The Rise Of The Coupon Nation
Once upon a time coupons were the domain of your nan, or maybe your mum who would cut one out of the newspaper on occasions when she found one. Then the big supermarkets started to get in on the act and issue their own in store coupons meaning that if you wanted to redeem them you had to shop in their store. This has now grown into a massive competition with almost all major retailers issuing coupons to various degrees, but it’s not just them anymore.
Gone are the days of scouring the paper for those elusive coupons – it’s all gone technical. With retailers last year alone issuing in excess of 466m coupons online and with a whopping 76% of those being redeemed it seems we’re getting more eager for a bargain than ever before.
I am very pleased to say we are the UK’s largest coupon website too. You won’t find a website in the UK with more coupons than us 😀
These figures come from Valassis, the company many couponers will be familiar with seeing on the bottom of their coupons as they issue over 80% of all online coupons, and as far as they are concerned, it’s only getting bigger with an average growth of 35% each year in the amount issued and redeemed.
The supermarkets themselves eager to get a piece of the action have struck deals with some of the more popular sites such as supersavvyme.co.uk with some of the coupons they issue being store specific in order to drive traffic their way. But with the majority of online coupons now being generic the hunt is on for the best bargain across quite a few retail stores.
Although the big discount stores don’t accept anyone else’s coupons claiming they already give amazing savings with their low prices, they are not immune to the coupon craze. Aldi until recently would regularly publish these and a handful of other coupons in the paper, and also not that long ago were giving away 50% of their baby range coupons in pregnancy and new mum packs.
But are coupons always the bargain we think they are? If we weren’t going to buy something, but did because it saved us 50P is it really a saving? The answer is yes and no. Most of the big stores like Tesco’s will tailor the coupons they send you to what you already buy, with maybe the odd one to tempt you to something new. But with a lot of the generic ones you have to be a little more savvy. If you regularly buy the product because it’s the cheapest (say the stores own brand) and even with the coupon the label brad is more expensive, then no that’s not a saving. If however you buy a different label brand, have no loyalty to it for any reason and it’s the cheaper option then congratulations, you have yourself a bargain.
With the rise in coupons not seeming to be coming to an end anytime soon there seem to be more and more people who are cottoning onto the possibilities and the savings they could make, with the consumers driving the demand the supply should hopefully continue to expand, and include more and more ways of finding, getting and spending them.
Many codes and coupons now don’t even need to be printed out. Online apps and voucher codes as well as barcodes on your phone seem to be going hand in hand with the old fashioned paper coupons, and although we still seem to be light-years behind our American cousins, we have to ask is this the shape of coupon things to come?