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How Digital Coupons Influence Consumers’ Store Choices

About 84 percent of shoppers say that coupons help determine which stores they go to, while 67 percent choose a store based on acceptance of paperless discounts, a Valassis study finds.

Despite the fears of pestering people with too many pings on their smartphone could cause a backlash, if targeted in a way that acknowledges the demand for personalized offers, digital coupons can have a significant impact in shaping what consumers by in the moment.

A study of 1,000 consumers by coupon and shopper marketing platform Valassis finds that an overwhelming amount of consumers are influenced in-store by the offer of well-timed mobile notifications.

Shaping The Purchase Path With Deals

The company’s annual 2K17 Coupon Intelligence Report, Influencing Consumers Along the Path to Purchase, found that 81 percent of shoppers search for deals via in-store circulars while shopping and 51 percent make a purchase based on a mobile notification received in store.

While the report doesn’t indicate how the presence of proximity marketing tools like beacons affect shoppers’ decisions, it does amplify previous studies that show Millennials are particularly attracted to deals proffered while browsing in-store.

A year ago, for instance, a study by Retale indicated that 84 percent of Millennial shoppers respond to push notifications, and that 61 percent are interested in promotion offers that can be redeemed immediately.

Valassis’ survey suggests that Millennials’ acceptance of digital coupons and promotions are rising quickly: 94 percent of Millennials are using coupons, versus 88 percent in 2016 — the only generation showing growth year-over-year (though it’s safe to assume that as people age, the use of promotions has already become a fairly ingrained behavior, though most of those other demos still respond more readily to email and paper discounts).

Brand Loyalty Can Be Shaken

In general, Valassis also finds that “brand loyal” shoppers can be moved from their preferred labels if the right deal presents itself. Roughly 79 percent of shoppers who identified themselves as “brand loyal” say they are influenced to buy a brand they wouldn’t typically have purchased due to coupon influence.

As consumers set about making shopping plans, most consumers create a list prior to going to a store, while 84 percent use coupons during this process.

Since more than 45 percent of consumers make their CPG purchase decisions at home before their shopping trip, it is still crucial for brands to reach consumers early in the planning stage.

As for changing minds during the shopping visit, 86 percent of shoppers making a purchase based on a discount in the store.

The study also reveals that the buying process does not end after exiting the checkout line. The survey found 53 percent of consumers scan receipts with a mobile device to receive cash back and/or points, providing a ripe opportunity to increase brand loyalty post-purchase.

“It is important for marketers to understand that the shopper journey is not defined at one specific point – the consumer can be influenced before, during and after the point of purchase,” said Curtis Tingle, Valassis’ CMO. “Our research indicates that there is an opportunity for brands to influence how shoppers plan, where they shop and the products they buy – which can be achieved by dynamically targeting the right audiences with a strategic combination of print and digital incentives.”