Shoppers Using More Paper Coupons Than Digital Because It’s Simpler: No, Really

Image courtesy of Kimaroo

While retailers are making their own coupons and even manufacturers’ coupons available through mobile apps, customers still prefer to clip and carry around paper coupons. We also use much more dead-tree coupons than digital ones, even as the standard coupon distribution channels try to come up with ways to make digital coupons easy and convenient.

In a survey last year, most people said that they still prefer to clip paper coupons, even over using coupon codes while shopping online. In terms of coupons that are actually used, it turns out for every one online coupon redeemed, 48 paper ones are redeemed. Why is that? Is it because people who use coupons are old, or some coupons just aren’t available.

The company that produces the RedPlum circular that you might find in your Sunday newspaper says that paper coupons have 116.3 million users, while online coupons have 68.4 million. However, the difference is in the number of coupons that each customer type tends to use.

The most hardcore couponers dislike digital versions, since they limit how many times each one can be used. While clipping services and buying coupons is not really allowed, it still happens, and there’s always the old-fashioned way to get coupons that are valuable: buy multiple Sunday papers.

This sets up a divide between hardcore and casual couponers. The fragmentation between different apps, retailers, and sites means that it’s easier just to clip or print out a stack of paper coupons and stick them in an envelope.

Digital coupon use growing, but old-fashioned paper still king [Chicago Tribune]