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Digital Coupons Have Overtaken Paper Clippings: Here’s What that Mean

Every consumer loves discounts and concessions. This is the reason why the trend of offering coupons has been in the market for years. Coupon codes and discount deals benefit a business in many ways. It builds the clientele and strengthens the position of a brand in the market. Loyalty cards, Buy One Get Free deals are some of the smart moves companies take to create hype among the audience and to garner attention. 

Digital Coupons Have Overtaken Paper Clippings: Here’s What that Mean

All of it revolves around a strong strategy. It surely yields profitable outcomes and boosts sales with lead generation. However, marketers need to understand how to back up their strategy. It must be directed towards retaining customers and gaining loyalty. 

Keeping profitability in mind should not be the only priority; a strengthened clientele is what you need to focus on. Very few consumers expect to pay the full price. According to the latest coupon statistics, around 92% of the consumers used coupons for purchasing goods in 2020.

Also in 2020, digital coupons became more popular than paper clippings for the first time in history. To understand why this is significant, one must go back to the past.

How Coupons Evolved With The Changing Market Demographics 

The history of coupons cannot be told without mentioning Coca Cola. Back in 1887, the company launched its coupon strategy. They hooked their consumers via coupons and for about eight years, they maintained their position as the leading entity. It's been around a hundred and thirty years, you can find Coca Cola to be the biggest beverage brand, and yet it still offers coupons. 

Digital Coupons Have Overtaken Paper Clippings: Here’s What that Mean

The paper coupons were circulated through newspapers and magazines. The consumers have to show it to get the discount. This has turned out to be an effective technique to boost brand interaction and awareness. The main hurdle that brands encountered was with distribution. They have to hunt for sources that have greater reach. Deep analyses were carried out to come up with efficient distribution techniques. 

Moreover, as per the Trend report put out by the Knowledge Network, print coupons constitute 44% of the total coupon market. Despite the introduction of digital coupons, almost 80% of internet users voted for paper clippings when redeeming the discounts. The surprising fact about the outcomes of digital coupons and 
print coupons is that the latter one offers 18% higher ROI.

The thing with paper coupons making it more successful and effective is that a consumer has to first get that particular newspaper or magazine from where he can clip out the coupon. However, with digital coupons, you can simply get it as a gift. You get it either by arriving at a website for the first time (a coupon to welcome the visitors) or by consistently using the services of a brand (the loyalty coupon). This is why digital coupons were not all redeemed.

Ever since their inception, coupons have evolved a great deal. However, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic meant the evolution process sped up significantly. 

The Disruption In Retail & Major Industries Due To COVID-19

Paper clippings faded after the outbreak of COVID-19. As nationwide lockdown was imposed, people were forced to stay home and isolated from the social gathering. Not only this, stores, shops and outlets were all locked to ensure SPOs. 

Consumers who used to head to brick and mortar stores were left with digital platforms to shop from. Everything became remote. Retailers began to practice remote operational activities including manufacturing and delivering. Instead of opening physical outlets, they switched to developing online stores. 

The pandemic truly shook the foundation of many small, medium and large-scale industries. In 2020. around 50% of global retailers experienced moderate disruption especially in the supply chain; however, 12% of them reported to have faced heavy disruption. Furthermore, as the COVID got out of control nearly 140,104 were temporarily closed on Yelp. Eventually, many of those were permanently shut down.

Digital Coupons Have Overtaken Paper Clippings: Here’s What that Mean
Source: Fortune


Only those brands that became adaptable to the change remained surfaced while others disappeared into thin air. Brands opted to build their online presence and followed techniques that can increase online visibility. This meant digital coupons became extremely important in these times. According to the statistics, the average time spent using mobile apps during the years 2019 and 2020 increased to 30%. This shows how vital having an app became. 

Not only this, some Big brands like Dunkin’ Brands Inc. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. focused on improving their apps and websites to ensure lead generation. 

The Rise of Digital Coupons

In the beginning, consumers were furious and anxious but gradually they began to fit in with the changing demographics. The convenience online shopping provides became hard to resist. Everything they wanted to become a touch away. 

They felt secured and effectively facilitated. During this time, digital coupons accelerated. They surpassed the print coupons and positioned them as the most efficient way to power-struck marketing and brand promotion.

Furthermore, according to a forecast, by the year 2022, digital coupon redemption is expected to surpass $90 billion. Considering the boom in Digital coupon marketing, The Wall Street Journal suggested that paper clippings are "destined to disappear".

Digital coupons have a vast growth as it integrates advanced technology. When it comes to convenience and effectiveness, this coupon strategy is going to stay in the market for a long time. According to Conor Ryan, co-founder of StitcherAds:

"This past year we saw consumers shifting to contactless, QR code-based payment technologies, as well as the click-and-collect and buy online, pickup in-store model, and that trend is likely here to stay," He further stated that consumers and marketers are weaning off the use of paper clippings.

If you go in-depth into the market, the mixed opinions and research will baffle you. Where some marketers are claiming to strike off paper clippings from their marketing assets list, others are still having high hopes for it. Valassis after running analyses concluded that paper coupons can still yield outcomes. Around 88% of consumers have redeemed the discounts. The report further shows that the target audience aged between 25 to 49 rely on paper coupons. However, millennials prefer digital coupons.

On the whole, the use of digital coupons continues to benefit brands. During the pandemic, every industry be it spa or salon, retailers or service-based faced a turmoil of downward growth. However, some hit the paddle at the right time and accelerated their sales with their shrewdness and cunning strategic planning. Among those was Cadbury.

Check the statistics of Cadbury below: 

Digital Coupons Have Overtaken Paper Clippings: Here’s What that Mean

Now the question arrives how they managed to do it. 

Cadbury first connected with consumers emotionally and then to increase the sales they continuously offered discounted coupons. Recently the brand offered a gift coupon code to avail huge discounts on chocolates. An extra 10% on Valentine’s Day was offered. In this way, they retain the customers and keep the audience engaged.

What The Future Holds For Paper & Digital Coupons

If you look at the stats, you will find out how high the growth of retail is going to reach this year. Global retail sales will account for 17.5% of the total. 
The major reason to make it possible is by using an Omnichannel marketing strategy. Around 73% of consumers prefer using multiple channels to shop from. The time to completely rely on brick and mortar stores is long gone. You now have to pay attention to techniques and criteria that are prevalent and diverse.

If you count on Omnichannel marketing you can understand where, how and what people are looking for. You can come up with more targeted coupons and discounts to fascinate them. Moreover, advertisements from social channels will increase shortly. As of now, you can find Facebook stores making huge revenues. So, you need to improve your approach to handling social media channels and come up with strategies to reach out to the target audience. In doing so, coupons can help you out. You can increase the online reach and garner more attention.

Social media can be utilized to give a boost to your coupon marketing and take your business to a new level.

Digital Coupons Have Overtaken Paper Clippings: Here’s What that Mean

When talking about paper coupons you must not forget that there is still a huge population of consumers who love using paper clippings. As you have to make Omnichannel work for your branding and promotion you have to keep the physical stores operational. And when it’s about physical stores you cannot ignore paper coupons. So, keep both of these ways hand in hand to dig out the best outcomes for your brand. 

Wrap Up 

As the world is progressing fast, you have to rely on multiple channels. You have to think big. You cannot focus on increasing your lead or sales solely. You have to pay attention to building a progressive clientele. When creating the coupon strategy keep certain factors in mind, the platform you choose, the preferences of your target audience, and the profitability. So, apply result-oriented techniques and yield greater outcomes.

Published On: May 27, 2021








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