Corporate Eye

A New Brand Shift – From Paper to Digital Coupons

sams-clubAccording to a study by Scarborough Research, consumers still rely on their Sunday newspapers to get most of their coupons.  That trend might change faster than you think as brands begin to get on the digital bandwagon.  Sure, we’ve all seen coupons online, but according to Scarborough’s study, only 7% of U.S. households surveyed actually get coupons from online sites.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the stats from the Scarborough Research study below:

The percentage of U.S. Households that obtain coupons from the following sources:

  1. Sunday newspaper = 51%
  2. In-store coupons = 35%
  3. Mail = 31%
  4. Preferred customer card/loyalty card = 21%
  5. In-store circulars = 20%
  6. Weekday newspaper = 17%
  7. Product packages = 16%
  8. Magazines = 15%
  9. Text Messages and/or Email = 8%
  10. Internet Sites = 7%

Looking at these statistics, I feel like I’ve stepped back in time, but apparently, they’re representative of U.S. household’s behaviors related to coupons.  Clearly, the digital opportunity for coupons is huge, and companies are starting to notice.  Just this month, Sam’s Club announced that it would stop distributing printed coupons entirely and instead announced its new eValues program that offers personalized coupons to shoppers digitally through their iPhones, Blackberrys, in-store kiosks, and so on.

Looks like this trend is about to pick up some serious steam as more companies look to distribute coupons through email, text messages, and online than ever before.  At a time in history when more people are looking to the Internet and their smart phones for information and content than traditional sources, the shift makes sense.  I suppose the only question really should be, “what took everyone so long?”

Your thoughts?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.