Abstract: In 2011, 3.5 billion coupons were redeemed, which is up 6.1% from 2010. Even with coupon redemption on the rise, coupon distribution is down, average coupon values are lower, and average usable time before expiration has been shortened. Coupon users, or couponers, are also fighting a bad reputation and stricter store coupon policies.
Despite all the issues facing couponers, couponing has become more popular in recent years. Some of this popularity may be due to the thousands of coupon blogs that aide couponers in matching coupons to available deals. Couponers no longer have to search all sale ads and keep up with all available coupons; the blogs are an easy to use resource that does that work for them.
This study examines the ways that couponers use coupon blogs. The major finding from the interviews conducted was that couponers fall into two types: The Smart Family Shopper and The Game Player. These two couponing types have some major differences including how often they use blogs, which blogs they use, and what they look for on the blogs.
The Smart Family Shopper shops primarily for her immediate family and tries to save approximately 30% on their grocery purchases. She does major shopping trips every ten days to two weeks and usually shops at one or two stores weekly. She uses blogs to assist her in making grocery lists and to determine available coupons.
The Game Player shops for her family, friends, and other groups she donates to, with the goal of saving over 50% on grocery shopping. She shops multiple times a week, shopping at multiple stores in a week in order to get all the best available deals. She visits a variety of blogs daily, keeping up with the latest posts on great deals, coupons and freebies.
Marketers looking to promote their products using coupons or pairing up with coupon bloggers should recognize the two types of couponers. Depending on their target audience, different tactics should be used to reach each type of couponer.