LIVONIA, Mich., April 18, 2019: Valassis, a leader in activating consumers through intelligent media delivery, today released new research stemming from its 2K19 Coupon Intelligence Report focused on behavioral trends of today’s grocery shoppers. The study found consumers have an increased affinity for shopping online for food, household goods and health and beauty care (HBC) products while balancing their desire to save money. In fact, 68% of online grocery shoppers report using coupons and discounts to save money is the most important factor when shopping.

Overall, 63% of consumers make all or most of their food purchases in-store. Online shopping has increased year over year 44% for food; 40% for HBC products and 38% for household items.

As the grocery landscape evolves, consumers continue to seek savings and convenience via print and digital channels. Online grocery shoppers are prominent coupon advocates, with 65% using them always or very often versus 45% of all consumers. To benefit from enhanced savings, 60% always or very often load coupons onto loyalty/frequent shopper cards versus 40% of all respondents. Meanwhile, 36% of all consumers would use more coupons if they were able to use them in any store or online – approximately 25% avoid shopping online because they can’t use coupons or get in-store deals.

The online grocery experience still has room for improvement. Among online grocery shoppers:

  • 64% miss the sensory experience of touching and smelling produce;
  • 62% find it frustrating when they can’t use coupons or discounts; and
  • 62% are uncomfortable having someone else pick out their produce or other perishable items.

“In today’s ultra-competitive grocery environment, the stakes are high for brands and retailers to truly understand the consumer and what’s important to them in order to drive activation,” said Michelle Engle, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Valassis. “The trends we see as consumers change their shopping patterns have propelled us to develop new innovative products to capture this buyer. We launched an Add to Cart offering last year to meet consumer expectations of ease and convenience while shopping online. We have seen significant growth with clients utilizing our shoppable ads functionality to build loyalty and create a more personalized experience.”

Findings from Valassis’ 2K19 Coupon Intelligence Report provide a greater understanding of the online grocery shopper based on behaviors they always or very often do aimed at helping brands and retailers better engage them. Consider this:

  • The online grocery shopper is no amateur at finding savings.
    • 76% prioritize going to a store with the lowest prices when shopping for groceries; and
    • 59% take paper/printed coupons with them on shopping trips.
  • The online grocery shopper has higher engagement with store circulars to determine where to shop.
    • 62% look at printed circulars/ads to determine where to shop vs.46% of all consumers; and
    • 60% look at online circulars/weekly ads to decide which retailers to shop at vs. 37% of all consumers.

Online shopping does appeal more broadly to consumers aiming to balance work and home priorities. According to Valassis’ report, 29% of respondents indicate work and family needs make it challenging to complete shopping, household tasks and errands. Additionally, 46% said they need better solutions to save more money and 39% said the same about saving time. With that, retailers are taking note by offering more convenience-oriented options such as buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) and home delivery services.

In terms of the online grocery shopper, defined within the report, Valassis found 77% are between 18 and 44 years old, skewing more heavily toward millennials, younger Gen Xers, males and households that have an average income of $80,900. The top reasons consumers are shopping online include saving time (66%); a larger selection of products (66%); easier than shopping in-store (65%); and less expensive than shopping in brick-and-mortar venues (59%).

For additional insights, download Valassis’ Empowered Shoppers Infographic.

About the 2K19 Coupon Intelligence Report:

The study was fielded in the third quarter of 2018 in conjunction with a global, third-party market research firm with proficiency in internet surveys. The sample was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Consumers were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey and were given three days to complete it. The survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses had been reached. The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary levels.

About Valassis

Valassis helps thousands of local and national brands tap the potential of industry-leading data through intelligent media delivery – understanding, engaging and inspiring millions of consumers to action with smarter cross-channel campaigns. We’ve been a part of consumers’ lives for decades, introducing new ways to deliver offers and messages that activate them – whether via mail, digital or the newspaper. NCH Marketing Services, Inc. and Clipper Magazine are Valassis subsidiaries, and RetailMeNot Everyday™ is its consumer brand. Its signature Have You Seen Me?® program delivers hope to missing children and their familiesValassis and RetailMeNot are wholly owned subsidiaries of Harland Clarke Holdings.

Media Contact

Mary Broaddus


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734 591-7375