Why You Should Always Use Your Coupons
Coupons: It’s a Win-Win
Coupons create a win-win scenario for the consumers who clip them and the companies who issue them. If you’ve ever seen the extreme couponing shows on television where consumers purchase hundreds of dollars of groceries for pennies on the dollar, you’re probably wondering how these businesses make a profit.
Well, they are not necessarily seeking a profit. However, when you use your coupon they don’t lose any money either. The company is paying you to try their product at a discount by paying the seller, either in part or in full for you to use the product in question.
Coupons are pre-paid advertising monies available for consumers to try a company’s product. Think of them like a type of gift to the prospective purchaser. According to the Food Marketing Institute, at times local supermarkets carried an average of 43,844 items. That is a lot of brand competition.
The company’s goal in issuing coupons is to entice you to purchase their product instead of the five alternative brands offering similar products. Coupons are part of a marketing strategy to influence consumers to purchase Brand A over Brand B.
Coupon guilt is feeling bad for using coupons, especially in an extreme couponing fashion. When you purchase products at steeply discounted prices or for free, it can feel like you are scamming the system or robbing the store or manufacturer.
In reality, however, you are doing exactly what the product companies want you to do: bring their product home. It doesn’t matter if you paid little, or nothing, for the item. Often, making a profit is not the company’s primary objective.
Companies that offer coupons are usually motivated by at least some of the following goals:
- Getting Your Attention – Sharing a message to help you relate to them as a company (this is usually an emotional appeal).
- Advertising New Products – A new product is worthless if no one knows about it. Coupons are a good way to encourage consumers to try something they might not otherwise purchase.
- Brand Loyalty – Releasing coupons for the same line of products at regular intervals can help secure consumer loyalty for a particular brand. For example, you may religiously purchase Cottonelle toilet paper over Charmin because you have coupons for Cottonelle.
- Repeat Business – Ever get a receipt with coupons at the bottom? Or, “store dollars” because you purchased over a certain amount? The store is trying to entice you to continue shopping there by offering a discount for a specific time period in the future.
- Learn About Consumers – Through coupons, companies can streamline their marketing efforts and learn the trends of their consumers. Coupon data can provide information about when products are purchased, how many products are purchased, the average price of the store visit and the most popular times and days to shop.
To Coupon, or Not to Coupon?
If, by purchasing the product with a coupon, you continue to buy that product in the future, the company will gain a profit from a lifetime of product buying. For the company, it’s worth the investment in their advertising budget. For the consumer, it’s worth the money savings. So, go ahead and use your coupons without guilt; it’s worth saving the extra few bucks. As Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
- How to Use Coupons to Promote Your Business, by Thom Reece
- Creating Coupon Promotions-How Retailers Market with Coupons, by Shari Waters
- Coupon Statistics, by ilovecouponmonth.com
- Printable and Downloadable Coupons, by redplum.com
- Coupons 101, by thegoodstuff.com
- Walgreens Coupons & Couponing 101, by wildforwags.com
- Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, by Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon Mom
- How to Time Using Your Coupons, by Howcast
- The Everything Couponing Book, by Karen Wilmes
- Extreme Couponing: Learn How To Be A Savvy Shopper and Save Money… One Coupon at A Time, by Joni Meyer-Crothers & Beth Adelman
- RetailMeNot Coupons, by RetailMeNot, Inc., available on iTunes for free
- Coupons & Coupon Codes, Savings & Deals, by Coupons.com, available on iTunes for free