Almost all (94%) consumers report using coupons, a substantial increase over the previous year, with paper (+5percentage points) and paperless (+4percentage points) sources both showing growth, according to the '2018 Coupon Intelligence Report' from consumer media delivery specialist Valassis. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

The multitude of channels available means there are more options than ever for consumers to plan and save. The report, entitled 'Modern Shoppers and Their Quest for Savings', examines the responses of 1,000 US consumers to determine how modern, dynamic shoppers research and make purchases, with the help of technology, online and in-store for traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories.

Over 60% say they constantly plan their purchases and 36% state they have used a shopping list app - which jumps to 61% for both parents and millennials (74% for millennial parents). While many shoppers prefer print offers in the mail (48%), coupon books in newspapers (42%) and paperless discounts downloaded to store loyalty cards (39%), one of the biggest growth areas is using mobile offers to save.

The study also identified varying behaviours for those who shop mostly online, versus those who shop more in-store - and those who do an equal amount of both. Marketers looking to meet shoppers' increasing demands for savings should take note of the following:

  • In-store shoppers are more promotion sensitive. Although less likely to use a mobile device to save, these consumers are more likely to be aware of sales, coupons and discounts for CPG items. These consumers are not afraid of the experience and are willing to put in the time to save - less than 20% of in-store shoppers say they don't have much time to plan or do their shopping.
  • Online shoppers are driven by convenience. Those who consider themselves primarily online shoppers are more likely to be motivated by convenience, and specifically, a need to save time. On occasion, this need will even drive their brick-and-mortar store selection. More than half of online shoppers say they shop retailers such as dollar, drug and convenience stores because they can quickly find what they need. Although convenience is paramount, online shoppers are still big seekers of savings. In fact, when shopping for food and household goods, these consumers' paper and paperless coupon use is higher than all consumers.
  • Omnichannel shoppers will go online or in-store to find what's on their list. Similar to online shoppers, omnichannel shoppers - those who do about half of their shopping online and the other half in- store - are very likely to seek out savings on the internet and their mobile device. They also tend to create lists before shopping. Among those that do so, more than two-thirds say their final purchases are exactly the same or somewhat similar to their intentions.

"This year's report proves saving is still a top priority for consumers - the recent analysis from NCH Marketing Services found that consumers saved $3.1 billion in 2017 with CPG coupons," said Curtis Tingle, Chief Marketing Officer for Valassis. "Our latest study further shows consumers' willingness to look for value from many sources. To meet these expectations, marketers should keep in mind that today's modern shopper is dynamic, constantly moving between online and offline channels as they plan, shop and save."