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    Coupons Shape Consumers’ Retailer, Brand Choices: Study

    A shopper experience study currently underway by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research has found that 60 percent of shoppers look for coupons before going to a store.

    A shopper experience study currently underway by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research has found that 60 percent of shoppers look for coupons before going to a store, indicating that coupons are still a major preplanning element, particularly in the grocery channel.

    What’s more, 86 percent of shoppers said that coupons are at least “somewhat influential” when it comes to brands purchased. Women are more likely to be swayed by coupons than men, with 49 percent of female respondents referring to coupons as “extremely” or “very” important, while 39 percent of males felt the same way.

    “Coupon value is ranked as the highest motivating factor driving a consumer to switch from their preferred product or brand,” noted Craig Elston, SVP at Denver-based Integer Group. “Shoppers also want simple, clean, and easy-to-redeem coupons, which increases the likelihood of their use by three times.”

    The most popular product brands for coupons, according to the study, are P&G, Kraft, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and Pillsbury. Respondents’ top picks for retailer-branded coupons were Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Macy’s, Borders and Costco.

    “To compete with the more popular brand-specific coupons, retailers are becoming more aggressive and are increasing shopper awareness by sending out retailer-specific high face-value coupons,” said Randy Wahl, EVP at Irving, Texas-based M/A/R/C Research. “This entices a customer to choose a retailer for a shopping destination vs. going to a store to redeem product coupons, and most likely increases the chance of a return trip to the retailer.”

    The national ongoing survey asks consumers about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to spur purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle without selecting an item. Survey results appear in the newsletter The Checkout, which can be downloaded at Integer’s blog www.ShopperCulture.com or M/A/R/C's Web site, www.MARCresearch.com/thecheckout.

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