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Consumer coupon use increasing

Monday July 7, 2014 at 9:48am
Over a third of consumers are saving at least £5 a month by using money-off coupons – up 10% on 2013, according to coupon experts Valassis Ltd. This adds up to savings of around £3bn a year for UK shoppers. According to a new survey of 1,000 UK adults commissioned by Valassis, 84% of supermarket shoppers now use them. Promotional-seeking behaviour is becoming increasingly ingrained among consumers with almost a third of people stating they are looking for promotional offers more than they were a year ago. This is coupled with a large decline in consumers stating that they never use coupons. Now, just 16% of shoppers state they never use this promotional mechanic versus 26% a year ago. Although consumers are seeking out and benefitting from savings when they shop, supermarkets are not reaping the rewards. Almost all consumers – 93% – claim they will ‘shop away’ from their regular outlet if other retailers are advertising better offers. This behaviour is surprising given the increasing investment by many supermarkets to attract and retain customers. The supermarkets who stand to benefit the most from savings savvy shoppers are the discounters and Valassis’ survey confirms their popularity. Nearly two thirds (64%) of shoppers use these stores and this is a growing trend – 30% of consumers visit discounters more than they did a year ago. Britain’s “big four” supermarkets, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, all face a growing challenge from cheaper retailers with recent industry data showing sales at Aldi surging 33.5% and Lidl up 16.6%. This bargain-driven behaviour among consumers remains prevalent despite many shoppers feeling more confident about their personal finance situation. Almost a fifth of people claim to now feel better off, a marked increase from 2013. Charles D’Oyly, managing director at Valassis, comments: “The supermarket wars continue to be white hot with the battle for consumer spend as fierce as ever. Consumers have grown accustomed to discounts, with coupon usage now forming an integral part of the shopping trip, so it’s no surprise that we are witnessing record volume redemption rates across a variety of products. Retailers appear to be tapping this trend by creating their own uniquely issued coupons to drive more traffic into their stores.” The survey also revealed that coupons are used widely across all demographics, with a quarter of ABs saving at least £10 a month, up from 15% last year. This compares with just 8% of DEs who save the same amount, finally busting the myth that coupons are for people who are less well off. The survey of 1,000 nationally representative adults was conducted by Gfk NOP on behalf of Valassis between April 11 and 13, 2014. Valassis Ltd is the UK’s largest coupon and voucher services provider, performing crucial data management and financial clearing services. Responsible for handling most of the UK’s coupons and vouchers, Valassis Ltd regularly conducts research and delivers insights on UK consumer promotions.
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