Couponing Dips in 2012 [AUDIO]
Less shoppers are using coupons, at least as of the end of last year. Different studies showed coupon redemption dropped anywhere from 14 to 17 percent, compared to 2011.
The drop occurred after a number of good years for couponing, which possibly linked to the struggling economy. However, one can’t jump to the conclusion that less coupon redemption equals improving economic conditions.
“There were less coupons to be distributed, which then would decline the redemption,” said Cindy Livesey of Monmouth County, founder of livingrichwithcoupons.com.
Livesey claimed some companies were forced to make cutbacks in their couponing and marketing because of budget constraints; brands have to pay for their coupons to be distributed.
The Extreme Couponing show on TLC may have caused a drop in coupon distribution and use as well, according to Livesey. Shoppers on the program were misusing coupons and stores were wrongly going along with it, having everyday shoppers think they could chop their own tabs down to barely nothing.
“I think there were a lot of people using coupons not in the right way,” Livesey said. “So brands backed off a little bit.”
However, Livesely expressed a positive outlook for 2013. Already this year, she’s seen coupons for “great products we haven’t seen before.” She noted Procter & Gambler, notorious for avoiding printable coupons, went against the grain in March and made plenty available to shoppers.