Digital Coupon Offerings Soaring

By: E&P Staff

The number of digital coupon “events” at key Websites tracked by Marx soared 84% in the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2009, according to newly released data by the Kantar Media unit.

More manufacturers are offering digital coupons, the research shows. On retailer Websites monitored by Marx, for example, 268 manufacturers ran digital promotion events, a 25.8%  more than the 213 manufacturers that participated in retailer promotion events in traditional print FSI (freestanding inserts) vehicles during the first half of the year.

“Manufacturers are distributing coupons on retailer websites to build purchase intent with the consumer and drive shopping trips for the retailer,” Bob Cristofono, vice president of sales at Marx, said in a statement.  “Increasingly, manufacturers need to understand competitive promotion activity on retailer websites to fully understand retail pricing, merchandising support, and promotional lift.”

Print FSI coupons continued to outpace digital coupons in attracting new products, the Marx research shows. During the first half of 2010, 35 new products included digital promotion events across the Websites monitored by Marx compared to 196 new products that included traditional FSI coupons.

But Marx found that digital promotions are run more frequently for new products. There was an 6.1 “event dates” per each new product for digital promotions compared to 1.6 event dates per new product for FSI coupon promotions. 

“Manufacturers are blurring the lines between traditional FSI and digital promotion by developing integrated retailer and new product campaigns,“ said Dan Kitrell, vice president of account solutions at Marx.  “In addition to moving coupons online, many leading CPG (consumer packaged goods) manufacturers are also including social media references in their FSI coupon creatives.  Facebook is the primary social media being used, but Twitter is included in addition to Facebook in about half of the creatives analyzed.  In most cases, the social media icon is the only reference.  However, some brands have developed programs to incent consumers to support social media websites including opportunities to download additional savings, join web clubs, and contribute to charities.”

Digital coupons complement traditional FSI coupons to reach consumers in their homes while they are making purchasing decisions, Kantar Media Intelligence President Mark Nesbitt said.

“As more manufacturers distribute more digital coupons, it becomes increasingly critical to understand competitive digital promotion tactics to insure that events break through the clutter to deliver the right offer to the right consumer,” he said.

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