The Frugal Consumer

April 15th, 2011

FRUGALITY — THE NEW NORMAL

Coupon usage records were set last year in the U.S. About 332 billion coupons were redeemed for a total value of $3.7 billion. Of all paper and paperless coupons, 87.7 percent were distributed via Free Standing Insert (FSI) formats, including co-op, solo and shared mail. The second largest share was distributed via Handout In-Store media. Digital coupons saw a 37 percent increase in distribution and redemption.

THE PINCH

The consumer has experienced a major lifestyle shift over the past two years. Their day-to-day lives have been impacted by the economy, which leads them to spend serious time engaging with brands via coupon advertisements. Today, the 81 percent of consumers consider themselves price-conscious, and 94 percent report using a coupon in the past year for a food, health and beauty, or household product.
Couponing is not easy. To do it right, you need time, patience and organization. You need to sift through papers and websites and go to multiple stores. You can join online couponing groups like ConsumerQueen.com to help manage daily deals, but this too requires a great deal of time. This can be difficult for anybody, let alone a family that’s just scraping by.

In an analysis of the shifts in consumer behavior and spending uncovered by the 2009 Booz & Company survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, six statistically significant consumer segments emerged:

SHOPPERS 2.0 16%
The most technologically advanced of the survey sample, this segment shows the greatest tendency to buy online across categories. Its members are price sensitive, frequently use coupons and exhibit little brand or format loyalty.

DEAL HUNTERS 21%
This segment is highly price-sensitive. Its members are heavy coupon users with low levels of brand or format loyalty. They are not inclined to buy products online; they direct their price-focused online research to getting the best deal in the store.

ONLINE WINDOW-SHOPPERS 11%
This segment conducts a high level of research online but is less likely to purchase online. Its members exhibit a more modest degree of price sensitivity and brand switching than Shopper 2.0 and Deal Hunters.

CHANNEL SURFERS 20%
People in this segment are the most willing to hunt for the brands they love and most likely to switch retail destinations to seek out those brands at favorable prices. Members of this segment are the most likely to trade off convenience to get good deals on the brands they want.

LOYALISTS 15%
This segment is the least likely to change brands and retail formats for reasons of price. Its members conduct research and buy online, often seeking to preserve their established brand preferences.

LAGGARDS 17%
This segment is the least likely to change brands and retail formats for reasons of price. Its members conduct research and buy online, often seeking to preserve their established brand preferences.

Article Sources: NCH Marketing Services, Valassis, Nielsen Media Research, Coupon Sherpa

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