Inmar Presents 2014 Mid-Year Coupon Trends Report

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Established promotion methods remain popular as targeted offers gain momentum.

Inmar, a company that operates intelligent commerce networks, today announced that 174 billion coupons were distributed during the first six months of 2014 and that 1.375 billion coupons were redeemed during this same period.

The majority of coupons distributed, and redeemed, during the first half of the year were Free-Standing Inserts (FSIs). These coupons, typically found in the Sunday newspaper, accounted for 91 percent of all coupons distributed and 43.2 percent of all coupons redeemed. While their share of overall distribution for FSIs grew (up from 88.8% in H1 2013), their share of redemption remained virtually unchanged from 43.3 percent for the same period last year.

At the same time, distribution for instant redeemable coupons (IRs) was up 5.5 percent from H1 2013. Acquired by shoppers while in the store, these coupons also saw a net volume increase in redemption of 6.5 percent – compared with the first six months of 2013. These coupons, combined with instant redeemable cross ruff (IRCs), accounted for 20 percent of all coupons redeemed during this period.

Among the other “major” methods (those with more than 20 million redemptions), the coupons enjoying the greatest growth in both distribution and redemption during this six-month period were digital paperless. Distribution for these coupons, which consumers load directly to their shopper loyalty accounts from various online sources including retailers’ websites, increased by 58 percent during the first half of the year. Redemption volume for the same period was up 45 percent. This increase in redemption volume resulted in their share of overall coupon redemption nearly doubling.

Despite these increases and research showing that coupon use remains an integral part of shoppers' efforts to save money and stretch budgets, overall coupon redemption declined 6 percent in H1 2014. The drop, in large part, reflects the increasing challenge marketers face as they try to reach targeted shoppers with promotional content that will drive purchase.

As shoppers continue to ramp up their use of technology to speed and enhance their shopping experience, retailers and brands are looking for the best means to distribute dynamic, relevant content through the most effective channels. According to the 2014 Inmar Shopper Behavior Study, shoppers overall are regularly using, on average, 5.8 methods to discover and acquire coupons, combining both traditional and digital methods.

“Shoppers’ expectations for timely, personalized engagement are only increasing,” says Inmar Chairman and CEO David Mounts. “As the demand for more relevant, and easy to acquire, offers grows, so does the pressure on marketers to implement distribution strategies that deliver coupons to shoppers who want them – and will use them,” adds Mounts. “And, while those targeting strategies are seeing increased deployment, they are not yet at sufficient scale to fully satisfy the marketplace.”

Looking at the makeup of coupons distributed during the first six months of 2014, 38 percent were for food items; 62 percent for non-food items. In terms of redemption, coupons for food items accounted for 65 percent of all redemptions; the remaining 35 percent of redemptions belonging to coupons for non-food items.

For all coupons distributed, the average face value was $1.71 (a 9.1% increase over last year); the average purchase requirement rose marginally (up 1.7%) to 1.48 units; and the average redemption period shrunk to 2.1 months – a 6.9 percent reduction compared to H1 2013.

For all coupons redeemed, the average face value was up, as well, to $1.35 (a 6.9% increase over last year); the average purchase requirement fell slightly (- 1.4%) to 1.55 units; and the average redemption period grew 3.1 percent compared to last year to 5.1 months.

There will be an encore presentation of the Inmar Mid-Year Coupon Trends Report webinar at 2:00 p.m. EDT on August 5. The webinar will be presented by Devora Rogers, Senior Director, Retail Marketing Insights and Andrew Coleman, Senior Consultant, who will examine current coupon trends, look at the ways manufacturers are addressing changing shopper behavior and how, in turn, shoppers are responding to promotion-related marketing tactics. Those interested in attending the webinar may register here.

Inmar has been in the promotions industry for more than 34 years and currently processes and analyzes more than 2.3 billion coupons and related campaigns annually, making it an expert in planning, executing and measuring promotions. In addition to providing promotion management, coupon processing, business intelligence and consulting, Inmar closely monitors coupon distribution and redemption across the country and regularly reports on trends and activity in this sector.

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Inmar is a technology company that operates intelligent commerce networks. Our platforms connect offline and online transactions in real time for leading retailers, manufacturers and trading partners across multiple industries who rely on Inmar to securely manage billions of dollars in transactions. Our Promotions, Supply Chain and Healthcare platforms enable commerce, generate meaningful data and offer growth-minded leaders actionable analytics and execution with real-time visibility. Founded in 1980, Inmar is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with locations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

For more information about Inmar’s products and services, please call 866.440.6917 or visit

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