Shoppers today are driven by the use of coupons, the ability to customize their shopping experience, and the ability to make purchases digitally, according to recent research from Inmar.

The provider of market-driven commerce, analytics, and technology solutions put together an infographic to highlight some findings of its annual Inmar Promotions Industry Analysis and its Shopper Behavior Study.

Digital coupon redemption accounted for nearly 15% of all coupons redeemed in 2018, the company found. Digital load-to-card (L2C) coupons accounted for 1.6% of all coupons distributed (a 29% increase from 2017)—and 14.8% of all coupons redeemed. That redemption rate marks the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in L2C redemption, a compound average growth rate of 34%.

Even though total coupon distribution and redemption declined 11.7% and 15.8%, respectively, primarily because of the decline in distribution and redemption of the free-standing insert (FSI), L2C coupon growth demonstrates that shopper demand for convenience and digital experiences is driving a significant shift in the market, according to the annual analysis.

Generally, price promotion continues to be a meaningful tactic for marketers. According to Inmar:

  • 60% of shoppers reported using paper as well as digital coupons.
  • Only 28% of shoppers reporting using paper coupons exclusively.
  • 13% said they use only digital coupons.
  • Coupon use is regular and ongoing: 42% of surveyed shoppers reported they "always" or "usually" use digital coupons; 37% said the same about coupon inserts from the Sunday newspaper.

Moreover 80% of shoppers reported that coupons changed their behavior in some way. Of that 80%, shoppers specifically reported as follows:

  • 37% bought sooner than they would have because of a coupon.
  • 35% bought a particular brand that they would not otherwise have purchased because of a coupon.
  • 35% bought more than they would have otherwise thanks to a coupon.
  • 24% bought an alternative product within the brand they planned to purchase because of a coupon.
  • 18% switched back to another brand that they had purchased previously because of a coupon.
  • 20% of shoppers said the coupon did not change purchase in any way.

In summary, Inmar's analysis identified three key trends that will influence shopper engagement and activation in 2019:

  1. Price promotion remains a meaningful way to impact shopper decision-making.
  2. Shoppers are engaging with a variety of coupon methods throughout the shopper journey.
  3. Technology-enabled promotions are capturing greater consumer attention and share of redemption.

Check out the infographic:

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What Shoppers Want: Customization, Coupons, Digital [Infographic]

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Vahe Habeshian is the director of publications at MarketingProfs and a longtime editor. Reach him via

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