Posted September 11, 2013 3:01 pm by with 1 comment

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

VALASSIS PURSE STRING SURVEYYou would think that Millennials, those born between early 1980 and early 2000, would consistently turn to the internet for all of their couponing needs. After all, digital and printable coupons are plentiful – so why pay for a newspaper you’re not going to read?

But according to the Sixth Annual RedPlum Purse String Survey, 51 percent of millennials chose newspapers as their number one source for coupons and deals. Other print sources include:

  •     33 percent from the mail
  •     21 percent from retail circulars
  •     20 percent from coupon books

45% of millennials said they’re likely to give or send physical coupons to friends and family.

Looks like paper is still going strong.

On the digital side, 27 percent of millennials say they’re using more mobile coupons and their usage does exceed that of the general population.

  •     45 percent access a coupon in an email on their smartphone compared to 24 percent of all respondents
  •     41 percent access a coupon code on their smartphone versus 24 percent
  •     36 percent compare deals versus 20 percent
  •     32 percent download a coupon to a loyalty card compared to 20 percent

The best news for marketers is that millennials are more likely to share coupons and deals than any other age group.

  • Word of mouth – 71 percent versus 56 percent of the general populace
  • Text – 30 percent versus 19 percent
  • Social – 43 percent versus 29 percent with Facebook as their channel of choice accounting for 33 percent of their social sharing, 10 percent higher than overall findings

That middle one gets me. Text? I’m not a fan of text coupons and I certainly wouldn’t forward one to a friend. One of the reasons I don’t share is because I’ve always assumed that text and other digital coupons are coded to one person and one person only. You’ll see this in a lot of printables – they have your name printed on the face to keep you from running off and handing out hundreds.


Now for the bad news (for brick and mortar sellers), the majority of mobile millennials says they’re likely to pick out an item they want in a store but purchase it online.

  • 61 percent for clothing / shoes
  • 52 percent for household goods
  • 55 percent for big ticket items

When it comes to coupons in general, the majority (85 percent) of millennials are looking for savings in the grocery store. 78 percent are looking for restaurant and clothing deals. Don’t disappoint them, let’s keep those coupons coming.

  • Great information Cynthia. I think there are two reasons for the popularity of newspaper coupons:

    1. Local businesses are still stuck in print advertising, so this is the only place they will place their coupons in general. Unless businesses catch up with the technology, this will stay as the main coupon source.

    2. As you discussed, most people assume that digital coupon codes an only be used by one person, so they won’t be inclined to share with friends. This basically destroys social distribution and makes newspapers have a much larger distribution in comparison.

    There are a ton of couponing websites online, but they’re hard to navigate, don’t always offer coupons for local businesses and can seem too spammy for millennials to want to use.

    I think the best chance for coupons to move online/mobile is on apps like Yelp, where people are already searching for local businesses. The business owners just need to start utilizing it more.