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The average face value of digital coupons issued for CPG brands increased by 21.2 percent during the first half of 2016 versus the same period a year ago, far outpacing the 0.6 percent growth of print coupons during the same period, according to a new report from New York-based research firm Kantar Media.
While face values of print coupons distributed through FSIs, SmartSource coupon machines and consumer magazines were higher than those of digital coupons distributed through network and retailer websites, the gap is narrowing. During the period, the estimated number of digital coupons printed grew by 23.4 percent to 3.7 billion. Print coupons still represented the majority of brand promotion activity in the first half of 2016 by far, accounting for 154.7 billion coupons dropped.
The number of estimated prints for digital promotions and the number of coupons dropped for print are key measures of overall brand promotion activity.
“The use of digital promotions and coupons are still changing how CPG brands promote their products, but the tactics used across both digital and print media are becoming more defined and consistent,” said Lisa Ekstedt, account solutions manager at Minneapolis-based Kantar Media. “Print promotion continues to have the largest reach to consumers, while digital offers a more targeted approach. In the first half of 2016, manufacturers continued to experiment to find the right combination of face value, expiration and number of offers in the marketplace that will reward and motivate consumers, but not diminish ROI.”
Food registered the largest increase in digital promotion activity across total CPGs, driven by the dry grocery and cereal categories. In particular, dry groceries exemplified the trend of shifting activity from print to digital. The category demonstrated the largest decline in print activity while showing the largest increase in digital promotion across all food categories.
Digital activity now represents 4 percent of all coupon promotion within the food sector, an increase from 3 percent during the first half of 2015. Food represents only 30 percent of all print coupons dropped, compared with 51 percent of all estimated digital prints.
For nonfoods, activity was flat in print but increased in digital promotion. Personal care promotions dominated here, showing the second-largest increase in digital and largest increase in print across total CPGs. Nonfoods continued to represent the largest share of coupons dropped in print promotion (70 percent) while representing 49 percent of estimated prints in digital.
“As digital activity increases on retailer websites, food brands are taking a more targeted approach, circulating more digital offers,” said Kantar Media VP Kurt Palmquist. ”Meanwhile, nonfood products continue to rely upon the higher reach of print, and can offer higher-value incentives due to the nature of the product’s higher relative cost.”