The country’s economic recession tightened the purse strings of many households. In some cases it was out of necessity as job layoffs or reductions meant less money coming in. In other cases, consumers were being more cautious with expenditures knowing that there was much economic pain being felt by other people. In response to the recession and accompanying consumer pullback, a surge in coupon usage and offers was observed. Consumers sought to save money, and marketers wanted to offer incentives to nudge buyers to take action.
It is tempting to generalize that coupon usage is a practice found mainly in middle and lower income households. After all, they need to save money more than high income households. It turns out that such an assumption is incorrect. A recent study done by Harris Interactive found that a higher percentage of persons with household income of $100,000-$149,999 reported using coupons from newspapers, Internet, and magazines than persons with incomes below $100,000. The most interesting finding was the use of the Internet as a source for obtaining coupons. Two groups of affluent consumers, incomes of $100,000-$149,999 and $150,000-plus, reported greater use of online coupons than the overall population (51% and 53%, respectively versus 40% overall).
Marketers targeting affluent segments should realize that just because these customers have more money does not mean they are less interested in saving money or receiving added benefits via coupon offers. It seems there is greater potential in targeting this audience with coupons in terms of coupon redemption as well as buying power. In particular, these consumers look to the Web for incentives to buy. Affluents are affluent for a reason: they understand spending less money than you take in builds weatlth. Thus, it is not surprising that many of them are coupon users. Respond to them with offers that compel them to buy!
eMarketer – “Web Coupons a Hit for the Affluent”