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Digital Coupons Exceed Expectations

15 March 2010 - 10:10 by Graham Miller

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We all know that eCommerce is big news, but it might surprise some to learn that one specific part of the sector, digital coupons, is defying its detractors and doing big business. Digital coupons? The online version of the coupons found in leaflets or newspapers, digital coupons are given out by brands looking to attract or retain consumers and offer some significant reductions, allowing people to save money as they go about their safe shopping online.

Digital coupons were expected by many to be unsuccessful, but as clearly demonstrated by a report from Coupons.com, a US site which offers coupons, digital coupon use is on the rise. Many people did their shopping online using coupons and voucher codes in 2009, leading to a growth rate of 170 per cent, compared to 130 per cent in 2008.

In contrast, traditional paper coupons, saw a growth of only eight to 16 per cent. The growth in the use of digital coupons means that in 2009, there were total savings of $850 million in the US as a result, a pattern which is being mirrored in the UK as the use of voucher codes continues to rise. Coupons.com believes that further growth is on its way this year.

Indeed, the whole coupon sector appears to be set for growth. Transaction settlement provider Inmar also captured statistics relating to the use of coupons, concluding that some 367 billion coupons were issued by brands during 2009; the biggest peak since records began in 1988. An ever broader spectrum of stores and brands are now acknowledging the value of digital coupons. Last year, grocery superstore Safeway partnered with coupons provider Cellfire, in order to provide net-savvy customers with club cards and the opportunity for further savings on vegetables and other essentials.