How Shoppers are Using Smartphones to Save Money

Smartphone coupon usage increased more than 100% in both 2012 and 2011

Smart shoppers are consulting multiple platforms to aid with shopping and to save money, according to recent surveys. Not only are they cashing in print and online coupons, but consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to get deals while in the store. According to a July study by media and marketing services company Valassis, due to rising food and gas prices, 74% of US consumers planned to use more coupons this year.

Mobile coupon usage, in particular, is skyrocketing. According to the Valassis study, use of mobile coupons or apps increased by over 100% in 2011, and 100% again in 2012. Although trailing online coupons by a few percentage points, the Valassis study showed that 79% of US internet users were using more mobile coupons this year—on par with print coupons and circulars.


Money-Saving Tactics US Internet Users Are Using More This Year, July 2012 (% of respondents)

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Mobile Coupon Statistics

When it comes to preferred methods of receiving mobile coupons according to U.S. mobile phone owners, text messaging captures over 50% of the market share.

  • 42% of Smartphone/Tablet Users Have Used Mobile Coupons (October 2011)
  • 67% of mobile users agree that location-based coupons  are “very convenient and useful” (October 2011)
  • 57% percent of consumers said they would want to receive a coupon on their phone.

Mobile Coupon Usage Statistics

Coupons Motivate Mobile and Online Shoppers

Courtney Rubin, Business WritersRecent Posts




















Think a coupon for 25 percent (or more) off would be sufficient inducement for customers to Tweet or retweet a deal?



Think again. A new survey says just 17 percent of respondents would spend a 140-character missive on you—though that number is up from 12 percent last year.

What  would customers be willing to do for a 25 percent price reduction? Two-thirds (67 percent) said they’d Like a page on Facebook, and 79 percent said they’d sign up for an e-mail newsletter.

Coupon site Red Plum surveyed some 9,100 customers online for their fifth annual Purse Strings Study. The study found that even with mobile deals, traditional couponing—scissors, circulars, and all—has not gone the way of the telegram: 79 percent said they were using circulars more to plan shopping trips, using more print coupons and using more mobile coupons than last year. Of those surveyed, 82 percent said they were using more online savings. (Total saved: Up to $50 per week.) 

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) said they spent up to two hours weekly hunting down savings. The number of respondents who reported comparing prices both online and in print is up 9 percent over 2011.

“These findings indicate that consumers are still very interested in savings and have developed a forever frugal mindset,” said Lisa Reynolds, vice president of consumer engagement for media company Valassis, which conducted the survey. “They have become so accustomed to searching for value that these deal-seeking behaviors have become second nature to them. They clearly value the dollar as well as their time.”

Use of mobile couponing and apps is up over 100 percent from 2011. It’s up in all income groups, though especially in the less than $20,000 income level group, where use has more than tripled.

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