Amid all the hype about digital everything, it's easy to forget that newspaper circulars (and newspapers) aren't just still around, they're actually still dominant for things like coupons, even among younger shoppers whose smartphones seem like the perfect platform for payments, coupons, loyalty programs and everything else. But the paper versions are still the real platform, even as every checkout lane has to keep handling more varieties of discount scrip, including all the competing digital versions. The paperless coupon turns out to be only a little more widespread than the paperless office (or the paperless bathroom).
It looks like you're going to be scanning paper coupons for at least another generation. Earlier this month, RedPlum's annual Purse String survey found that Millennials (no, we still don't know exactly what that means either) still say that newspapers are their favorite place to find coupons and offers, with 51 percent of the kids listing newspapers as their top source (and that doesn't include direct mail or in-store coupon books). Digital coupons? Still very big with the kids, with 27 percent reporting they used more mobile coupons in the past year, compared with 17 percent of everyone surveyed.