I'm among those folks who have taken note of the rising popularity of coupons. So I was struck by some information from The Nielsen Company that gives me a new—and slightly different—perspective on the matter. The information was published in a story from the Wall Street Journal.
Coupons use/redemption is up 27%, according to the story. But that doesn’t necessarily mean “everyone” is using more coupons. Indeed, the Nielsen data suggests that much of the increase can be attributed to coupon “super users.”
To read the WSJ story, click here. Or, you can review the companion video segment immediately below.
Implications: As popular as they are, perhaps coupon use is not as wide-spread has previously thought, even in an economy that still presents a challenge to many a family budget. That is the first assumption to be challenged by this story.
Next, one might assume that coupons would be most attractive to low-income households who are trying to stretch their dollars. But the Nielsen data cited in the story indicates that these “heavy users” of coupons are women under the age of 54 with a college degree and a household income of greater than $70,000/yr. So, a second assumption gets kicked to the curb.
It’s good to be aware of what “the masses” are doing. But what matters most are the behaviors, preferences and priorities of your “heavy users” (the people who buy lots of the product or service you sell). Are coupons valued by the consumers you serve, when it comes to the product or service you sell? Only your customers can tell you that. The good news is that coupons are increasingly easy to offer, and their redemption is imminently easy to track… so you can experiment with little risk.
This story might also reinforce this important point: There are people who will buy a product for little other reason than, “it was cheap.” But those people are relatively few and far between.