If it seems like there were more coupons available in 2010, that's because there were.
According to a report released Friday by NCH Marketing, retailers and manufacturers once again distributed more coupons for consumer-packaged goods (CPG) in 2010 than in the previous year. "The grand total of 332 billion coupons was the largest single-year amount ever recorded in the U.S., eclipsing the 2009 record by 6.8 percent, or 21 billion coupons."
Herewith are details drawn from the study:
1. All those coupons equaled great deals for consumers. The total savings of $3.7 billion in 2010 was an increase of $200 million from 2009.
2. The availability of online coupons continued to grow last year, as marketers and users alike became more comfortable with this high-tech distribution method. NCH tracked a 37-percent increase in total digital coupon offers, the largest increase across all varieties of coupons. Merchant willingness played a large role in this change, as an ever-increasing number of stores accept printable and paperless coupons, also known as IP (Internet Printable) coupons.
3. Consumer frugality also rose, with one-third of respondents saying they used more coupons in 2010 than the prior year. In fact, 78.3 percent of consumers said they regularly used coupons, up 14.7 share points from the start of the recession.
4. The vast majority of coupons -- 87.7 percent -- were still distributed via newspaper inserts and direct mail. The second-largest share of coupon distribution was through in-store handouts, amounting to 5.2 percent of the 2010 total. This classification includes coupons available in on-shelf distribution systems as well as those you receive with your receipt at checkout (known as Catalina coupons).
5. CPG marketers also estimated coupons were worth more than before. The face value of coupons they distributed increased by an average of $1.46 each. To balance out the books, marketers reduced expiration by generally a week and a half, for an average expiration period of roughly nine weeks.
6. Nearly 75 percent of 2010 coupons required shoppers purchase one item and 26 percent required consumers purchase two or more items to receive the discount.
NCH Marketing is a promotional-marketing-services provider of coupon processing and marketing solutions retailers and manufacturers. All details are drawn from their report.