New Research Reveals Shopping Behavior of Digital Coupon Users

Digital Coupon Users Shop More, Spend More Than Average U.S. Shopper; Data Shows Users Shop Within 48 Hours

Mountain View, CA – April 2, 2012 – today released results of two research initiatives designed to identify the shopping behavior of the digital coupon user. The first research initiative executed by GfK Knowledge Networks, a full service research firm, shows that digital coupon users shop more frequently and spend significantly more during each trip than the average U.S. consumer, based on more than 200,000 households using digital coupons and compared to 2.3 million shoppers.

“What this research tells us is that brands wanting to reach heavy grocery spenders need to strongly consider digital coupon sites as an important piece of their coupon and brand advertising market mix,” said Neal Heffernan, SVP/GM, Behavioral Insights Group at GfK Knowledge Networks. “The findings are unique from other studies out there in both the scale and the fact the research measures actual purchase behavior—not purchase intent, therefore making the results extremely accurate.”

The study evaluated the shopping behavior of over 200,000 of the households that use digital coupons. These households were identified as having redeemed coupon(s) sourced from or one of the tens of thousands of websites in the digital coupon network. Shopping behavior was compared to that of 2.3 million households in the GfK Knowledge Networks National Shopper Lab.(1)

Executed during the 52 weeks ending August 27, 2011, the research found that:

• Digital coupon users make 22 percent more shopping trips per year than the average shopper. The digital coupon user and the average shopper make 69 and 57 trips per year, respectively.

• Digital coupon users spend 23 percent more per shopping trip than the average shopper. The digital coupon user and the average shopper spend $55.05 and $44.87 per trip, respectively.

• Digital coupon users spend 49 percent more per year than the average shopper. The digital coupon user and the average shopper spend $3,803 and $2,545 per year, respectively.

• Digital coupon users make 48 percent more “stock up” trips(2) than the average shopper, with 18.6 and 12.6 stock up trips per year, respectively.

In addition to the GfK Knowledge Networks research, also released the results of a second research project designed to measure timing of the next anticipated shopping trip.(3)

Results showed that 62 percent of visitors to planned to visit a grocery store within 2 days of printing coupons or saving them to a loyalty card, and in fact 43 percent planned to shop within the next 24 hours.

“We know that is a great place to reach consumers who are in the process of planning their next trip to the grocery store,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Incorporated. “Both the GfK Knowledge Networks research and our own study cement what many brands and advertisers already know: that digital coupon users spend more than typical shoppers, make more trips to the grocery store and shop more frequently, further underscoring the benefits for marketers, retailers and manufacturers to connect with this audience.”

The study, conducted in January of 2012, asked users, “When is your next grocery shopping trip?” and found that:

• 18% expected to shop that day.

• 25% expected to shop the next day.

• 19% expected to shop in two days.

• 22% expected to shop in 3-7 days.

• 11% expected to shop in more than 7 days.

More than 55.7 million American consumers are now using online coupons, representing 25 percent of the U.S. population. Users of digital coupons have higher household incomes and are better educated than users of newspaper coupons and the general population overall, belying the perceived low-brow stigma of couponing. The consumer who uses digital coupons has an average household income of $96,900, a 20 percent higher income level than the U.S average and 20 percent higher than average household income of users of newspaper coupons. 38 percent of those who use digital coupons have a college degree, compared to 30 percent of those who use newspaper coupons and 27 percent of the general populace.

1 Stock up trips is defined as shopping trips that exceed $75.00.

2 Source: On-Site Survey, January 201.2 (N = 3867). 5 percent responded “Other”.

3 Simmons Market Research, Summer 2011.


About Coupons Incorporated Incorporated is the recognized leader in digital coupons, including online printable, save to loyalty card and mobile promotions. For consumers, the company’s products include, the 49th largest website in the U.S. †, as well as Grocery iQ and mobile applications. For brand marketers, the company distributes digital coupons to millions of consumers through and tens of thousands of websites comprising the digital coupon network. The company also powers digital coupon initiatives in 1-to-1 online marketing campaigns—including display advertising, email and social media programs. For publishers, the company offers solutions to monetize website traffic, including branded microsites, and Brandcaster, a self-service coupons syndication platform. Clients include hundreds of top consumer packaged goods brands (including Clorox, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, and Kraft Foods), leading restaurant, toy and entertainment companies, as well as top retailers (such as A&P, CVS, Duane Reade, H-E-B, Kmart, Kroger, Safeway and Walgreens). Founded in 1998, the company is based in Mountain View, CA. To start printing coupons, visit To learn more about the company visit Visit on Facebook at

† Nielsen, January 2012