Coupons: A Blast from the Past or a Step into the Future?

According to a report by The Nielsen Company, coupons are making a comeback, but not in the traditional way it has in the past. Reported by Inmar, in 1999 when coupon redemption was in its glory at 4.6 billion, it was a common scene to see your mother clipping coupons for next week’s grocery trip. A decade later one can almost see the same scene occur, except instead of searching the Sunday newspaper, the internet is being searched.
It is reported that “while newspaper inserts are still the primary method of coupon distribution (89%) and redemption (53%), Internet redemption growth has skyrocketed, rising 263% in 2009.”
So what drove this surge in coupon redemption growth? Did someone say recession? While hearing the word “recession” spill into the public in 2009, and while many people were laid off and unemployed, consumers all over the U.S began to re-evaluate their purchasing habits. This factor along with the advancement in technology for users to conveniently use the internet has seen to be the main drivers in coupon redemption.
Taken from the Nielsen report, in summary, coupon redemption has been most popular at conventional supermarkets. The “enthusiast” and “super heavy” coupon users are found to be females under the age of 35 and between the ages of 45 to 54. Also, contrary to the common perception that coupon users are lower-income families, they are actually higher-income families making $70,000+.
According to the report “Eyes Wide Open” by Communispace and Ogilvy, “It is an undeniable fact: The recession has created not only a universal sense of anxiety and fear, but a greater level of consciousness across all ages and genders. We can’t go back. We have heightened our perception ; we are awake, alert, aware-where we like it or not.
How does the future hold for coupons? Right now with the convenience of the internet, and with the proven increase in sales, it’s looking pretty good. What do you think? Are coupons just a quick fix for companies trying to survive the recession, or will they stick around for awhile?