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Digital coupons and deals - statistics & facts

From newspaper clippings and print circulars to mobile apps and QR codes: The coupon landscape in the United States has undergone a significant digital transformation over the past decade. Thanks to the global growth of e-commerce and the shift in consumer preference towards online shopping platforms, companies increasingly embrace digital coupons as part of their marketing strategies. By offering digital deals, businesses can address large potential audiences, build brand awareness, and boost engagement rates and sales. Seeing that 92 percent of U.S. consumers currently use coupons for shopping, coupons remain one of the most popular marketing tools 120 years after their introduction.

Digital coupons influence shopping behavior and vice versa

Shopping behavior has visibly changed in recent years due to the rapid increase in internet usage. While many shoppers still prefer to receive print coupons in the mail, consumer desire for good deals and bargains has predominantly moved online. Worldwide, around 60 percent of online shoppers look for coupons before purchasing from digital retailers. Coupon and deal websites are also leading sources of inspiration for new products in the United States, with social media accounting for a large share of exposure. According to a recent survey, over 40 percent of social media users have encountered discount codes on Instagram. As promotional activity follows consumer trends, mobile shoppers can also choose from a wide range of coupon apps. In 2019, sales and promotions were among the most popular types of in-app notifications among U.S. smartphone users and the main reason for downloading retail apps.

Market leaders in the bargain business

As of 2020, the most visited coupon websites in the United States are slickdeals.net and groupon.com. While Groupon, a daily deal website that offers vouchers and coupons at discount rates, has been a market leader in the bargain business for almost a decade, it faces growing competition. 2019 marked the third year of Groupon’s revenue decline, and the number of Groupon’s active customers is also decreasing annually, as many online retailers now provide personalized discount offers. Free browser extensions like Honey that scour the web for coupon codes and automatically apply them to shoppers’ orders see an annual increase in visits.

COVID-19 accelerates digital deal-seeking

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to accelerate online usage and digital spending in the United States, as well as the shift towards digital deal seeking. While saving money has become a top priority for millions of Americans in light of rising unemployment, paper coupons have become a thing of the past as shoppers limit trips to brick-and-mortar stores. Today, over 90 percent of U.S. shoppers look for deals before making an online purchase, with household items being the most searched online coupon category. As the pandemic continues to impact shopping behavior in the United States and worldwide, digital coupons will likely remain a staple in consumers’ (digital) shopping carts – especially during the holiday shopping season.

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Digital coupons and deals in the United States

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