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Coupons Are Vanishing During Inflation


In 2020, almost 90% of consumers used coupons and saved about $3.6 billion on consumer packaged goods.


Meanwhile, more consumers now turn to digital coupons, and over 142 million US adults redeemed digital coupons, according to Spendmenot. The industry keeps expanding. In 2021, there were 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 in 2019 suggest distribution sank 12% to 235.46 billion year on year.


According to data analytic company Inmar, the decline mainly mirrors the impact of falling newspaper circulation on paper coupons. These coupons have represented around 90% of coupon distribution for each of the past three years and determine the overall direction of distribution trends.


Moreover, CouponBirds' data indicates that the coupon codes offered by 1,000 retailers are decreasing. In March 2022, the average coupon offered by each retailer was nearly 13 and still climbed to over 14 coupon codes for each store. However, after April 2022, valid coupon codes provided by those retailers began to reduce. In June, it had fallen to less than 11 coupon codes per store 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 by industry. The food-related fields account for 20% as the rising food price has hit a history record. 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 hasn't recovered to the pre-pandemic level. The rising cost in every aspect and high gas prices make the tickets of the plane more expensive. Domestic flight prices in the US have soared by 47% since January, 30% higher than they were at the same time in 2019.

Other retailers including fitness, toys, and gift cards account for 12%. 7% of the retailers are merchants who provide entertainment such as golf, painting, and camping. Those retailers providing outdoor services and entertainment goods are significantly affected by the pandemic due to people's concern about gathering and outdoor activities.




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


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