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    Paperless Coupon Redemption Sees ‘Exponential Growth’

    Volume greater in first half of this year than in all of 2012

    Redemption volume for digitally discovered coupons -- including Internet print-at-home coupons (PAH) as well as paperless coupons that consumers acquire online and load directly to their shopper loyalty accounts -- increased significantly in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period last year, according to research from Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar.

    “The use of digital promotions continues to accelerate while the ease and efficiency of paper coupons remains high for both brands and value-minded consumers,” said Inmar CEO David Mounts. “The rapid growth in redemption volume we saw in the first half of 2013 for digitally delivered coupons is further indication that having the appropriate promotion mix is the best way to increase acquisitions and sales. However, only by employing detailed analytics to thoroughly understand shopper behavior can marketers determine the optimal mix and effectively influence shoppers along the path to purchase.”

    Redemption volume for Internet print-at-home coupons continued its steady quarter-over-quarter growth with 70.9 million redeemed in the first half of 2013, up 12.1 percent compared to last year. At the same time, exponential growth in redemption was seen among paperless, digital (“e-wallet”) coupons with a 234 percent increase in redemption volume during the first half of this year. Indeed, in just the first six months of 2013, Inmar observed more paperless digital coupons (28.5 million) than in all of 2012 (27.5 million).

    Although e-wallet promotions currently represent a relatively small segment of coupon activity, their continuing and accelerating growth is already having significant effect on the marketplace. The targeting and personalization capabilities inherent in these promotions are enabling marketers to effectively engage, in greater and greater numbers, shoppers who previously had not used coupons with any regularity.

    Among paper methods, instant redeemables experienced the greatest growth in redemption in the first half of 2013 with 191.7 million of these coupons redeemed. The increase was a continuation of this method’s impressive growth trajectory and represented a 23 percent increase over last year.

    Paralleling this redemption increase was an overall increase in coupon distribution. Marketers pushed out 170.4 billion offers to shoppers in the first half of this year, a 2.1 percent uptick over 2012. At the same time, however, overall coupon redemption was down 6.6 percent for the first half of the year compared to last year (1.39 billion versus 1.49 billion).

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