First is chicken or egg? Or, in terms of coupons, who comes first – fewer coupons or fewer coupon users?
You can argue in any way – because fewer and fewer people are interested in cutting coupons today, fewer coupons are issued to answer or because fewer coupons are issued fewer people use them.
Regardless of the exact causality, recent reports of coupons and promotions have found that coupon usage and transaction search trends continue to reverse. However, retailers and manufacturers may miss the opportunity if they don’t take any steps to reverse this trend.
Research firm TABS Analytics completed its annual Food and Beverage Consumer Research Study for the seventh consecutive year, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers to assess consumer behavior. In this year’s report, there is some understanding that shoppers’ use of traditional savings methods has dropped to an all-time low. Moreover, whether by choice or otherwise, the number of shoppers who consider themselves professional to look for traders is also decreasing.
In the first year of the TABS survey, in 2013, 45% of shoppers reported that they used coupons cut out of newspapers on Sunday. In addition to last year’s small increase, this rate has been decreasing since then – this year, it has dropped to only 20%. This is in line with the findings of other recent reports (the number of available coupons has also dropped to new lows).
Of course, that must be because many shoppers are using digital coupons instead of paper. Ok, not exactly. In the first year of the survey, the use of digital coupons reached a maximum of 38% and has now dropped to an all-time low of 28%. This is also consistent with other recent reports that digital coupons have risen sharply and are currently slowing the tide.
Since coupon coupons are uncommon, the only other strategy to seek similar declines is to use grocery circulars. In 2013, 50% of shoppers used these products and now this rate has dropped to a low of 34%.
TABS accused the newspaper of some changes in the number of readers. After all, fewer newspaper buyers mean fewer shoppers receive coupons from ads on Sundays or refer to the store’s weekly print sales circular. Not only that. Very few shoppers work hard to save money.
It is not because they no longer care about saving money. Instead, TABS says many shoppers are turning to so-called passive trading strategies, without requiring any special efforts to save. Buying groceries at cheap stores (like Wal-Mart or ALDI) instead of cutting coupons and finding weekly specials at local grocery stores is still a passive trading strategy. The most common, with 59% of shoppers saying they want to save money, ways. TABS recognizes that other passive trading strategies, such as buying low-cost store brands or buying in bulk, also gain great appeal.
This trend is further illustrated, and it seems that few of us buy all the groceries in the grocery store. In 2016 alone, grocery stores accounted for nearly a quarter of the grocery market’s total market share. Today, this ratio has fallen to 15.4%, only slightly higher than 13.5% for Wal-Mart. This doesn’t mean that no one goes to traditional grocery stores anymore – 80% say they still shop regularly there. However, more and more people are walking around and making other groceries more convenient, offering other stores with different options or lower prices.
In fact, among the 15 retailers and retail channels tracked by TABS, from major stores to club stores, from dollar stores to pharmacies, there is an increase in the number of shoppers often shop here. This means that many of us will visit more stores, but will buy fewer locations at each location. Maybe you go to the grocery store to buy specials, then to ALDI to sell cheap products this weekend, to the dollar store the next day to browse for cheap personal items, later Then to Wal-Mart, there are other items on the checklist.
In the end, this can be a very positive passive saving method – visit different stores to take advantage of the best prices for each store. As a saving strategy, this of course takes time – but it takes time to adjust coupons and researches weekly sales announcements.
Overall, TABS recognizes that few people are considered to be huge trading users, or uses at least six types of trading strategies