When I was growing up, our main source of information was the local newspaper and about broadcast networks. During that time on Wednesdays and Sundays that paper would come bursting with extensive advertisements replete with coupons.
My mom would faithfully cut out a few of the coupons on products she used and saved a few dollars here and there. That was about it!
In 2016 with the advent of the internet, texting and neighborhood bag or flyer delivery of coupons, a lot has changed. Not only is it part of a big retail business, it is now an active part of many families lives.
For the well informed and super organized the savings are phenomenal. Spending less by saving more on much-needed lifestyle products and services can allow many families to live better than they normally would.
On the internet you will find not only sites such as “Groupon”, you will also find many sites that discuss and teach you how to do couponing properly. Groupon on their WEB site has a Mission statement about connecting commerce and consumers together creating more business for the merchants.
I would consider that Groupon is the online replacement of the local ads in my local newspaper of over 30 years ago. Check them out. www.groupon.com
The reason for the coupon revolution and couponing is apparent. Consumers can save a lot of money and retail businesses can continue to bring in their customers.
In 2012, consumers saved over $800 million. If you go to Coupon Statistics you will be inundated with facts. Over 47 percent of Smart Phone users in 2014 used coupons. In addition to that the avenues for consumers to obtain coupons have increased. The main sources mentioned there are:
- Direct Mail
- Magazine Pop-up
- Instant redeemable
- Electronic checkout
- Free-standing Insert
- Digital Promotions
- Shelf pad
- In-store Advertisement
In addition to this, a newer form of retail marketing is growing. It is text marketing. A consumer will opt in when in the establishment. Once opted-in the merchant can send out text messages promoting coupons, discounts, birthday specials and the list is endless. For more information on this go to SenText Solutions Inc!
However, there is the downside to couponing.
It is the extreme coupon practitioners. They have even been featured on TV specials. They have taken it to such extremes that they even manage to get retailers to give them money or pay very little for taking merchandise out of the store using coupons.
Many companies, such as Kroger’s have lowered prices and at the same time banned double coupons. So the fact that they lowered prices was not well received. I guess the extreme coupon proponents prefer that only they save money and not everyone with or without coupons.
The practice of outlawing coupons makes it very hard for people to actually save money. Plus, the jury is still out as to whether you save money with these lower better prices.
Some extreme coupon lovers have gone into stores and cleaned out entire shelves of particular products. Only to store them in their homes for who knows how long, leaving other shoppers without the product.
As a result, the need for educating people on how to properly use coupons for savings and not selfishness is needed.
A good site to start your learning is www.couponing.com. They have a great article there called Coupon Etiquette: A primer.
So, to conclude this short introduction into couponing, a family can save thousands of dollars annually on products that they need and use. However, as with anything else, this can be abused and the market will respond accordingly. We encourage responsible couponing.