The Clipping Point just came out with an interesting article about coupon cutters. It discusses a study that was recently conducted that found people still prefer getting coupons from the Sunday paper rather than printing them from the Internet. However, significant growth has occurred in terms of using the Internet to find coupons. Now, 11 percent of households get coupons from the Internet, up by 83 percent since 2005. However, the Sunday paper is still the more popular source; 53 percent of people get coupons from it, up by 8 percent. Culturally speaking, as we enter a recession and the wealth disparity grows, an increase overall in coupon clipping makes sense.

However, while the Sunday newspaper remains the most popular source (perhaps due to habit and tradition), there has been a growth in marrying coupons with technology available through services such as Shortcuts and Cellfire. These services enable consumers to find and choose relevant deals offered by a specific retailer. Once chosen, they are sent to the consumer’s loyalty card and appear at check out. Shortcuts is web-based, while Cellfire informs consumers about deals via cell phones. These services add convenience and save paper, all while tailoring coupons to consumers.

The article also notes that coupon cutters spend more money on groceries, 114 dollars per week, while the general population spends about 110 dollars per week. Coupon cutters also buy a wider variety of products. From a cultural standpoint, this is interesting. Coupons are a price promotion, so why is it that coupon cutters spend more on average on groceries? It makes sense that they buy a wider variety because they buy what is on sale. This statistic begs the question, what is the benefit of coupon cutting? Is it about getting more for their money to care for a larger household efficiently? Is it about getting a deal, meaning could they be trying products they might not normally buy just because they have a coupon? Maybe it is a hobby, maybe it is a craft skill and only those that are the best at it are actually saving money. It begs the question…what is the true power of a 50 cent off piece of low stock paper?

Overall, there is a significant rise in Internet couponing. The trend will only continue to grow as people become more accustomed to technology in everyday life. People will begin to change their habits as the benefits of services of Shortcuts and Cellfire make more and more sense. So, many people now get their news from the web. Will coupons follow suit? How much longer will print newspapers be in circulation, anyways?

Submitted by: Claire Foss