Shoppers still prefer paper over digital offers

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Shoppers still prefer paper over digital offers.

Although online shopping is growing at a rapid pace, shoppers' interest in receipt-based offers continues to outpace interest in digital offers.  

According to a new shopper tracking study from inStream, consumers continue to show a strong preference for receipt-based offers for savings on products. And many shoppers are on the lookout for these offers, as 82% of those surveyed said they are aware of the coupons printed on their receipts, up 24% from last year, and more than half of these shoppers return to the store to redeem the offers.

In addition, 58% of shoppers say they are more likely to use a coupon found on their receipt versus only 16% who look for store coupons through digital channels. 

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Also in the study, inStream found that shoppers are making 27% more trips to value retail stores, averaging around 14 visits per month. And coupon offers are driving shoppers into stores. Up to 59% of the time, customers report using receipt coupons to try new products and 68% of shoppers refer to receipt offers to learn of new sales. 

The team at inStream found the awareness and usage of receipt-based offers surprising. 

Michael Doherty

"Receipt-based offers have been in place with these retailers for many years, so there is certainly a familiarity with the value shopper," Michael Doherty, inStream's COO, told FierceRetail. "At the same time, our value retailer partners have put much effort into developing their digital offers platforms. In the end, these offers all need to work together to provide a clear picture of consumer preferences, so that retailers are able to deliver offers to the shopper when and where he or she wants to receive them."

Doherty was also surprised to learn of the difference in shopper behavior between rural and urban/suburban shoppers. The urban and suburban shoppers value channel more as a convenience store option, visiting often and making smaller overall purchases. And the rural shopper treats the value channel as a grocery/hardware/convenience store all in one, visiting somewhat less often, but spending much more per trip. 

"Both are looking for savings on the purchases they make, but brands need to target these offers differently instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach," he said. 

So why the lag in popularity for digital offers?

Doherty states that there are several reasons, much of which can be attributed to shopper habits. Some reasons beyond familiarity include the relatively new concept of personalization in digital offers, so the receipt offers may be perceived as having more value.

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"In today’s varied retail landscape, providing compelling personalized offers is table stakes—the shopper has too many other options. However, there are many ways to reach these shoppers with these offers, and receipt-based offers have proven to be the leading channel for value shoppers," Doherty said.