversing however, as more consumers shop online, it’s predicted that 5.3 billion QR code coupons will be redeemed by the end of 2022.
9. Are coupons valid on their expiration date?
It happened to many of us, you’ve been eyeing a pricey item and you finally snatch a coupon deal, but the expiration date is the same day you found it! Good news: the coupon is still valid on the expiration date. If you’re planning to use it in stores, it will be valid until the store closes. For online stores, the coupon is valid until the end of the calendar date.
10. What is the average redemption rate on coupons?
Since the onset of digital coupons, the redemption rate is comparatively low against the number that are actually made available. In the past decade, the total value of all issued coupons was $470 billion, but the value of those that were actually redeemed was just $3.6 billion, or just a mere 0.77% redemption rate.
This average coupon redemption rate does appear low. Considering that companies now can create billions of QR codes without any extra cost, the reality is more that there’s just an immense amount of coupons available. Remember, almost 90% of people still use a coupon at least once a year.
11. How many people use phones for coupons?
The number of people relying on their smartphones for couponing is growing rapidly. There were 142.4 million mobile coupon users in the US in 2019, compared to 134 million the year before. Mobile coupon statistics show that consumers are realizing the convenience and benefits of digital coupons, with mobile codes reaching a 77% higher redemption rate.
12. What percent of users will use a coupon from social media?
While the number of coupons redeemed from social media hasn’t yet been determined, recent coupon statistics show that 81% of consumers look for coupons and deals before they make a purchase, and 88% say that finding a coupon would encourage them to try new brands.
More notably, 53% of people said that they have bought something from a brand after viewing its advertisement on social media. Coupons for free shipping are especially popular to encourage an online purchase. Considering that people now, on average, spend almost 2.5 hours on social media every day, there’s no doubt that it’s an essential platform for coupon advertising.
13. How many people use coupons while shopping in brick and mortar stores?
Using coupons in brick and mortar stores is still a popular occurrence. With the introduction of mobile code scanning, many consumers choose to shop in-store with coupons stored on their mobile device.
For example, coupon usage statistics show that Millennials who love shopping in brick and mortar stores still look for deals when doing so; 93% of them say they will try to find a coupon or a deal before making their purchase.
14. Are coupons worth it?
The average person will save approximately $11.60 per year with coupons. It’s not nothing, but it’s definitely not as much as it may feel like to the regular couponer. Coupons are a marketing gimmick, and an effective one at that. Without strategic use of them, however, most people will end up over-spending because of coupons rather than saving money.
Coupons are a successful advertising strategy because people get excited about the possibility of getting a deal, and many buy things they don’t need simply because they have a coupon for it.
15. How to use coupons?
The biggest step in using a coupon is finding the right one. Scouring newspapers and adverts are a great first step for finding regular deals. Discount statistics show that brands are also likely to post their own coupons and codes on their websites or social media profiles, so clicking the follow button and visiting your favorite online stores are also a great way to stay informed.
After that, the use of a coupon is fairly simple: you’ll either have a printed coupon which you can show directly in the store or a digital coupon (a code, or a QR/barcode) on a website or scanned at the store checkout. All you need to do is keep an eye on the expiry date!
To get more information on how to coupon, check out this complete guide and find out!
The Number of Coupon Users: To Wrap It Up…
Although it seemed like coupons might become a thing of the past for a short while, thanks to various digital solutions, that’s hardly the case. As consumers become more knowledgeable about commerce and more interested in finding deals, both the coupon industry and savvy shoppers seem to have a bright future ahead!