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April 26, 2021

Are online coupons soon to replace weekend flyers?

The days of clipping coupons from newspapers and flyers may be over.

Coupon Another new digital coupon service launched last week. Unlike group buying sites, however, it’s not designed to offer deals on spa treatments or restaurants.

Instead, the service from SavingStar will work with the loyalty cards handed out at large U.S. grocery chains to give extra discounts on everyday items such as juice, paper towels, and diapers.

Although online coupons account for only one percent of all coupons distributed, they account for about 10 percent of all coupons redeemed, said Susan Gear, group vice president for digital at Catalina which provides a similar service.

Consumers “can print out coupons for exactly the products they want,” she notes, thus adding to their appeal.

Digital print-at-home coupons get more first-time buyers to try a product, but they aren’t as cost-efficient as standard coupons, according to a new report.

According to a study from Knowledge Networks, nearly half of all consumers who redeem digital coupons had never purchased a product from the company before, whereas only a third of those who redeemed print coupons were new customers.

That new customer base is certainly crucial to any business’s marketing plan, but despite this, the study, based on loyalty card data from more than 2 million shoppers, found that online coupons may offer a lower return on investment for businesses.

The reason for this, according to the study, is that the cost of placing coupons in print is at an all-time low, as the demand has shifted more towards such digital platforms. As a result, companies must spend comparatively more money to launch a digital promotional campaign.

Who uses what? Even though overall redemption rates had been falling for decades, older and wealthier families continue to use print coupons more often than digital coupons, while others like large families rely on both types of coupons in nearly equal measure.

What about you? Do you use digital coupons if you can find them? Or are you a traditionalist, waiting for the paper to arrive?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...