Industry News

TMCNet:  Growth of Digital Coupons Outpaces That of Printed Newspaper Coupons 10 to 1

[February 10, 2010]

Growth of Digital Coupons Outpaces That of Printed Newspaper Coupons 10 to 1

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- On the heels of recent research indicating coupon usage increased in 2009 for the first time in 17 years1, today released its annual data regarding digital coupons. The data reports an increase in printed savings of over 170 percent during 2009. Compared to growth metrics for coupons inserted into newspapers, which range between 8 and 16 percent,2,3 digital coupons dramatically outpaced the growth of its newspaper counterparts, by more than 10 to 1. Incorporated reported that almost $1 billion in savings was printed from the network last year and released other industry metrics as well as an overview of 2009 corporate milestones. The company is the recognized leader in digital coupons, including online printable, save to loyalty card and mobile promotions.

"For the first time in almost two decades the use of coupons increased in 2009, in part due to the growth of digital coupons as more consumers made them part of their shopping routine and more brands tapped them to engage with their consumers," said Steven Boal, CEO of Incorporated. "We expect the adoption of digital coupons will continue to accelerate in 2010 as consumers and brands alike increasingly adopt them, and as we continue to enable companies to engage with their consumers with coupons in innovative ways, including mobile and social media initiatives." Printed Saving Approaches $1 Billion Printed savings from and the digital coupon network in 2009 exceeded $858 million. The 170 percent increase over 2008 represents even faster growth than the company experienced the prior year (2008 grew 133 percent compared to 2007). The company believes that key factors influencing the growth included increased consumer adoption of online printable, save to store loyalty card and mobile coupons and increased use of digital coupons by brand marketers, including manufacturers and retailers alike.

Increased Consumer Interest Representing over 20 percent of the U.S. population, more than 45 million American consumers are now using online coupons, up from 38 million in 2008. Of the 45 million online coupon users, almost one third (13.1 million) does not clip coupons from their Sunday newspaper, a 140 percent increase over 9.4 million in 2008.4 Coupons/Rewards was the 5th fastest growing Internet category in 2009, increasing 36 percent (based on unique monthly users, Jan to Dec), outpacing other advancing categories such as Personals, Email and Search.5 Additionally, reflective of trends in the consumer vernacular, Internet queries for coupons and related terms increased significantly on search engines during the year. Specifically, searches on Google (News - Alert) for "Printable Coupons" and "Online Printable Coupons" increased 186 and 178 percent, respectively.6 In addition, Yahoo! reported that "Coupons" was No. 1 on its list of economy-related queries for 2009, followed by "Unemployment," "Stimulus Plan," "Cash for Clunkers," and "Student Loans."7 2009 Demographics The consumer who prints digital coupons has an average household income of $97,000, a 23 percent higher income level than the U.S average. 34 percent of those who print digital coupons have a college degree (up from 32 percent in 2008), compared to 30 percent of those who use newspaper coupons and 27 percent of the general populace. Users of digital coupons have higher household incomes and are better educated than users of newspaper coupons and the general population.8 Coupon Usage by Category Cereal was by far the most popular coupon category in 2009.9 It was followed by other perennial favorites, including Yogurt, Snacks, Condiments and Pizza. Reflecting an increase in popularity of non-grocery food coupons, top advancing categories included Restaurants and Entertainment, which ranked No. 6 and 8, respectively.

The top ten categories for 2009 are: 1. Ready-to-Eat Cereal; 2. Yogurt; 3. Sweet Snacks; 4. Refrigerated Dough; 5. Salty Snacks; 6. Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR)/Casual Dining; 7. Nutritional Snacks; 8. Entertainment; 9. Condiments; and 10. Pizza.

Coupon Usage by City Atlanta topped the list of the Most Frugal U.S. Cities, with the average user in the Georgia capital saving over $531 with coupons from the site in 2009. As measured by the Savings Index,10 Tampa, Florida followed closely in the number two position.

The top 10 couponing cities, with corresponding savings index, are: 1. Atlanta, GA 918; 2. Tampa, FL 522; 3. Cincinnati, OH 511; 4. Saint Louis, MO 468; 5. Minneapolis, MN 351; 6. Nashville, TN 308; 7. Charlotte, NC 306; 8. Cleveland, OH 272; 9. Pittsburgh, PA 254; 10. Kansas City, MO 254.

Business Milestones "2009 was an amazing year for, and we made tremendous strides on all fronts of our business. Not only did we approach $1 billion in printed savings, we also introduced exciting new products, including our mobile applications, and continued to expand our IP portfolio," said Boal. "In addition, we attracted new customers that catapulted into the Top 50 largest U.S. Web properties and signed on many new partners and clients, further cementing our leading position as the go-to source for marketers wanting to coupon-enable their marketing programs." Consumers. In 2009, surged into the Top 50 largest U.S. Web properties. In October, with 19.5 million unique monthly users, was at the No. 39 position, ahead of, for reference, at No. 41.11 attributes the growth to consumers' increased comfort online, more coupons offered by a wider variety of brands, as well as the economic environment.

Clients. For years, has been the go-to source for brands wanting to coupon-enable their online marketing campaigns, including online display, email, social media initiatives. In 2009, the company added new major consumer brands to its roster of clients. In addition to adding new clients, existing customers issued more offers and more widely distributed those offers than in 2008. Brands are moving more and more of their coupon promotions budgets to digital coupons, and some brands have stated that they are dedicating 100 percent to digital, abandoning long-term relationships with the free standing newspaper inserts.

New Consumer Products. The company released several new products in 2009 and introduced new ways for consumers to save money or shop better. In addition to providing the largest selection of online printable coupons available anywhere, introduced new types of digital coupons, including Save to Card and Show & Save. In addition, the site also added coupon codes with which consumers can save on their online purchases.

-- Save to Card - allows shoppers to save coupon offers directly to their store loyalty cards. The paperless, virtual coupons are automatically deducted at checkout. Save to Card currently works with loyalty cards from Safeway, Vons, Dominick's, Genuardi's, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Pavilions, and Carrs. Additional retailers will be added in 2010.

-- Show & Save - enables shoppers to either print a local coupon offer or simply show the coupon on a mobile device at checkout at the retailer or service provider. Collectively, over 12,000 coupons are available and offer savings for a wide variety of local restaurants, retailers, and services from pizzerias to plumbers and dry cleaners to dog walkers.

-- Coupon Codes - gives access to hundreds of thousands of online coupon codes that provide discounts or free shipping on online purchases from over 40,000 retailers.12 Mobile App. The free application for the iPhone debuted in the Apple (News - Alert) App Store, making it easy for mobile users to browse and select coupons they can print, save to their grocery store loyalty card or redeem at point of sale by showing coupons on their mobile devices.

Grocery iQ. introduced Version 2.0 of the critically-acclaimed Grocery iQ™ shopping list application, adding barcode scanning, real-time list synchronization and integrated coupons. HP App. Pre-loaded on many HP web-enabled printers and available in the HP App Store, the HP App lets users browse and print coupons and recipes with the swipe of a finger directly from the printers' TouchSmart panel.

Surecaster™. With this new coupon targeting tool, marketers can deliver unique coupon offers by the behavior clusters consistent with their brand's targeting strategy. Offers are varied based on brand, competitive and category data.

Expanded Distribution Network. partnered with a host of publishers to introduce branded coupon galleries. Publishers added to the list include major magazine and online lifestyle sites, as well as many newspaper and TV sites. In addition, thousands of new publishers implemented Brandcaster™, an easy-to-use, self service solution to monetize Web site traffic with coupon offers that visitors print without leaving the site. The distribution network is by far the largest of its kind.

New Retail Partners. announced new retailer partners, which launched online printable or Save to Card coupon galleries. New retailers include A&P (and its banners SuperFresh, Waldbaum's, Pathmark, The Food Emporium and Food Basics), CVS, Duane Reade, H-E-B, Kmart, and Walgreens. This list joins existing partners, including Kroger and Safeway. Additional retailers are expected in 2010.

Data not otherwise cited is internal data.

1, 3. Inmar, Press Release, January 25, 2009 2. Marx Promotion Intelligence, a division of TNS (News - Alert) Media Intelligence, Press Release, January 6, 2009 4, 8. Simmons Market Research, Summer 2009 and Summer 2008 5. Nielsen, December 2009 6. Google Insights for Search, for U.S. searches during the period beginning Jan. 4, 2009 and ending Nov. 28, 2009 7. Yahoo! Press Room, Dec. 1, 2009 9. Internal Data 10. Savings Index ranks cities (with a population of 300,000 or more) based on each city's total printed coupon savings on and the network in 2009 relative to its population size. With an index of 918, Atlanta residents are nine times more likely to print coupon savings than the average American city dweller.

11. Nielsen, October 2009 12. RetailMeNot, Monthly Data Report, November 2009 About Coupons Incorporated Incorporated is the recognized leader in digital coupons, including online printable, save to loyalty card and mobile promotions. For consumers, our products include, recently the 39th largest Web property and No. 1 in the Coupons/Rewards category in the U.S., as well as Grocery iQ and mobile applications.† For brand marketers, we power the digital coupon initiatives in 1-to-1 online marketing campaigns including display advertising, email and social media programs and distribute digital coupons to millions of consumers through and thousands of Web sites comprising the digital coupon network. For publishers, we offer solutions to monetize Web site traffic, including branded microsites, and Brandcaster, a self-service option. Clients include hundreds of the top packaged goods brands (including Clorox, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, and Kraft Foods), leading restaurant, toy and entertainment companies, as well as hundreds of retailers (such as A&P, CVS, Duane Reade, H-E-B, Kmart, Kroger, Safeway and Walgreens). Founded in 1998, the privately held company is based in Mountain View, CA (News - Alert). To start printing coupons, visit To learn more about the company visit

† Nielsen, October 2009

[ Back To Contact Center Solutions's Homepage ]