Every weekend, millions of people receive store coupons via e-mail, in the mail, or in their Sunday papers. Some people simply delete the e-mail or throw away the coupons. However, more people wait for these coupons and often won’t go shopping without them.
In an earlier blog post, “Save Money: Use Paper Coupons,” I talked about couponing. Since then, I think couponing has become a phenomenon. I believe couponing is becoming more and more popular. Have you all seen the television show, “Extreme Couponing?” Many people watch this show, and I believe it reaffirms people our connection to paper coupons. One major retailer that I know of has decided to stop offering paper coupons altogether and offer everyday low prices instead. From what I’ve heard, this move has turned many customers away as they feel as if they aren’t getting a good deal since they don’t have a coupon in hand. Even if the price is right, without a coupon, many customers feel that they are paying “full price” even though they are paying the same price they would have with the coupon.
Handing a paper coupon to the cashier instills a sense of accomplishment. It makes us feel like we got a “good deal.” However, there is something about a coupon or a clearance tag that makes shopping more exciting. There is a thrill in the hunt for good deals.
Only time will tell if paper coupons will continue to be the major marketing strategy of retailers. However, I believe paper coupons are so ingrained in today’s society, that it will be a long time before we ever see coupons eliminated, especially in these dire economic times.
What are your thoughts?