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Research : “Consumers have grown accustomed to discounts, with coupon usage now forming an integral part of the shopping trip” / Charles D’Oyly, Valassis

by on July 1, 2014 in Advertising, Lead Article, Research, Retail, Retail News

In the battle for consumer spend, discounts win

  • 84 per cent of supermarket shoppers use coupons
  • Consumers saving £3 billion a year through coupons
  • Coupons are used widely across all demographics.
  • Rise of the discounter – 30% of all shoppers are frequenting these stores more than a year ago.

Shoppers’ savings are increasing with over a third of consumers saving at least £5 a month by using coupons – up 10 per cent on 2013 figures according to coupon experts Valassis Ltd. This adds up to benefits of around £3 billion a year for coupon hungry consumers.

For insights on intelligent media delivery, visit and follow @valassis on Twitter.

Other Valassis articles in theMarketingblog

The recent survey of 1,000 UK adults by Valassis found that shoppers’ coupon cravings show no signs of diminishing with 84 per cent of supermarket shoppers using them. Promotional seeking behaviour is becoming increasingly ingrained among consumers with almost a third of people stating they are looking for promotional offers more than they were a year ago. This is coupled with a large decline in consumers stating that they never use coupons. Now, just 16 per cent of shoppers state they never use this promotional mechanic versus 26 per cent a year ago.

‘Shop away’ from their regular outlet

Although consumers are seeking out and benefitting from savings when they shop, supermarkets are not reaping the rewards. Almost all consumers – 93 per cent – claim they will ‘shop away’ from their regular outlet if other retailers are advertising better offers.  This behaviour is surprising given the increasing investment by many supermarkets to attract and retain customers.

The supermarkets who stand to benefit the most from savings savvy shoppers are the discounters and Valassis’ survey confirms their popularity. Nearly two thirds (64 per cent)  shoppers use these stores and this is a growing trend –  30 per cent of consumers visit discounters more than they did a year ago. Britain’s “big four” supermarkets Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons all face a growing challenge from cheaper retailers with recent industry data showing sales at Aldi surging 33.5 per cent and Lidl up 16.6 per cent.

This bargain-driven behaviour among consumers remains prevalent despite many shoppers feeling more confident about their personal finance situation. Almost a fifth of people claim to now feel better off, a marked increase from 2013.

Charles D’Oyly, managing director at Valassis, comments:

“The supermarket wars continue to be white hot with the battle for consumer spend as fierce as ever. Consumers have grown accustomed to discounts, with coupon usage now forming an integral part of the shopping trip, so it’s no surprise that we are witnessing record volume redemption rates across a variety of products. Retailers appear to be tapping this trend by creating their own uniquely issued coupons to drive more traffic into their stores.”

The survey also revealed that coupons are used widely across all demographics, with a quarter of ABs saving at least £10 a month, up from 15 per cent last year. This compares with just eight per cent of DEs who save the same amount, finally busting the myth that coupons are for people who are less well off.

The survey of 1,000 nationally representative adults was conducted by Gfk NOP on behalf of Valassis between 11 – 13 April 2014.

Valassis Ltd is the UK’s largest coupon and voucher services provider performing crucial data management and financial clearing services. Responsible for handling most of the UK’s coupons and vouchers, Valassis Ltd is uniquely positioned to deliver insights on UK consumer promotions and is regularly quoted as an expert in the media.

Valassis Communications, Inc. (“Valassis”) is a leader in intelligent media delivery, providing over 15,000 advertisers proven and innovative media solutions to influence consumers wherever they plan, shop, buy and share.  By integrating online and offline data combined with powerful insights, Valassis precisely targets its clients’ most valuable shoppers, offering unparalleled reach and scale.

Valassis subsidiaries include, a Valassis Digital Company, and NCH Marketing Services, Inc. RedPlum® is its consumer brand. Its signature Have You Seen Me?® program delivers hope to missing children and their families. For insights on intelligent media delivery, visit and follow @valassis on Twitter. Valassis is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp.

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