UK shoppers redeemed nearly 340 million coupons in 2011, up from 277 million in 2010, according to new data from coupon and voucher services provider Valassis Ltd.
The average face value of coupons has also risen – up from £0.90 in 2010 to £1.01 in 2011, perhaps reflecting the need to make offers more generous to change consumer behaviour.
In addition to its annual coupon market summary, Valassis also commissioned independent market research from Gfk NOP to understand how consumers are feeling about coupons and their supermarket of choice versus a year ago. The findings make interesting reading and complement the findings of Valassis’ 2011 coupon data. Major supermarkets are clearly fighting to retain share of basket spend and loyalty of increasingly fickle consumers.
Charles D’Oyly, managing director of Valassis Europe, said: “Conditions in both the grocery and packaged goods markets are highly competitive. We can see from our latest research that consumers are more actively seeking out offers and are increasingly prepared to shop away from their supermarket of choice in response to better offers. The growth that we are seeing in the coupon market has come entirely from retailer issued coupons and vouchers, which grew by 32% and 40% in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
“A key reason for this growth is that supermarkets are today competing more aggressively than at any time in recent history, particularly around key seasonal peaks, such as Christmas and Easter, and to do this they are using money-off vouchers. The results show that retailer own funded coupons have driven most of the growth within the market, with all of the big four supermarkets contributing to the 66 million increase in 2011. As a result people are shopping around more and therefore loyalty appears to be weakening. However, loyalty programmes continue to be popular with consumers and provide a highly effective vehicle for targeted own label and branded goods offers.”
According to the Gfk NOP research, 37% of consumers are looking to use promotional offers more in 2012 than they did a year ago, and this is a trend on the rise. The research also shows strong consumer interest in both internet and mobile coupons – the use of internet coupons is up 12% and mobile coupons up 7%. However in comparison to paper coupons the numbers are still low, despite the media hype.
Source: Valassis Ltd