Coupons Are Vanishing During Inflation


Almost 90% of consumers used coupons in 2020 and consumers saved about $3.6 billion on consumer packaged goods thanks to coupons.

And more consumers now turn to digital coupons, according to Spendmenot, over 142 million US adults redeemed digital coupons in 2020. The industry keeps expanding. In 2021, there are 145.3 million consumers using coupons.


However, the number of coupons distributed by retailers is declining despite the increasing number of coupon users. Total coupon distribution dropped 15% to 200.13 billion in 2020. The downtrend is accelerating as coupon statistics for 2019 show distribution fell 12% to 235.46 billion the previous year.


According to Inmar, the decline mainly reflects the impact on paper coupons from falling newspaper circulation. Paper coupons have represented about 90% of coupon distribution for each of the past three years and dictate the overall direction of distribution trends.


According to CouponBirds’ data, the coupon codes offered by 1,000 retailers are decreasing. In March 2022, the average coupon offered by each retailer was nearly 13. It still continued to grow to over 14 coupon codes for each website. However, after April 2022, valid coupon codes offered by those retailers began to decrease. In June, it had fallen to less than 11 coupon codes per website while in July 2022, every merchant only provides about 10 coupons to customers. The decreasing coupon codes reflect retailers are shrinking their discounts to get more profit.

The category below shows the proportion of decrease in different industries. 20% of the retailers are food, grocery store, or restaurant. As the rising food price has hit a history record, food-related merchants are the ones who face the greatest burden. Retailers that sell shoes, clothing, or other accessories are the second which are cutting their discounts for customers. Higher prices for materials and delivery costs with the soaring gas price make clothing retailers adjust their sales policy. The next is a hotel, museum, zoo, and other sites that sell tickets. Travel in 2022 is starting to come back. However, it still doesn’t recover to the pre-pandemic level. While the rising cost in every aspect and high gas prices make the tickets of the plane more expensive. Now the prices for US domestic flights have shot up by a staggering 47 % compared to January, meaning that prices are now 30% higher than they were at the same point in 2019.

Other retailers include fitness, toys, and gift cards accounting for 12%. 7% of the retailers are merchants, which provide entertainment such as golf, painting, and camping. Those retailers providing outdoor service and outdoor entertainment goods are significantly affected by the pandemic considering the safety of gathering and outdoor activities.



1. Evangelina Chapkanovska, "Coupon Statistics: Is Couponing Growing or Slowing?".


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