Saturday, April 05, 2008

Coupon usage to increase?

This press release from a consulting firm says that a tough economy will likely lead to dramatically increased usage of coupons.

Of the 1,529 U.S. consumers who responded to a recent ICOM survey, 67% said they are much more likely, or somewhat more likely, to use coupons during a recession. The breakdown was 45% percent much more likely and 22% percent somewhat more likely.

I've never been impressed with consumer surveys of this type. Asking people what they will do if such-and-such happens seems likely to elicit responses based on what the consumer thinks is expected. It seems more appropriate to look at actual consumer behavior, which shows steadily decreasing rates of coupon usage (now about 1%), regardless of economic conditions. I see no reason to think there will be much change this time.

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