In recognition of 'National Coupon Month' in September, Q Interactive (the operator of the CoolSavings online coupon service) conducted a survey of 2,200 American consumers and found that coupons are as popular as ever before among every age group.
The survey found that older consumers use coupons most consistently, led by the 55+ age group of whom 65% report using coupons on every shopping trip.
Youth is no barrier
But contrary to expectations, younger consumers were also found to be using coupons extensively, with 51% of 25-34 year olds reporting using coupons on every shopping trip.
But it is the 35-44 age group that was found not only to be using the most coupons but also saving the most money on each shopping trip, with 61% using anything from 5 to 20 coupons per trip. The next two groups were 45-54 year olds at 54%, and those aged 55+ at 50%.
When it comes to the savings consumers are gaining from the use of coupons, 35% of 35-44 year olds reported savings of US$10 - US$20 per shopping trip, compared 32% of 25-34 year olds, 26% of 45-54 year olds, and 29% of consumers aged 55+.
The 35-44 age group relies on newspapers (47.8%) as their main source of coupons, while all other groups tend to favour a combination of sources including internet sites, direct mail, and newspapers.
Despite a common belief among marketers that coupons simply provide discounts for those who would buy the product anyway, the survey found that couponing is actually an effective way to encourage consumers to try new products.
All five age groups surveyed reported that they were willing to try a new product or brand if they had a coupon for it, with the 35-44 age group being the most likely (93.6%) to buy something new because of a coupon. Even though the 55+ group was the least likely to try a new product thanks to a coupon, 91.6% said they would be willing.
Another interesting finding was the day of week on which shoppers tend to make their shopping trips. The main shopping day for those aged 18-54 was Saturday, while the 55+ age group tend to favour Thursday.