April 25, 2003, 12:00 AM

How much do grocery shoppers like online coupons?

Online shoppers downloaded 242 million grocery coupons last year, 111% more than in 2001. They buy more in some categories but may brand-hop by price, Forrester finds.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

How much do grocery shoppers like online coupons? Plenty, according to Forrester Research Inc. In 2002, consumers downloaded 242 million grocery coupons, 111% more than in the previous year. In polling more than 3,500 primary household buyers of groceries, Forrester found that their buying behavior differs in some respects from that of those who don’t use the coupons.

Online grocery coupon users spend more in categories including nonalcoholic beverages, personal care products, snacks and household supplies. They’re more likely than nonusers to switch brands when the price is right. They also are more likely than nonusers of online coupons to take advantage of a variety of grocery store promotions including offline offers such as volume discounts and loyalty programs, Forrester says.

Rather than continually surfing around to find online coupons, those who use coupons tend to form the habit of going to one place to get them, according to Forrester. 71% of online coupon users favor dedicated coupon sites, while about half look to CPG brand sites.

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