Consumers Waking Up to E-Coupons

Nearly one-third of Internet users are saving money on the Internet thanks to online coupons, according to a study by NPD Online Research.

In the last six months, the percentage of the Web population using online coupons has risen from 23 percent to 30 percent, NPD found. The increased interest in e-coupon usage is being driven by an increased awareness of online coupons.

In March, 49 percent of those polled by NPD said they were aware of online coupons. By October, 59 percent of those polled in October said they were aware of online coupons. Increase awareness was even stronger among Web individuals who said they had used any type of coupon in the past month. Eighty percent of these coupons users were aware of e-coupons, compared to 66 percent six months ago.

The study also found that while almost one-third of the respondents used e-coupons, 39 percent had obtained or clipped them online compared to 31 percent previously, showing that not all clipped e-coupons are being used.

Eighty percent of those aware of the coupons said their usage will rise in the future. Coolsavings.com was the most popular site for obtaining online coupons, used by 51 percent of NPD’s respondents. Valuepage.com followed with 35 percent of respondents obtaining coupons from the site. Web sites offering their own e-coupons are the third most popular coupon source among online shoppers.

“Our data shows a definitive upward trend in the awareness and usage of online coupons,” said Pamela Smith, VP of NPD Online Research. “This is a positive trend for both online coupon sites and manufacturers issuing their own e-coupons. Companies benefit by using a traditional brand loyalty and awareness builder to fuel their sales, while consumers benefit from the ease and customization of the Web applied to a former low-tech activity. Pointing and clipping is just easier than cutting coupons with scissors.”

Surfing to find coupons remains the most popular means of obtaining them. More than half of NPD’s respondents said they first became aware of online coupons through general browsing. Finding coupons from online advertising grew from 23 percent to 27 percent, followed by recommendations from friends and relatives, which was down to 7 percent from 10 percent six months ago.

More than half (55 percent) of online coupon users are between the ages of 25 and 44. One-third of the online coupon redeemers have household incomes over $75,000; 35 percent have incomes between $45,000 and $75,000; and 33 percent earn under $45,000. Forty-five percent are males, unchanged from six months ago.

The NPD coupon survey was conducted as part of an NPD Online Research omnibus survey among 3,125 individuals from NPD’s online panel.

Traditional and Web-Related Coupons
Breakdown of Use and Awareness
March October March October March October March October March October
No. of Respondents Percent of total Percent used
last month
Percent
aware of online
Percent
obtaining online
Total 2,673 3,125
Used any coupon in past 12 months 2,354 2,817 88% 90%
Used any coupons last month 1,994 2,350 75% 84%
Aware of online coupons 1,314 1,834 49% 59% 66% 80%
Obtained online coupons 825 1,219 31% 39% 41% 52% 63% 67%
Used online coupons 603 941 23% 30% 30% 40% 46% 51% 73% 78%
Source: NPD Online Research

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