Consumers seeking coupons more than ever
In the battle for the British consumer's spending, discounts and coupons are winning with 84% of supermarket shoppers from all demographics now using coupons to save some £3 billion a year and 30% visiting discount stores more than they did a year before, according to research conducted by GfK NOP for coupon experts Valassis.
Shoppers' savings are increasing with over a third of consumers saving at least £5 a month in 2014 by using coupons (up 10% on 2013). This adds up to benefits of around £3 billion a year for the nation's discount- and coupon-hungry consumers.
The survey of 1,000 UK adults found that shoppers' coupon cravings show no signs of diminishing, with 84% of supermarket shoppers using them. Promotion-seeking behaviour is becoming increasingly common among consumers with almost one third saying they are looking for promotional offers more than they were one year earlier. This was coupled with a large decline in consumers saying they never use coupons, with only 16% saying they never use coupons compared to 26% in 2013.
Although consumers are seeking out and benefitting from savings when they shop, supermarkets are not the main brands reaping the rewards. Almost all consumers (93%) claimed that 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 that stand to benefit the most from offering savings are the discounters. Nearly two thirds (64%) of shoppers use these stores, and this is a growing trend with 30% visiting discounters more than they did a year one year before. 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 growing by 16.6%.
The observed bargain-driven behaviour remains prevalent despite many shoppers feeling more confident about their personal financial situations (almost one fifth of people claim to feel better off now than they did one year before).
"The supermarket wars continue to be white hot with the battle for consumer spend being as fierce as ever," said Charles D'Oyly, managing director for Valassis. "Consumers have grown accustomed to discounts, and coupon usage is 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."
The survey also found that coupons are used widely across all demographics, with a quarter of AB's saving at least £10 a month, up from 15% the year before. This compares with only 8% of DE's who save the same amount, breaking the myth that coupons are primarily for people who are less well off.